The minority ethnic group experience in Scottish higher education

McMillan, Kathleen Margaret (2006) The minority ethnic group experience in Scottish higher education. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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This study explores the contexts and learning experiences of a group of minority ethnic group learners as higher education students in the University of Dundee. The research serves a scoping purpose, aiming to examine the influences, values, attitudes, behaviours and policies that affect the learning experiences of these bilingual minority ethnic group students in the monocultural and monolingual Scottish educational system. An initial exploration of these factors lays the foundation for the further aim of appraising the ways in which ethnicity, cultural values and bilingualism contribute to the learning profile of such students.

Quantitative data were obtained from public domain statistical records, and qualitative data from a pilot postal questionnaire, focus group meetings and single or paired interviews. Research literature underpinning and informing the study draws from various fields including anthropology, bilingual education, demography, cognitive psychology, education, language acquisition, linguistics and sociology.

The voices of the students combine to provide a powerful commentary of their experiences and this gives rise to the emergence of several themes in this research. A key theme, the importance of identity, is one that is woven through this work. Changing emphases can be observed in the developing Ethnic, Academic and Global modes of Self as these mutate in response to tensions that arise for the students as they straddle the dichotomy of heritage and educational cultures.

The difference that distinguishes resident bilinguals from dominant ethnic group students can be seen in their differing language profiles. Problematic aspects of learning at university can apply to all learners, but such difficulties seem to be accentuated in the case of resident bilinguals. The acquisition of academic literacies is one such problematic area and, while both resident bilingual and dominant ethnic group students can be challenged in these areas, this can be in subtly different ways.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HT Communities. Classes. Races
L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB2300 Higher Education
Colleges/Schools: College of Social Sciences
Supervisor's Name: Hedge, Dr. Nicki and Daborn, Dr. Esther
Date of Award: 2006
Depositing User: Ms Anikó Szilágyi
Unique ID: glathesis:2006-5893
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 09 Jan 2015 14:30
Last Modified: 19 Feb 2015 14:48

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