The outlooks of international students when immersed in an Irish higher education setting

O’Reilly, Conor (2024) The outlooks of international students when immersed in an Irish higher education setting. Ed.D thesis, University of Glasgow.

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Ireland’s history of education for understanding internationalisation in education is important. The country once used English as a second language but was provoked by famine and opportunity to gradually shift to be an English speaking country. The impacts of this language on Ireland have been profound, and discussion in this analysis establishes how the nation viewed education as a means of opportunity. In the 20th Century, Ireland developed rapidly following membership of the OECD and the EU. Notably, as Ireland modernised it responded to international commonalities, while higher education and participation in the EHEA made Ireland transition to be a more competitive producer of education.

The Global Financial Crisis (GFC) impacted Ireland in unprecedented ways. Ireland had been preparing to engage in greater internationalisation in higher education, until economic catastrophe expediated this process. A series of policy changes were implemented in this era signalling widespread reform to meet the requirements of the Bologna Process and economic restrictions. In 2010 and 2016, Irish strategies for internationalisation were revealed. These strategies are critiqued, and a thorough understanding of their outcomes and expectations is considered. Linguistic imperialism is applied to comprehend and establish aspects such as Irish government’s interpretation of global citizenship, which influences the strategies.

An interpretivist paradigm guides data collection of semi-structured interviews which analyse the experiences students from China. The significance of the data collected for this study comes from providing Chinese students in Ireland an opportunity to share their experiences and to have a voice in discussions on internationalisation. Five themes emerged from the data: experiences; being a Chinese student in Ireland; role of the university; social networks; career benefits. The penultimate discussion and analysis show the presence of student agency in almost every action carried out. Agency was analysed and discussed in relation to students attempts to become more independent, their need for transferable experiences, and establishing a sense of belonging. Currents mechanisms for assessing students’ progress and supporting life and learning in Ireland appear inadequate and in need of revision.

Item Type: Thesis (Ed.D)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Subjects: L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB2300 Higher Education
Colleges/Schools: College of Social Sciences > School of Education
Supervisor's Name: McKinney, Professor Stephen and Hedge, Professor Nicki
Date of Award: 2024
Depositing User: Theses Team
Unique ID: glathesis:2024-84070
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 06 Feb 2024 14:44
Last Modified: 06 Feb 2024 15:44
Thesis DOI: 10.5525/gla.thesis.84070

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