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Overcoming the challenges with an optimistic attitude: A study on the perceptions of international research students


Fan, S and Yeoh, JSW, Overcoming the challenges with an optimistic attitude: A study on the perceptions of international research students, Internet Journal of Language, Culture and Society, (35) pp. 12-18. ISSN 1327-774X (2012) [Refereed Article]

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Copyright 2012 Language Culture and Society

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As one distinct student group in Australian tertiary education institutions, international students form a significant stakeholder group. Compared to the international students who are undertaking undergraduate or postgraduate course works, international research students hold more distinct characteristics. This research investigated challenges that this particular learner group face in their studies and daily life at one particular university context: the University of Tasmania. It aimed to provide insightful information and guidance not only for current and future international research students in Australian universities, but also for various educational services and relevant government agencies to provide more effective support to them. Qualitative research method was used to gain deeper insights of the issue. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with ten participants who were selected from different academic disciplines. Data were analysed by qualitative data analysis software NVivo. Constructivist grounded theory was the basis of data analysis. The findings indicated that physical health and psychological wellbeing are two dominant factors influencing international research studentsí study and daily life, apart from academic factors, supportive environment, and interpersonal relationships with supervisors. Coping strategies used in handling physical health and psychological wellbeing are also examined to give references for current and prospective international research students in the Australian university context.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:international research students, challenges, perceptions
Research Division:Education
Research Group:Education systems
Research Field:Higher education
Objective Division:Education and Training
Objective Group:Schools and learning environments
Objective Field:Equity and access to education
UTAS Author:Fan, S (Dr Frances Fan)
UTAS Author:Yeoh, JSW (Ms Joanne Yeoh)
ID Code:80619
Year Published:2012
Deposited By:Education
Deposited On:2012-11-06
Last Modified:2015-08-17

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