Success factors for international postgraduate students' adjustment: exploring the roles of intercultural competence, language proficiency, social contact and social support

Young, Tony J., Sercombe, Peter G., Sachdev, Itesh, Naeb, Rola and Schartner, Alina (2013) Success factors for international postgraduate students' adjustment: exploring the roles of intercultural competence, language proficiency, social contact and social support. European Journal of Higher Education, 3 (2). pp. 151-171. ISSN 2156-8235

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1080/21568235.2012.743746

Abstract

The growth in the number of ‘international’ students in higher education is a phenomenon of increasing importance to educators, researchers and policymakers worldwide. This multi-methodological study explored factors associated with their adjustment, successful or otherwise. It integrated associations across three domains of enquiry which had hitherto usually been pursued separately – psychosocial, intercultural and educational adjustment. Specifically, the study investigated associations between a broad range of outcome indices – academic grades (for both taught and research assignments), psychological well-being, and satisfaction with life in the new environment – and, as contributory factors, participants' intercultural competence, language proficiency, and the degree, quality and patterns of social contact during their sojourn. Participants were 108 non-UK postgraduate students from a wide range of countries undertaking MA programmes at a British university. Of these, 102 completed a questionnaire with both quantitative and qualitative responses, and a further six took part in semi-structured interviews over their programme of study. Findings indicated strong associations between participants' academic achievement, satisfaction with life in the new environment and psychological well-being, and aspects of their intercultural competence, contact with non-co-nationals, including hosts, and with their language proficiency. Implications of these findings, and a future research agenda, are discussed.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: international students, sojourners, adjustment, contributory factors, outcomes
Subjects: Q100 Linguistics
X200 Research and Study Skills in Education
Department: Faculties > Arts, Design and Social Sciences > Humanities
Depositing User: Paul Burns
Date Deposited: 22 Feb 2018 12:52
Last Modified: 22 Feb 2018 12:53
URI: http://nrl.northumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/33469

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