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Teaching International Students (TIS) : An Engineering Perspective with a Focus on Group and Project-Based Work

Dales, Richard and Mclaren, Andrew and Steiner, Simon (2011) Teaching International Students (TIS) : An Engineering Perspective with a Focus on Group and Project-Based Work. Engineering Subject Centre Report . Higher Education Academy. ISBN 978-1-907632-14-3

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Abstract

The study described in this report forms part of the Teaching International Students (TIS) Project being co-ordinated by the Higher Education Academy (HEA) along with the UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA). The aim of the project is to recommend ways in which academic staff can enhance the learning of international students. Several HEA Subject Centres are involved with the project and this report detaisl work by the Engineering Subject Centre, which has a focus on group and project-based working. Higher Education Statistics Agancy (HESA) data from 2008/9 was screened for those engineering schools and departments within UK universities that were identified as having recruited signnificant proportions of international students. Twelve universities were chosen from across the mission groups [see Table 1] and staff at a sample of 11 engineering units from withing eight of these institutions were consulted [see Table 2]. The purpose of the consultation was to access perceptions and activities in the teaching and support of international students and to assess factors in students' engagement in group and project-based working. The consultation with staff was undertaken through semi-structured interviews using a brief questionnaire [see Appendix A] that had been sent to interviewees in advance so the they had time to consider their responses. transcriipts of the interviews were written up as case studies and these are rpesented in the supplementary appendices [Appendices 1 to 3]. Analysis and extracts ffrom the 11 case studies were used to distil information on current and possible future practices surrounding international students, particularly on the students' interactions with group and project-based work.