chapter  1
5 Pages

Introduction

BySILVIA SOVIC, MARGO BLYTHMAN

This book grew out of the International Students’ Experience Project at the Creative Learning in Practice Centre for Excellence in Teaching and Learning (CLIP CETL) at the University of the Arts, London, conducted in 2006-8. The rationale for this was a feeling that there was a dearth of international students’ voices in the international pedagogical literature in the UK, especially when it came to discussion about teaching and learning. Many of the 141 international students we interviewed (in their own languages) had never even heard of the term ‘teaching and learning’ before, but their responses did not square at all with the assumed characteristics of international students as featured in the literature. On the contrary, these students demonstrated plenty of resourcefulness and critical thinking, and they frequently offered solutions to problems that neither pedagogical researchers nor institutions had considered before. Following the publication of the report on this project (Sovic 2008), and with the generous support of Alison Shreeve (then Director of CLIP CETL), in June 2009 Margo Blythman (then Director of Teaching and Learning at the London College of Communication) and Silvia Sovic (the Research Project Co-Ordinator) organized a cross-cultural workshop on ‘The Experience of International Students’ at the University of the Arts, London. The aim was to bring together other scholars to critically evaluate the current perceptions and to offer alternative views beyond the traditional stereotypes. This book includes contributions from the participants of that workshop as well as several others who had expressed interest but were unable to attend.