chapter  11
19 Pages

Cultural and Educational Adaptation During Transition From Chinese to UK Universities

ByYUEFANG ZHOU, JOHN TODMAN, KEITH J. TOPPING, AND DIVYA JINDAL-SNAPE

It was estimated by the UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA, n.d.) that in 2006-2007 almost 50,000 Chinese students were studying in the UK for a higher education (HE) award, the majority of whom were postgraduates. It is estimated that a substantial number of these Chinese postgraduate students were studying under the Sino-UK collaborative programs, involving formal links between UK and Chinese HE institutions. It is plausible that the experience of these students coming to study in a UK university from a UK partner university in China might well be different from those who come to the UK individually. One possible reason would be that they are usually better prepared in terms of having participated in adaptation programs prior to their arrival in the UK. It is also possible that students coming in large groups will exert some infl uence on teaching and learning, and raise the issue of whether UK tutors (and those in other host countries) will have to adapt more to the Chinese students. It is, therefore, timely to research the adaptation experience of Chinese postgraduate students coming to the UK, not only for the purpose of smoothing their transitional period and improving academic outcomes, but also for the purpose of encouraging UK and other host country staff to think about whether and how they also may need to adapt (Chalmers & Volet, 1997; Zhou, 2006; Zhou & Todman, 2008).