Presentation - seameo retrac
Download Presentation - seameo retrac...
INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE Impacts of Globalization on Quality in Higher Education SEAMEO RETRAC, HCMC, June 20-21/2013
Academic Problems Faced by Vietnamese Tertiary Students in Australia: Insiders' perceptions
Dr. Le thi Anh Phuong Nha trang Education College
Outline 1. Rationale 2. The study 3. Recommendations
Rationale Increasing number of Vietnamese sts. in Western countries. Numerous difficulties (Yan & Berliner, 2009) academic stress (Kamler & Thomson, 2008; Kwan & Tang, 1999;Warwick, 2006) a hinderance to their studies (Kwon, 1999).
explore academic problems of Vietnamese sts and their strategies in coping with these challenges.
The study 1 Population 2 Instruments 3 Results 4 Discussion
Population + 24 postgraduates: 14 F (58%) & 10 M(42%) + 24 to 48 yrs old (a mean of 33 yrs old) + 3 mths to 5 years (a mean of # 2 yrs) + 19 PhD (79%) & 5 Masters (21%) + natural & social sciences (Computer Science, Chemical engineering, Business Administration, Accounting, Environmental Science, Aquaculture, Agriculture & Environment, Agriculture & Agriculture business // Education, TESOL, Applied Linguistics, and Management)
+ Seven universities
Instruments + A questionnaire (9 questions) + Six Qs. about 5 regular activities lectures/seminars readings essays dissertations working with lecturers. + Seriousness ('extremely', 'very', 'moderately', 'slightly & 'not at all')
+ Three Qs. about solutions.
Data collection + 1st batch: participants at a conference in Australia (2012) + 2nd batch: via emails (2013)
Results + 22/24 respondents (92%) experienced challenges. + Most common problems Problems
Working with lecturers
Note: obtaining research support (collaboration for experiments)
Dissertations (86%) Problems
Critical thinking skills
Organizing & synthesizing information/data
Readings (86%) Problems
Volume of reading
Difficulty of readings
Lectures/seminars (82%) Problems
Note taking skills
Oral presentation s
Australian English, esp. accent
Essays (73%) Problems
Synthesis & analysis of readings
Lack of adequate readings
Working with lecturers (73%) Problems
Lack of face to face meetings
22% (very) + 39% (moderately)
Readings 21% (very) + 32% (moderately)
Working with lecturers 25% (very) + 25% (moderately)
Dissertations 21% (very) + 26% (moderately)
Essays 6% (very) + 38% (moderately)
Chosen solutions Solutions
Help from lecturers (in uni: 82%; other uni: 9%)
Help from friends
Help from colleagues
Help from study groups & research community
Best solution: Self reliance (40%) Reasons -I do more reading as it helps me to understand the problem related to my research topic and to improve relevant knowledge and English.
-I spend more time talking and discussing in class and to get more face to face instructions from lecturers. -Asking questions every time I don’t understand is useful. “Better stupid questions than stupid mistakes”. - I adjust my method of learning to get better achievements.
Notes: Response rate (15/22, 62%) No response rate (7/22, 32%)
Best solution: Asking for help (33%) Reasons + We are friendly enough to share experiences and difficulties. + We have similar experience. + Help from friends/colleagues often comes in time and saves my time and effort. + Help from senior postgraduate students from my country is the best solution. First, they speak my language. econd, they have studied similar or related courses so they understand what to do to overcome problems. + My lecturer understands my problems and he is an expert on the field so he knows what is necessary for me. + My lecturers can tell me what to do and how to do it well. + Active lecturers have helpful responses. + Advice from the supervisors is very useful.
Findings Three main types
English proficiency Cultural differences in academic settings Research-related skills
English proficiency Comments
Well reflected in previous studies
(Alazzi & Chiodo, 2006; Araujo, 2011; Halic, Greenberg & Paulus, 2009; Kwan & Tnag, 1999; Kwon, 1999; Mittal & Wieling, 2006; Sherry, Thomas & Chui, 2010; Warwick, 2006;Yan & Berliner, 2009).
Manifested in various skills
writing, reading, note taking, oral presentation & negotiation
Limitations of English exams
failure to respond to specific requirements for academic purposes
Cultural differences Comments Unfamiliarity with Western interactive classroom communication (Yan & Berliner, 2009)
Unfamiliarity with conventions in written academic English (Wang & Li, 2008; Zhou, Frey & Bang, 2011)
Evidence lectures/seminars & lecturers lack of questions, initiatives, autonomy (Yan & Berliner, 2009), understanding of expectations (Wang & Li,2008) dissertations & essays
Research related skills Comments
Vietnamese culture of accepting ideas from teachers and books.
Weak in critical thinking skills
This deserves proper attention because they are necessary for research
Weakness in critical thinking skills (50%)
More theoretical, rather than research based.
Weaknesses in research methods & relevant materials
Seriousness of problems Data Lectures/seminars Working with supervisors more
More frequent Face to face Immediate thinking & response
Essays or dissertations less
Less often Extended period of time More preparation
Recommendations 1. Individual preparation for overseas studies 1.1 Strong English competence for studies and research purposes. 1.2 Comprehensive understanding of social and cultural values 1.3 Research skills and passion for one’s own research. 1.4 Establishment of networks for academic and social purposes. 2.Vietnamese educators and authorities’ involvement 2.1 Adequate adjustments in education system for development of high order thinking skills . 2.2. Higher education oriented towards research work.
Recommendations 3. Overseas universities’ responsibilites 3.1 Survey of international students’ academic needs (Wang & Li, 2008; Zhou, Frey & Bang, 2011). 3.2 Establishment of learning communities 3.3 Seminars on cultural and academic differences (Yan & Berliner, 2009; Zhou, Frey & Bang, 2011). 3.4 Tutoring services & lecturers’ availability for consultations (Burke & Wyatt-Smith, 1996).
Conclusions + Vietnamese postgraduates' academic challenges. + Awareness of possible problems and solutions for studies overseas. + Responsibilities of Western educators & institutions in helping international students in their studies. + Policies and measures for capacity building, especially at higher levels in Vietnam. Further investigations need to explore lecturers' perceptions about their students' academic challenges and what they do to help.
References Abdullah, S. S. B. 2011. Help seeking behavior among Malaysian international students in Australia. International Journal of Business and Social Science, 2 (23), 286-291. Alazzi, K & Chiodo, J.J. 2006. Uncovering problems and identifying coping strategies of Middle Eastern university students. International Education, 35 (2), 65-81,105. Araujo, A. A. D. 2011. Adjustment problems of international students enrolled in American colleges and universities: A review of the literature. Higher Education Studies, 1( 1), 2-8. Burke, E & Wyatt-Smith, C. 1996. Academic and non-academic difficulties: Perceptions of graduate non-English speaking background. ESL-EJ, 2(1). Halic, O. Greenbard, K & Paulus, T. 2009. Language and academic identity: A study of the experiences of non native English speaking international students. International Education, 38 (2), 73-93,109-110.
Kamler, B. % Thompson, P. 2008. The Failure of Dissertation Advice Books: Toward Alternative Pedagogies for Doctoral Writing. Education Researcher, 37 (8), 507-514. Kwan, T.; & Tang, T. (1999). Learning experiences of overseas non-English speaking background students: A case study of an Australian university. New Horizons in Education, 39 (3), 88-95. Kwon,Y. 1999. Factors affecting international students' transition to higher education institutions in the United States-From the perspective of office of international students. College Student Journal. 43(4), 10201036. Maros, M. Stapa, S. H. & Yasin, M.S. M. 2012. English language proficiency levels and needs of international postgraduate students: Implications and recommendations. Asian Social Science, 8(13), 181-187. Mittal, M. & Wieling, E. 2006. Training experiences of international doctoral students in marriage and family therapy. Journal of Marital and Family Therapy, 32(3), 369-383. Newberry, B; Austin, K.; Lawson, W; Gorsuch, G & Darwin, T. 2011. Acclimating international graduate students to professional engineering ethics. Science Engineering Ethics, 17, 171–194
Sherry, M Thomas, P. & Chui, W.H. 2010. International students: a vulnerable student population. High Education, 60, 33–46 Wang, T & Li,Y. L. 2008. Understanding international postgraduate research students’ challenges and pedagogical needs in thesis writing. International Journal of Pedagogies and Learning, 4 (3),88-96. Warwick, P. (2006). International Students in the UK : How can we give them a better experience? Working Paper. Department of Management Studies, University of York,York. Retrieved from: http://www/york.ac.uk/media/tyms/documents/research/working paper/wp26warwick.pdf. Yan, K & Berliner, D.C. 2009. Chinese international students' academic stressors in the United States. College Student Journal, 43(4), 939-960. Zhou,Y, Frey, C. & Bang, H. 2011. Understanding of interntional graduate students' academic adaptation to a US graduate school. International Education ,41(1),76-94, 99-100.
Thank you for your listening!