This section aims to provide useful information to economics lecturers in the area of internationalisation, including support for international staff, international students and implementation of the Bologna process in the UK.
Supporting international staff
Many new economics lecturers are international. The Economics Network runs staff development events for all economics staff including international staff, which provide opportunities for staff to discuss economics teaching and to meet others. Such events include a programme of workshops for New Lecturers, and a postgraduates who teach which provide sessions on teaching international students.
Our Handbook for Economics Lecturers provides subject-specific advice and tips for all economics lecturers on teaching, learning and assessment methods, and as such is useful to both national and international staff. There is a specific chapter for postgraduates who teach and a web section for new lecturers/postgraduates who teach.
We have also developed a comprehensive collection of case studies of learning, teaching and assessment practice written by economics lecturers across the UK and from abroad, including New Lecturer Diaries, some of which bear specifically on the experience of international students and staff.
The Economics Network conducts regular surveys to research the current state of teaching and learning in Economics Higher Education in the UK. They inform our support role and give a voice to the HE Economics community.
General helpful advice on how to make the smooth transition to living in the UK and working in the UK higher education system is provided by InternationalStaff.org
Supporting international students
We have developed the Studying Economics website to support all students, including international studying economics at HE in UK. Resources include economics study skills guidance, module options and careers information. We also have a website Why Study Economics? for prospective economics students.
A chapter from our Handbook for Economics Lecturers is dedicated to “Motivating International Students (A practical guide to aspects of learning and teaching)”. A follow-up chapter looks at Supporting International Students of Economics in UK Higher Education.
Results from surveys run by Economics Network provide valuable information on students' perceptions of studying economics, including those of international students. A report published in December 2010 analyses international students' responses to the 2010 survey. English as a second language is one of the statistically significant factors affecting students’ responses to the survey.
Our case studies from lecturers include some that deal directly with teaching international students, including Teaching East-Asian Students: Some Observations by Swee-Hoon Chuah of Nottingham University Business School.
Affiliate Colleges or other partnership relationships are a key source of recruitment of international students into many UK universities and economics departments. Melanie Jones of Swansea University has written about investing in the relationship with the affiliate college to avoid some of the problems that can crop up.
International Student Stories
We invited five students to reflect on their experience of UK higher education, offering tips to their fellow international students, to lecturers and to institutions. The resulting stories are on our student-focused StudyingEconomics site.
"One of the biggest problems for international students is speed: it takes them longer to understand what has been said. By putting [lecture slides] online, I was able to revise the lecture as soon as I was home and to look up unknown words in my dictionary."
"The only thing you can hope is that something said unrecognizably will be repeated again but without changing anything. Sometimes it helps, but usually it does not. And this is not my personal opinion, but lots of students as well."
"The useful thing I found is doing voluntary work and watching English shows, because they trained me to think and speak locally. The biggest difficulty is the language barrier and unfamiliarity with all usual practice."
"May I suggest introduction of, let’s say 'Get started with English life' advice workshops; and 'Improve your English' workshops to eliminate any possibility of language limiting the potential of any otherwise capable student."
"We can divide into study groups after class and discuss the contents and assignments. Some students well understand some parts of the lecture, while others are good at other parts of the lecture. We can communicate and exchange our ideas."
Resources from Higher Education Academy
The Higher Education Academy support internationalisation initiatives that enhance the student learning experience. The HE Academy Internationalisation page provides case studies, publications, resources and events from different institutions and subject centres.
The Teaching International Students Project is a national initiative based at the HE Academy. They have produced a selection of short clips of international students talking about their experiences. These cover a range of areas such as assessment, group work and family expectations.
Supporting implementation of the Bologna process in the UK
The Bologna Declaration calls for the harmonisation of HE qualification systems in Europe, mutual recognition of degree qualifications and increased staff and student mobility within Europe. Our Guide for Economics Lecturers has more information.
The International Benchmarking Review of UK Economics was sponsored by ESRC and is available on their site.
External links and resources
- Many universities have special sites for international students. Please check your own institution.
- The Subject Centre for Languages, Linguistics and Area Studies has an online course pack for HE staff on supporting international students in the UK.
- Sitting exams in a second language: minimising bias, maximising potential by Diane Schmitt ASKe, Oxford Brookes University
- Teaching culturally diverse groups: managing assessed group work by Jude Carroll
- Internationalising the curriculum resource kit
- Centre for International Curriculum Inquiry and Networking
- Teaching International Students: improving learning for all (book previewable in Google Books)
- Learning from Internationalisation: videos and short papers hosted at the University of Nottingham
For any questions and suggestions please e-mail Inna Pomorina