The Economics Network

Improving economics teaching and learning for over 20 years

7. Top Tips

  1. Design induction programmes and published materials with international students in mind.

  2. Clarify differences in the approach to learning and assessment in the UK early on and emphasise what is expected of students.

  3. Consider the need for administrative roles specific to the support of international students (e.g. a Librarian or Advisor dedicated to international students).

  4. Mentoring by more experienced students, or 'buddy' schemes, can help international students integrate into university life and makes it easier for them to resolve simple issues.

  5. Actively aim to mix international and UK students for example when creating groups for projects and presentations, and highlight to students the potential gain in complementary and transferable skills.

  6. When designing courses, take care to select diverse examples suitable for an international audience.

  7. Use terms consistently, highlight subtle differences in the meaning of key words and take care to explain Latin terms.

  8. International students, who tend to be reluctant to ask questions in class, are likely to benefit if teachers make themselves available for a few minutes after class.

  9. Diversify course assessment to balance the use of language and numeracy skills; innovative practices, such as a peer-reviewed student presentation, can motivate and harness expectations, develop key skills and build confidence.

  10. Provide access to support services and training opportunities, such as language support, a proof-reading service, training on how to prepare and deliver a presentation, and academic writing.

  11. Incorporate aspects of learning and teaching relating to international students when designing training for new staff or graduate teaching assistants.

  12. Actively engaging with international students can allow programmes to evolve in ways that enhance the student experience, for example offering training opportunities with local firms.

  13. A pre-degree foundation year, focusing in English for Academic Purposes, may be valuable for departments with very large cohorts of international students; similarly, academic English for economists might be provided in-house by departments.

  14. Drawing from the experiences of alumni and social events can be a valuable means of facilitating the integration of international students.

  15. Encouraging the creation of national student societies can offer useful networking opportunities for students with similar backgrounds who may face similar challenges.