This section aims to provide useful information to economics lecturers in the area of internationalisation, including support for international staff, international students, and international benchmarking.
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 has conducted 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.
Supporting international students
A chapter from our Handbook for Economics Lecturers is dedicated to Motivating 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.
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."
The Bologna Declaration called 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 2008 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.
- Sitting exams in a second language: minimising bias, maximising potential (2007) by Diane Schmitt, Oxford Brookes University
- Teaching culturally diverse groups: managing assessed group work by Jude Carroll (2005)
- Nottingham University has a series of blog posts on internationalisation.