International branch campus students: choices, experiences and perceptions of employability

Lee, Christine (2016) International branch campus students: choices, experiences and perceptions of employability. PhD thesis, University of Nottingham.

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The research examined why students chose to study at an international branch campus (IBC) and how they perceived their experiences’ impact on their employability. The research posed a question which has largely been studied using quantitative measures with a few notable exceptions such as Pyvis and Chapman (2007) who investigated offshore Australian programmes. Because quantitative studies cannot capture the underlying complexities encompassing the cultural system and socio-cultural properties influencing the agential powers exercised by the individual, this research attempts to explain student choices and experiences using the concepts of rates of return to education, signalling/screening and identity in the qualitative tradition from a critical realist perspective. The leitmotif of this thesis is the analytical dualism of structure and agency (Archer, 1995) in which the link between these two was an inevitable part of the narrative explaining how structure constrained and enabled participants who as free agents took responsibility for their destinies. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 31 students from three IBCs.

The findings have policy implications for the research indicates that there are significant structural factors at the levels of host and source countries which affect the IBC market. There are also structural factors at the institutional level associated not only with the IBC and parent university but also with the local partner. At the individual level, there are socio-cultural influences which at times shape student choices but at other times, conflict with the individual’s own life project. The research shows that it is important to understand the factors influencing student choices and experiences at the IBC and its parent campus within the wider framework of structure and agency in order to inform sector-wide and institutional internationalisation policies and strategic planning.

Item Type: Thesis (University of Nottingham only) (PhD)
Supervisors: Speight, Sarah
Morgan, W. John
Keywords: International Branch Campus, Transnational Higher Education
Subjects: L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB2300 Higher education
Faculties/Schools: UK Campuses > Faculty of Social Sciences, Law and Education > School of Education
Item ID: 33684
Depositing User: Lee, Christine
Date Deposited: 25 Aug 2016 14:16
Last Modified: 19 Sep 2016 12:06

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