Melbourne Graduate School of Education - Theses

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    From EAP to university: a case study of Chinese students in Melbourne
    Banfield, Julie A. ( 2006)
    Using qualitative research methods, this thesis examines the experiences of four international students from Mainland China during their transition from language study to tertiary study in Melbourne in 2005. The study explores, through the narratives of students, language teachers and university tutors, the challenges of providing tertiary , level education to students whose cultural and educational background is significantly different to that in Australia. The research is set within the context of the declining government funding to Australian universities and their consequent reliance on full fee paying international students. The student participants in the study attended a private language centre which provides English for Academic Purposes (EAP) courses through its English Language Intensive Courses for Overseas Students (ELICOS) programs, followed by enrolment in the business faculty of a large university. The issues that were identified are analysed following a narrative approach. The study found that the students were not receiving a positive educational experience and identified some of the difficulties they had in adapting to the demands of the Australian higher education system. These included the impact of the differences in teaching and learning approaches, level of English language skills, lack of prior education in the discipline, segregation, isolation and lack of support. The significant issues raised by the university tutors' included international students' inadequate language skills, mismatch of expectations, plagiarism, entry requirements, the changing face of the university, and lack of support. � The study concludes with the implications of international students not receiving a positive Australian educational experience and some recommendations for strengthening the Australian higher education system.