Visitors from Other Cultures: Views of Muslim Overseas Students in Britain

Thomas Hawes, Sarah Thomas

Abstract


The UK is currently the second most popular destination for international students worldwide yet there is very public uncertainty as to whether Muslim students should be encouraged to come here. There has been much discussion in the media but, apparently, no one has thought of consulting these students themselves, with the result that there is relatively little available research on students from the Islamic world as a whole. What are their common motivations for studying in UK? What if anything do they admire in British culture and what do they find difficult here? Our general conclusion is that our participants make sense of their sojourn in UK as a learning and growing experience, ultimately empowering. For Britain these students and their families are a particularly lucrative source of income, but their presence could be made (even) more beneficial if our universities are prepared to invest extra time and money in engaging with them. We need a shift to a bidirectional exchange model where overseas and local students can all benefit. Muslim groups on campus should be helped to raise their profile to counter feelings of rejection and dispel the potential impression that the Islamic community is secretive or unwelcoming. We believe that such cultural exchange can only be positive and this study has shown that there is probably more goodwill than many imagine.


Full Text:

PDF

References


Altbach, P.G., Reisberg, L. and Rumbley, L.E. (2009). Trends in Global Higher Education: Tracking an Academic Revolution. UNESCO 2009 World Conference on Higher Education Executive Summary. i-xviii.

Attride-Stirling, J. (2001). Thematic Networks: An analytic Tool for Qualitative Research. Qualitative Research. SAGE: London, 1(3): 385-405.

Baker, P. (2010) Representations of Islam in British Broadsheet and Tabloid Newspapers 1999-2005. Journal of Language and Politics. Benjamins, 9(2): 310-338.

Bhandari, R. & Blumenthal, P. (2011). International Students and Global Mobility in Higher Education: National trends and new directions. Palgrave Macmillan:USA.

Bochner, S., McLeod, B.M. & Lin, A-L. (1977). Friendship Patterns of Overseas Students: A Functional Model, International Journal of Psychology, 12(4): 277-294.

Bourdieu, P. (1993). The Field of Cultural Production. Prime.

Brahim, A.N. (2008). Oppositional Motivation: Insights into a new psychological predisposition in facing the other in Arab societies. Philologia (Serbia), VI: 69-76.

Braun, V. and Clarke, V. (2006). Using Thematic Analysis in Psychology, Qualitative Research in Psychology, 3(2): 77-101.

Brown, L. (2009). International Students in England: Finding Belonging through Islam. Journal of Muslim Minority Affairs, 29(1): 57-67.

Brown, L. and Brown, J. (2009) Out Of Chaos, Into A New Identity: The Transformative Power of the International Sojourn. Existential Analysis, 20(2): 341-361.

Brown, L., Brown, J. and Richards, B. (2015). Media Representations of Islam and International Muslim Student Well-Being. International Journal of Educational Research, 69: 50-58.

Gardner, T.M., Krägeloh, C.U. & Henning, M.A. (2014). Religious Coping, Stress, and Quality of Life of Muslim University Students in New Zealand, Mental Health, Religion & Culture, 17(4): 327-338, DOI: 10.1080/13674676.2013.804044.

Geeraert, N., Demoulin, S. & Demes, K. A. (2014). Choose Your (International) Contacts Wisely: A Multi-Level Analysis on the Impact of Intergroup Contact While living abroad. International Journal of Intercultural Relations, 38: 86-96.

Gresham, R. & Clayton, V. (2011) Community Connections: A programme to Enhance domestic and International Students' Educational Experience, Journal of Higher Education Policy and Management, 33(4): 363-374.

The Guardian (International Edition Online). (2004). Overseas Students 'not Making British Friends', 29.11.2004. Accessed 17. 2. 2017: https://www.theguardian.com/education/2004/nov/29/internationals tudents.students1.

Hotta, J. & Ting-Toomey, S. (2013). Intercultural Adjustment and Friendship Dialectics in International Students: A qualitative study. International Journal of Intercultural Relations, 37: 550–566.

Jackson Fahmy, J. & Bilton, L. (1992). The Sociocultural Dimension of TEFL Education: The Omani file. Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development. 13(3): 269-289.

James, W. (1890). The Principles of Psychology. Henry Holt & Company.

Jang, D. & Kim, D.-Y. (2010). The Influence of Host Cultures on the Role of Personality in the Acculturation of Exchange Students. International Journal of Intercultural Relations, 34: 363–367.

Lefdahl-Davis, E.M. and Perrone-McGovern, K.M. (2015). The Cultural Adjustment of Saudi Women International Students: A qualitative examination. Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, 46(3): 406–434.

Lombard, Catherine (2014) Coping with Anxiety and Rebuilding Identity: A Psychosynthesis Approach to Culture Shock. Counselling Psychology Quarterly, 27(2): 174–199.

Luzio-Locket, A. (1998). The squeezing effect: The Cross-Cultural Experience of International Students. British Journal of Guidance and Counselling, 26(2): 209-223.

Marginson, S. (2014). Student Self-Formation in International Education. Journal of Studies in International Education, 18(1): 6–22.

McDermott-Levy, R. (2011). Going Alone: The Lived Experience of Female Arab-Muslim Nursing Students Living and Studying in the United States. Unpublished Manuscript.

Montgomery, C. and McDowell, L. (2009). Social Networks and the International Student Experience: An International Community of Practice? Journal of Studies in International Education, 13(4): 455-466.

Mostafa, G.M.M. (2006).

Learning and Cultural Experiences of Arab Muslim Graduate Students in a Canadian University. Journal of Contemporary Issues in Education, 1(1): 36­53.

Mubarak, H. (2007). How Muslim Students Negotiate Their Religious Identity and Practices in an Undergraduate Setting. Social Science Research Council. Brooklyn, New York. Online only at http://religion.ssrc.org/reforum/Mubarak.pdf.

Newsome, L.K. & Cooper, P. (2016). International Students’ Cultural and Social Experiences in a British University: “Such a hard life [it] is here”. Journal of International Students, 6(1): 195-215. Accessed 17.2.2017: https://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/EJ1083255.pdf.

O’Reilly, A., Hickey, T. and Ryan, D. (2013). Higher Education Professionals’ Perspectives on International Student Experiences of Life and Learning in Ireland: A qualitative Study. Irish Educational Studies, 32(3): 355-375.

Richardson, J. E. (2004). (Mis)Representing Islam: the Racism and Rhetoric of British Broadsheet newspapers. John Benjamins.

Saïd, E.W. (1997). Covering Islam: How the Media and the Experts Determine How We See the Rest of the World. Vintage.

Sussman, N.M. (2000). The Dynamic Nature of Cultural Identity Throughout Cultural Transitions: Why Home is not so Sweet. Personality and Social Psychology Review, 4(4): 355-373.

Tan, S.-A. & Liu, S. (2014). Ethnic Visibility and Preferred Acculturation Orientations of International Students. International Journal of Intercultural Relations, 39: 183–187.




DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.18415/ijmmu.v5i5.379

Refbacks

  • There are currently no refbacks.


Copyright (c) 2018 International Journal of Multicultural and Multireligious Understanding

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

International Journal of Multicultural and Multireligious Understanding (IJMMU) ISSN 2364-5369
https://ijmmu.com
editor@ijmmu.com
dx.doi.org/10.18415/ijmmu
facebook.com/ijmmu
Copyright © 2014-2018 IJMMU. All rights reserved.