Tracking the academic progression of home and international students: an exploratory study

(Journal article)

De Vita, G. (2005) 'Tracking the academic progression of home and international students: an exploratory study', Brookes eJournal of Learning and Teaching, 1 (3) pp. 1-8.


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Abstract
The paper investigates the learning achievements of home and international students by focusing on the dynamic construct of academic progression, rather than relying on the typically adopted performance measures of final achievement. Our data have confirmed that, on average, UK students outperform international students. The observed differential is particularly pronounced with respect to the academic achievements of home students vis-à-vis students from China. This is the case in terms both of the average marks in each year, and the overall average over the three years of the programme. The analysis of the full dynamics of performance also shows that following a moderate to substantial decline in average marks from the first to the second year of study, all sub-groups examined display a significant rise in their average marks from the second to the final year of study. Our results cast doubt on the generally held view that international students, especially those from China, tend to under-perform in their first year of study. On the contrary, we find that the greatest difficulties faced by these students occur during the transition from the first to the second year of study

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