Ensuring equal learning opportunities for international students studying medicine and STEM subjects in two higher education institutions

Hayes, Aneta and Tan, Eloise (2014) Ensuring equal learning opportunities for international students studying medicine and STEM subjects in two higher education institutions. In: Association for Medical Education in Europe (AMEE), Excellence in Education - the 21st Century Teacher, 30 August - 3 September 2014, Milan, Italy.

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Abstract

Background : Ensuring equal opportunities for learning for culturally and linguistically diverse students might be difficult. The focus of this study was to explore which factors offer these opportunities for medical and STEM students in two Irish higher education institutions based in Dublin and Bahrain. Summary of Work: Narrative inquiry was chosen as the research approach and method of analysis. Ten semi-structured interviews were conducted with language minority and English native speaking students from Egypt, Pakistan, Bahrain, China, USA, Canada and India. Validity of research was ensured by undertaking respondent validation, cross-checking transcribed data with field notes, voices triangulation and double-coding. NVivo was used to store and analyse the data. Summary of Results: The emerging themes highlighted that cultural competency of lecturers, engagement with students, transparent and meaningful assessment can ensure equal opportunities for learning. These themes were important for students from all nationalities and all linguistic Background s. Discussion and Conclusions: The findings suggest that the daily practice of a medical teacher in higher education, rather than students’ societal culture, plays a major role in creating equality for learning. Despite making indirect links to their societal and previous educational cultures, the participants indicated that, through setting up transparent and meaningful assessments and through engaging with and learning about their students, their tutors can help with learning in higher education. Take-home messages: We are aware of the limitations of these findings as they are from the pilot stage and we are yet to conduct 15 more interviews at each research site.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Depositing User: Colin Lowry
Last Modified: 27 Nov 2015 09:50
URI: http://eprints.teachingandlearning.ie/id/eprint/2452

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