Inside-out: mapping an understanding of undergraduate study abroad programs

Aylmer, Juliet R. (2018) Inside-out: mapping an understanding of undergraduate study abroad programs. [Thesis (PhD/Research)]

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Abstract

The potential benefits of undergraduate students studying abroad as part of a degree program have long been touted as central to the social and strategic goals of governments and more recently to an increasing number of universities in the three national case-sites selected for this project – Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States. Yet, despite the rhetoric, research consistently indicates each year that only a small percentage of the undergraduate student populations in each of the three national case-sites participate in study abroad programs.

Given that ‘study abroad’ is often considered a central aspect of the “internationalisation” model projected by many universities, the thesis’ conceptual framework considers the provision and delivery of study abroad programs as a form of experiential learning (Dewey, 1963) focused on the development of cross-cultural and intercultural understanding. In particular, the thesis suggests that to meet this goal, study abroad programs operate according to institutional social/cultural, political, academic and economic rationales (de Wit, 1995; Knight & de Wit, 1997, 1999). Why study abroad programs attract such low student participation rates in light of these influential factors forms the focus of the inquiry contained herein.

This thesis presents a survey of successive government-assisted campaigns, field/academic literature and an ethnography of the experiences of study abroad professionals selected from universities in the three national case-sites who manage or operate study abroad programs. Applying a qualitative interpretivist methodology, the experiences reflect observations from the researcher’s professional field notes and narratives derived from semi-structured interviews. Extant research largely explores study abroad programs from the perspectives of senior administrative and/or academic staff or students. Therefore this thesis is the first to add comparative practitioner-based knowledge to the literature and aims to introduce cohesive collaborative methods to increase study abroad participation rates in and beyond the three national case-sites.


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Item Type: Thesis (PhD/Research)
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Doctor of Education (DEDU) thesis.
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Historic - Faculty of Business, Education, Law and Arts - School of Linguistics, Adult and Specialist Education (1 Jul 2013 - 30 Jun 2019)
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Historic - Faculty of Business, Education, Law and Arts - School of Linguistics, Adult and Specialist Education (1 Jul 2013 - 30 Jun 2019)
Supervisors: Hickey, Andrew; O'Neill, Shirley
Date Deposited: 28 May 2019 01:45
Last Modified: 20 Nov 2020 04:47
Uncontrolled Keywords: study abroad, Internationalisation from Home (IfH)
Fields of Research (2008): 13 Education > 1301 Education Systems > 130103 Higher Education
Identification Number or DOI: doi:10.26192/5f6985c1dccde
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/36530

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