Although there is increasing insight in student engagement (SE) in higher education, there is limited insight in how students experience SE in a transnational setting. The purpose of this paper is to explore SE perceptions and transnational experiences. A model, derived from the literature, representing four student identities (consumer, partner, co-creator and citizen) guides the empirical analysis.
Using a phenomenological approach, 18 in-depth interviews were carried out with students (business and management) enroled in transnational education initiatives of three Scottish universities in India, Singapore and the United Arab Emirates.
Students primarily identify the partner and consumer model. Significant levels of apathy were found, not only at the level of the students, but also the staff and the university.
Although the study was based on a relatively small sample, it does highlight the impact of the context (external commitments part-time students, “fly in” staff from home campus) on levels of SE.
Stressing again that the study was explorative, the key practical message is that ultimately meaningful dialogue on SE between all stakeholders – inside and outside – needs to take place to forestall a vicious circle of apathy that would be detrimental for quality (assurance).
This is one of the first papers on SE in a transnational context and offers a solid point of departure for follow-up research.
Maxwell-Stuart, R. and Huisman, J. (2018), "An exploratory study of student engagement at transnational education initiatives: Proactive or apathetic?", International Journal of Educational Management, Vol. 32 No. 2, pp. 298-309. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJEM-03-2017-0059Download as .RIS
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