Exploring the Benefits and Challenges of Dual-degree Higher Education Programs between UK and China

The University of Birmingham, United Kingdom


Due to the high enrolment of Chinese students in transnational higher education programs between British and Chinese universities, there is a strong imperative for educators to develop understanding of both programs and students. In this qualitative research, I focus on a new type of transnational higher education—the dual-degree program. An in-depth case study will be conducted to investigate how dual-degree programs benefit Chinese students in a social, cultural and economic sense. Participants include 20 Chinese students, teachers and administrators who are involved in a dual-degree program between the University of Birmingham and one Chinese university in Beijing.

Data will be collected in the 2014-2015 academic year through interviews, questionnaires, observations and collection of writing samples. Data will be analysed by using the Grounded theory.

This research will contribute to the understanding of students' transitional experiences in a dual-degree program, which is currently absent from the literature. The findings relating to students' adaptation experience as well as their challenges and achievements in their overseas learning will provide opportunities for academics and policy-makers to improve the practice of cooperation and enhance learning for students. The perspectives from other stakeholders in the process, including teachers and administrators, will make the research more holistic. All these outcomes match the conference theme of making good use of opportunities for higher education in a globalized world.

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