P. Anand

University of Wollongong (AUSTRALIA)
A number of universities in Australia and around the western world are seeing an exponential increase in international students, especially from Asian countries. This trend is expected to continue due to the important source of funding that these international students provide, as well as increasing importance on internationalisation of the student experience.
Educators have often reported the challenges associated with incorporating and accommodating students from diverse backgrounds into existing teaching and learning norms and approaches of their institutions. Engaging Asian international students in classroom discussions and collaborative exercises has often been the most difficult for a number of educators, often impacting on the students’ results and overall performance in their courses. Given the importance of the international students, both financial and intrinsic, to our education systems, it is imperative that educational institutions respond appropriately to these challenges.

A number of higher education institutions have responded to these challenges in very exciting and innovative ways to ensure that the international students as well as the domestic student experience is enriched by the diversity of the student population.
This paper presents the findings of research done at the UOW College Australia. A case study approach was used to explore the differences in study styles and expectations of students from a number of the Asian countries and how it is different from the Australian higher education system. The research also explored the cultural values placed on education by a number of Asian societies and how that plays out within the western classrooms. The paper proposes important ideas that can be incorporated within existing western education classroom approaches to better engage the Asian international students while providing a rewarding experience for all. The ideas presented will be useful for all western education institutions that attract large numbers of international students from Asian countries.