A MIXED METHODS STUDY OF LEARNING CHALLENGES: PERCEPTIONS OF FOUNDATION STUDENTS AT AN INTERNATIONAL BRANCH CAMPUS IN QATAR
Weill Cornell Medicine-Qatar (QATAR)
About this paper:
Conference name: 15th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 7-9 November, 2022
Location: Seville, Spain
Abstract:For the last decades, there has been a considerable proliferation of international branch campuses (IBCs) of Western universities in the Arab Gulf countries. This research explores the current transnational higher education (TNHE) setting by describing the perceptions of challenges faced by premedical foundation students enrolled in an IBC program offered by an American university in Qatar from the perspective of the host country to enhance the student experience of the program. A mixed methods methodology consisting of a survey and a focus group was used to gather data on students’ perceptions of a foreign curriculum at home. The perceived challenges identified in this study include rigor of the curriculum and heavy workload impacting a balance between personal and university lives, miscommunication, linguistic and cultural barriers, and academic advising challenges. Although students’ challenges were more generalizable to students enrolled in foundation program, special considerations should be given to the local context, culture, and traditions of the host country to reconcile the social and familial expectations with those expectations placed on students by a foreign program. This paper offers valuable insight into the experiences of local, Arab students enrolled in an IBC program and shares their suggestions to enhance future students’ experience.
Keywords: International Branch Campuses, Foundation Program, Student Experience, First Year Experience, Mixed Methods, Qatar.