Patch 4: Good Practice Guidance Notes – Teaching International

The following guidance notes are designed to help create and
maintain inclusivity for international students in higher education. An “international
student” is defined as student who is studying abroad, which is now almost one
in five in the UK, there is a perceived negative connotation of the term which
implicitly labels international students as different to UK students (Scudamore,
2013). However, being based outside of the UK, and with less than 10% of our
students from the UK, we use the term inclusively. Even though this international
cultural diversity creates an extremely rich learning environment for
undergraduate designers, it is not without its challenges for both students and

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Inclusivity and legislation. 

Under the UK Equality Act, 2010 it is unlawful for any education
provider to discriminate between students. Inclusive learning and teaching
seeks address this problem by creating a learning environment which engages all
students equally and fully, regardless of background (Equality Act, 2010; Thomas
& May, 2010). By ascertaining the challenges that international students
face, problems can be addressed and solutions found by making “reasonable
adjustments” (Thomas & May, 2010). Having a firm commitment to inclusive teaching
and learning through curriculum content design and delivery, assessment and
feedback will make all learning relevant to students entering a global society (Montgomery,


Challenges faced by international learners. 

International students will often face problems adjusting to a new
environment which can differ greatly from their home country. Students with a
first language other than English may encounter difficulties in lectures and
with academic writing, they may also struggle with differences in learning
styles such as a greater focus on independent learning. We have also found that
assessment criteria and marking systems can vary widely from what they
previously understood, causing confusion over grades. Of course, there may also
be wider issues, such as an international student being homesick or feeling
alienated socially which will also have an impact on their learning and student