Creating an optimum learning environment for mutual adaptation of international and home students

Divya Jindal-Snape, Bart Rienties, Peter Alcott

    Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper


    Previous research suggests that establishing friendship relations with host-national students is difficult for international students making transitions to UK Universities. Despite this, only a few studies have focussed on how staff can create a learning environment for their mutual adaptation. This study aimed to understand the impact of two group selection methods on how students from diverse cultural and national backgrounds build learning and work relations, using Social Network Analysis in a pre−post test manner. In a quasi-experimental study of 2 × 69 students, in one condition the students were randomly allocated to groups by staff and in the other, students were allowed to self-select their group members. In the self-selected cohort, the learning networks after 14 weeks were primarily predicted by the group allocation and initial friendships. However, students in the staff allocated condition not only developed equally strong internal group relations, there were more “knowledge spillovers” outside their group, indicating that this led to positive effects beyond the group.
    Original languageEnglish
    Number of pages4
    Publication statusPublished - 11 Jun 2015
    Event2nd International Conference on Enhancement and Innovation in Higher Education - Crowne Plaza Hotel, Glasgow, United Kingdom
    Duration: 9 Jun 201511 Jun 2015


    Conference2nd International Conference on Enhancement and Innovation in Higher Education
    CountryUnited Kingdom
    Internet address



    • Transitions
    • International students
    • Social Network Analysis
    • Group work

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