Learning Experiences of Libyan Master’s Students at a UK University

Abstract

This paper examines learning experiences of Libyan students studying master’s courses in different disciplines at a UK University. The study forms a case study because Libyan students as a case represent a group of people seeking higher educational experiences, but coming from a country that is civil war and ongoing conflict. The paper uses community of practice theory as a framework to highlight the significance of learning as social participation with colleagues (home and international students) and tutors within the master’s community and the effects of that on their learning and identity construction. This paper is concerned with the research question: how Libyan students adjust and adapt to the western learning environment? This study is a qualitative interpretive study to examine the learning experiences of Libyan students, their perceptions, and perspectives. The methods employed are semi-structured interviews and observations. Semi-structured interviews are the main source of data because Libyan students are interviewed in the first semester, in the middle, and in the dissertation stage.The findings reveal that the relationship between the participants as newcomers is very limited and formal owing to the effects of the initial conflict and the civil war. Only four participants have an opportunity for interaction with home students, and this reduces the gap and assists students to move from peripheral to central. The mutual engagement between the participants and international students assist the participants to acquire aspects of intercultural communication competence, to complete each other’s competence, and to acquire knowledge and skills. The findings also indicate



Author Information
Kamila Algwil, University of Huddersfield, UK

Paper Information
Conference: ECE2015
Stream: Education for interdisciplinary thinking

This paper is part of the ECE2015 Conference Proceedings (View)
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