Transnational Higher Education – Lingustic Negotiations


The demand for transnational higher education, in particular UK education, has been high in countries where there is under- provision. Davis et al. (2000) raise concerns that most programmes are delivered overseas without significant adaptation, questioning therefore whether these programmes are relevant to local context, and appropriate with respect to different cultures, learning styles and language. Internationalisation of higher education in the UAE has been a recent phenomenon, with little subsequent research into the area. The study presented here draws upon the UK's one year postgraduate course in Initial Teacher Education which was adapted by a University in Dubai, as part of an ongoing collaborative venture to assist the University in its stated mission of providing a 'British' Education. A central aim of the UAE training programme was to develop teachers to teach mathematics and science in the English language in public schools thereby raising the quality of English language in these schools. By encouraging this promotion of the English language however it was clear that there could be tensions and challenges in adopting a global language hitherto little developed as a teaching medium. This adaptation of British education is investigated in the context of Dubai, drawing on the lived experiences of students and staff in attempting to make sense of the programme within a local context. It will be argued that tutors and students in offshore Dubai teacher education become selective cosmopolitans who negotiate cross-cultural and linguistic influences pragmatically and ambivalently in order to make sense of the programme.

Author Information
Christine Szwed, The University of Birmingham, UK

Paper Information
Conference: IICEHawaii2016
Stream: ‘Englishes’ in global communication

This paper is part of the IICEHawaii2016 Conference Proceedings (View)
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Posted by James Alexander Gordon