Internationalisation has been actively pursued by Hong Kong’s universities. Recent years have witnessed steady quantitative growth in the proportion of non-local students. To ensure a qualitative success of internationalisation, it is crucial that universities can successfully cater for students with diverse educational experiences. In this context, the current research explored the main challenges to academic adaptation among different groups of students. To achieve this, focus group interviews were conducted with 119 Local, Mainland Chinese, and International students at four Hong Kong universities. Findings revealed variation among the groups in academic adaptation challenges. First, adaptation to an English medium of instruction was a major concern for Local and Mainland Chinese students, while International students noted that limited English proficiency among other students undermined classroom discussions and led to tensions in group projects. Second, findings also called attention to challenges in adapting to an unfamiliar teaching, learning, and assessment culture. Local students faced challenges in adapting to a wider range of assessment modes and academic writing. Moreover, Mainland Chinese and International students reported – often in contradictory ways – how teacher-student relations and teaching approaches differed from prior educational experiences. Implications for the successful delivery of higher education amid internationalisation are discussed. Copyright © 2017 The Education University of Hong Kong.
|Publication status||Published - Nov 2017|