Bolton Uni RAK Shines Spotlight On Transnational Education
Every job has its own challenges and teaching is no different. More so when the challenge is to teach in a class with students from different nationalities. This is prevalent across schools and universities in the United Arab Emirates.
To highlight the challenges of teaching in a transnational class and their solutions University of Bolton RAK campus organized ‘International Learning and Teaching Conference 2017’. The theme of the conference was ‘Collaboration, Research and Diversity in Transnational Education’ with five keynote speakers and four presenters sharing their research on the subject.
“Our campus is a transnational campus with 40-45 different nationalities studying here. They have different backgrounds, aspirations and expectations. Many of them have been born and brought up here and many of them have come to study here. We have a mix blend of faculties from different backgrounds. We also invite faculties from other universities in UAE as guest lecturers and as part time faculty. Even they have different background and teaching styles and we have specific guidelines about teaching delivery, academic delivery and assignment corrections,” said Dr. Indranil Bose, Dean, School of Business, University of Bolton RAK campus, in a conversation with AM Taleem, discussing the aim of the conference.
He added, “With this conference we are trying to share and discuss in front of different stakeholders and also among ourselves what we are doing, what we have done in the past and what we are planning.”
Shifting the conversation to challenges that most of the lecturers face when teaching in a transnational class, Dr. Bose said, “When you are teaching something in the class, you cannot rely on the stereotypical teaching style. The first challenge is the language barrier because what one student can easily understand in one go, another might need repetitions. The other is that in their countries they are habitual of attending classes and faculty teaching in a specific way. Their level of perceiving something from the faculty and the lecture is different.”
When talking about the solutions that can fix some of the problems in class with diverse nationalities, Dr. Bose emphasized on dealing with every student individually and involving their guardians in the process as well. He mentioned the system put in place at University of Bolton RAK campus is to monitor and guide students.
“We have a system called individual mentoring and good tutoring. In the tutoring process we talk to students individually and we also talk to their guardians which ensures an overall smooth tutoring process” he said.
This is the second year of the conference. The University of Bolton RAK campus is planning a third one in 2018.