Becoming and being an academic: the perspectives of Chinese staff in two research-intensive UK universities

Xiaoli Jiang, R Di Napoli, M Borg, Rachel Maunder, H Fry, E Walsh

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

This article reports on an interview study investigating the experiences of academic acculturation (a process of mutual influence and enrichment with regard to academic practice) of a group of Chinese academic staff in two research-intensive UK universities. Following a systematic content-based analysis, three major themes emerged as salient, namely: (1) different perceptions of academic practice in the UK and China, (2) the importance of disciplinary identity, and (3) the role of English and original cultural affiliations in the process of academic acculturation. The study shows that, while these academic staff took active initiatives to orient themselves towards UK academic culture, they did not perceive that culture to have changed much through their acculturation. The study also reveals that the cultural affiliation of the academic staff, perceived norms in the new academic culture, and relative proficiency in English language all have an impact on the process of academic acculturation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)155-170
Number of pages15
JournalStudies in Higher Education
Volume35
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2010

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