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A degree for a job? : understanding the value of a UK masters degree for the international student.

Bruce, Victoria (2010) A degree for a job? : understanding the value of a UK masters degree for the international student. EdD thesis, University of Sheffield.

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This thesis examines the educational experiences of international students from Russia and Palestine who studied for Masters degrees in the UK. I investigate how these students value their UK Masters degrees and how this valuing is reflected in their shifting identities. I identify an entrepreneurial discourse of international education in the UK and in the national brand for UK education marketing overseas, Education UK, and I suggest that this discourse constructs students as entrepreneurial beings and frames students' value judgments and identities during their educational trajectories. My theoretical framework draws from theories of discourse and identity to establish this entrepreneurial identity and to analyse how students' value judgments and identities shift and become more multi-faceted during their educational trajectories. The empirical work for this study consisted of interviews with 28 graduates of taught Masters degrees from UK higher education institutions several years after these individuals had returned home to Russia and Palestine. My analysis of students' value judgments and identities is based on their recollections of the three stages of their educational trajectories: their experiences pre-study, in-study and post-study. My research findings suggest that these students embark on their international education with highly entrepreneurial motives that reflect the discourse of international education. However, as their educational trajectories proceed, and students narrated their in-study and post-study experiences, there are subtle shifts in their va1ue judgments and identities as they go beyond this discourse and as personal and trans formative aspects of this international experience become more significant. In conclusion, I argue that the emphasis on the economic benefits of international education on the part of policy makers and marketers of international education risks ignoring the more complex outcomes and value of international education and could potentially impact the UK's long-term success in the international education market.

Item Type: Thesis (EdD)
Academic Units: The University of Sheffield > Faculty of Social Sciences (Sheffield) > School of Education (Sheffield)
Identification Number/EthosID: uk.bl.ethos.521892
Depositing User: EThOS Import Sheffield
Date Deposited: 18 Jan 2017 10:35
Last Modified: 18 Jan 2017 10:35
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/14962

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