Interpreting the Cultural and Academic Experiences of PhD Students from the Indian Sub-Continent and the Chinese Regions in Australian Universities

Yasir Latif, Neil Harrison, Hye-Eun Chu


This study aims to identify factors that can improve the cultural and academic experiences of East Asian PhD students attending Australian universities. We focus on two key aspects of students’ academic performance in Australia: a sense of belonging and learning strategies applied by international students in Australian higher education. A systematic literature review is conducted to design a framework that can be applied to better understand the cultural and academic experiences of students from the two regions. The application of this framework highlights, how students from these regions are better equipped to succeed in research degrees in Australian universities when they know and understand the culturally appropriate learning strategies applied in the Australian higher education context and when they are supported to develop a new sense of belonging within the academic and wider culture. Paper concludes that a sense of belonging with Australian culture helps international to attain good cultural and academic experiences. In terms of learning strategies, a scientific learning strategy is more effective for East Asian PhD students from Chinese and the Indian sub-continent than participative learning strategies, adaptive learning strategies, and artistic learning strategies. This study suggests the Australian research supervisors must communicate East Asian PhD students to attain a sense of belonging with Australian academic culture and to follow the scientific learning strategy. Future East Asian PhD students should understand the Australian academic culture to avoid cultural shock during PhD candidature. Future researchers should verify the theoretically designed through qualitative, quantitative, or mixed-method research design.


PhD, learning strategies; belonging; academic progress; academic culture.

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Copyright (c) 2020 Yasir Latif, Neil Harrison, Hye-Eun Chu

International Journal of Emerging Technologies in Learning (iJET) – eISSN: 1863-0383
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