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This edition of the International Journal of Asia Pacific Studies ...

This edition of the International Journal of Asia Pacific Studies ...

IJAPS, Vol. 4, No. 1

IJAPS, Vol. 4, No. 1 (May 2008)Peter Kell & Gillian Voglpopulation and a reputation as a safe destination, Malaysia has becomeactive in attracting international students. The paper by Morshidi SiratSeptember 11 and international student flows to Malaysia: Lesson learned,explores these changes and the way in which Malaysia, once a sendingcountry, has now shifted to being a countries sends student to others and hasalso become a country receiving students to the extent that it can now beconsidered a "medium level" competitor. The author argues that while thegrowth has been rapid, its sustainability is dependent on a range of factorsthat include growing competition from new competitors in the MiddleEastern nations such as Bahrain, United Emirates, Oman and Qatar as wellas incentives to students in such countries as Japan. Morshidi Sirat alsoargues that the success of Malaysia related to streamlining bureaucracy andproviding autonomy that can enable providers to respond to rapidlychanging market conditions more effectively.The experience of Middle East students is the subject of AmbigapathyPandian's contribution. As mentioned by Morshidi Sirat, Malaysia has aninflux of students from the Middle East and central Asia including the GulfStates, Saudi Arabia and Iran. The contribution identifies the tensions anddilemmas for students in adopting to a different cultural, linguistic andsocial context, and the difficulties in meeting the challenges of a new anddifferent academic culture. Many of the findings are strikingly similar tothose of the experience of international students in Australia documented byMarginson (2004), and Kell and Vogl (2007b) and suggest that language,conventions and social interaction present huge challenges to students inany location. The research also identifies the difficulties for staff workingwith students who are struggling to respond to foreign language, as well asacademic and work conventions which are vastly different from their owncultural norms.The tensions and dilemmas for individual students from Asia inadjusting to the conventions and the norms of western academic culture arethe source of great tension. As mentioned earlier, stereotypes about howAsian students learn characterise much of the institutional and individualsresponses to international students. Asian students are often unfairlyperceived as uncritical, unreflective and passive learners, and there is apaternalism towards them in learning relationships which is distorted andunbalanced. The contribution by Michael Singh and Dongqing Fu inFlowery rhetoric meets creative deductive arguments: Becoming transnationalresearch writers, explores postgraduate supervision and argue for amore collaborative approach that is aimed at producing a transnationalresearch writer. This concept of a transnational research writer is based onthe notion of an argumentative approach where students critique and explorexiv

IJAPS, Vol. 4, No. 1 (May 2008)Editorialstereotypes about Asian students and then seek to explore aspects oftraditions in academic writing. This contribution explores the nature ofwriting and how Chinese writing uses metaphor and hyperbole as importantways of forming argument as opposed to western traditions which usedeductive approaches. The authors, in identifying these Chinese academictraditions, challenge academics to look more closely at how argument isstructured in different cultures and to incorporate these traditions tofacilitate cross cultural and multilingual approaches to learning as well as abroader engagement with the notion of argument.Most of the literature on global student mobility investigates onshorestudents but Maureen Bell's chapter, Beyond the supermarket: Lostopportunities in summer study abroad for Singapore sojourners inAustralia, explores transnational exchange and offshore scienceprogrammes. The programmes emerge as innovations that are designed torespond to the globalisation of higher education. The rationale of suchprogrammes is claimed around a perceived need for students to have aninternational experience where questions of science are explored in a transnationalcontexts. The contribution identifies the distance between therhetoric of internationalisation and the experience of participants which istypified by poor preparation for the new cultural context and has afragmented and often contradictory approach that sees little interaction andmeaningful engagement with the host community. This contributionsuggests that responses to internationalisation framed around market basednotions of internationalisation need to be more fully theorised andcommitted to inter-cultural connections.The relationship between international education and migration hasbeen described in this introduction and the contribution by Shanti Robertsondocuments the journey from student to migrant. Robertson's contributionentitled Residency, citizenship and belonging: Choice and uncertainty forstudents turned migrants in Australia explores and examines the choicesand strategies of students who become migrants in Australia. The decisionsand choices about citizenship are documented as being complex andfeatured a desire to maintain links and affiliations between an "old" and"new" identities. The author argues that the resolution of tensions aboutidentities is framed by a combination of strategic and emotionalcompromise.These complexities about belonging and identity are further exploredby Aramiha Harwood in his contribution entitled Life transitions: Overseasstudy, work and career for young Singaporeans. In this contribution the lifestories of 24 Singaporeans are documented throughout their period asinternational students. As a consequence of their period as internationalxv

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