Chinese Students’ Expectations Versus Reality When Studying on a UK-China Transnational Chemistry Degree Program

Philippa B Cranwell, Michael G Edwards, Katherine Jane Haxton, Julie Hyde, Elizabeth M Page, Daniela Plana, Gita Sedhi, James S Wright


An extensive study has been conducted into the experiences of Chinese chemistry students studying on transnational education (TNE) programs at four UK institutions partnered with Chinese universities; in particular, student expectations regarding studying in the UK compared with reality were examined. Students were consulted by questionnaire both before and after arrival in the UK. Results from the questionnaires were statistically analysed, the free text responses coded and these data were used to inform further discussion in focus groups. The main differences between the UK and China fell into three key areas: the language barrier; study habits of TNE students in the UK compared to when in China; and the relationship between UK academic staff and the TNE students. These findings are discussed in more detail throughout this paper. We conclude by providing recommendations for other institutions establishing TNE courses.


Transnational Degree; Chemistry; China

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