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This paper considers the reasons for the comparatively negative progression rates for international students in the Faculty of Economics and Business at the University of Sydney over the past five years in light of data from the MASUS measuring academic skills of university students diagnostic language test, the Student at Claw1001 case analysis program run in the Faculty over the past three years and the seventeen years experience of the author working in the area of language and learning in Australian universities.
The results show that although language is a major factor, other factors ranging from government policy to time management have a marked effect on the relationship between academic standards and the culturally diverse university.
Since then more and more students from a nonEnglish speaking background NESB have come to Australia for their tertiary education because of the positive reputation of Australian universities, and more recently because of the relationship created by the Australian Government between permanent residency and Australian academic qualifications.
This paper considers the issues raised by large numbers of international NESB students at Australian universities by investigating the situation in the Faculty of Economics and Business at the University of Sydney in regards to the student profile, data on language diagnostic tests for both undergraduate and postgraduate students, data on students at risk of failure, efforts made by the Faculty to address international student progression rates and the immigration policy of the present Australian Government.
Student Profile — Faculty of Economic and Business The University of Sydney is considered to be one of the leading universities in the southern hemisphere and is often counted amongst the top fifty universities in the world.
Because of this reputation and other factors discussed below, its Faculty of Economics Claw1001 case analysis Business has seen a steady rise in the numbers of international students enrolling in its degree programs over recent years. Table 1 below shows the significance of this rise in terms of student numbers.
To have some understanding of the range of countries from which the Faculty draws its interna- tional student body, Table 4 below lists the main countries of origin of undergraduate international students.
This list is fairly indicative of the weighting of country of origin of the international students in the Faculty, with China having by far the largest number of students.
Australia is very much a multicultural nation and the local student profile is indicative of the variety of the backgrounds of the people of the country.
Table 5 below gives some indication of the language background of the local students where it can be seen that a good twenty four percent of the local students are to varying degrees of a NESB. Such students, dubbed ANESB Australian non-English speaking background by Bartlett and Chanockare not the subject of this paper but this percentage should shed extra light on the following discussion.
MASUS requires students write a short essay or other genre e. It assesses the student's ability to write about a given body of knowledge in a reasoned and critical way, together with their ability use the language resources appropriate for the required task.
Their writing is rated from 4 excellent to 1 inadequate on each of 4 main criteria: Bonanno and Jones, Students are considered to need some form of help in these areas if they are rated at the level of 1 or 2. The MASUS test provides a literacy profile of the student cohort, identifies students at risk, provides a starting point from which to integrate the teaching of academic literacy into units of study, gives early formative feedback on the strengths and weaknesses of individual student responses and gives students information on the characteristics of academic writing that are valued in a specific discipline.
Since MASUS has been used in the University of Sydney with a number of departments, with over 7, students mainly first years participating. It has also been adapted for use in other universities in Australia and in the United Kingdom.
It has been shown to be both a very valid and very reliable language diagnostic instrument. Thus, a great deal of data has been accumulated on the academic language ability of our undergraduate cohort. Table 6 below summarises the results of the students needing some form or remediation with their academic writing.
What is also typical is the fact that approximately eighty percent of the students found to be were international students Ahmed and Paton, However, it was not until that MASUS was used to test the academic English language skills of the postgraduate cohort.
This time, however, it was not a commencing unit of study, but a unit undertaken by students who generally already had at least one semester of study in the Faculty.
This shows that the language situation in the postgraduate coursework units is much more negative than in the undergraduate courses. However, if the language background of these students is considered this situation is understandable.
Only seventeen of these students had English as their first language and a full of the students had some dialect of Chinese as their first language. The data on students at risk give a valuable insight into the comparative lack of progression of international students in the Faculty.Answers to Questions and Case Problems Business Law Today Standard Edition (Answers to Questions and Case Problems Business Law Today Standard Edition 9TH Edition) [William Eric Hollowell / Roger Leroy Miller] on Amazon Business law answers to questions and case problems.
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