Developing a “3-I Model” for Supervising International Students’ PhD Research at Australian Universities

By Shen Chen and Helena Hing Wa Sit.

Published by The International Journal of Learning in Higher Education

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Published online: September 14, 2017 $US5.00

In recent years, supervising international research students has attracted increasing attention from academics in English-speaking countries such as Australia. In the field of international education, the importance of understanding linguistic and cultural diversity of students has been widely accepted and emphasised by academic staff members who are supervising international research students. In Australia, progress has made on research on PhD studies in the area of analysing reports of thesis examinations and psychological changes of PhD candidates in general. However, the majority of supervisors have paid attention to the students’ linguistic deficiency in thesis writing instead of promoting cultural awareness of how to conduct a research in a new learning environment in comparison with that of their home countries. This article reports on a qualitative investigation on international students’ experience during their research training with an aim to identify clearly the cultural dimension of understanding on major issues of conducting a PhD research at an Australian university. On the basis of the findings revealed by this research, the supervisors’ role is re-interpreted. The article proposes a “3-I model” of supervision, which consists of instruction, inspiration, and interaction during the development of research training of international students.

Keywords: Research, Supervision, International Students

The International Journal of Learning in Higher Education, Volume 24, Issue 3, pp.13-21. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published online: September 14, 2017 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 338.763KB)).

Shen Chen

Associate Professor, School of Education, University of Newcastle, Callaghan, New South Wales, Australia

Dr. Helena Hing Wa Sit

Senior Lecturer, School of Education, University of Newcastle, Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia