(Self)Confidence or compliance: Students' experience of academic quality in study-abroad contexts

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This paper investigates the views of quality in higher education held by two groups of international students: Chinese students at a Danish university and Danish students at Chinese universities. Given that there are no agreed international ‘quality standards’ in higher education, we analysed the students’ understanding of the ‘quality values’ of their host institution and denoting their own preferences and priorities. Representatives of the two groups participated in an interview study addressing the experience of academic quality at their study abroad university. An intriguing trend was identified in the data. Danish students felt confident that they themselves were able to judge the academic quality of programs, classes, and lecturers both at home and abroad. The participating Chinese students tended to express themselves in slightly depreciatory terms regarding the academic quality values of their home universities. Regarding research methods and theoretical knowledge, they adopted the quality
values of the Danish host university and referred to these values when evaluating their home universities.
TidsskriftLearning and Teaching: The International Journal of Higher Education in the Social Sciences
Udgave nummer3
Sider (fra-til)37-59
Antal sider23
StatusUdgivet - 16 dec. 2015


  • academic quality, China, Denmark, International students, standardization, student mobility

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