Investigating the Experiences and Performance Of Chinese Master Students Studying UK Engineering Courses


Higher education
Postgraduate taught students
Team roles

How to Cite

He, Y., & Zandi, M. . (2024). Investigating the Experiences and Performance Of Chinese Master Students Studying UK Engineering Courses. UK and Ireland Engineering Education Research Network Conference Proceedings 2023.


Given the rising proportion of Chinese students attending UK universities in recent years (11.2% of overseas students in the UK, 2022) of Chinese students enrolled at UK universities and the notable socio-economic contributions resulting from their presence, it becomes imperative for educational researchers and policymakers further to investigate this student cohort's learning experiences and academic outcomes. The necessity is emphasised by the fact that 60% of the postgraduate taught (PGT) students in the University of Sheffield's MSc programme in Environmental and Energy Engineering are of Chinese origin. Therefore, this study aims to supplement and update existing research insights by examining these overseas students' learning and teamwork performance at British universities. The study was undertaken in two phases: an online survey and a project-based design workshop. The survey (54 responses received) explores the factors of Chinese students deciding how to team up with others; through the workshop integrated with the Belbin team role theory (61 participants attended), the Chinese students’ teamwork performance in engineering practical activities is discussed. The findings show that (1) Engineering students decide to work with others in groups mainly because they know each other in advance; (2) According to the results of the Belbin test obtained from PGT students, the Chinese engineering students’ team roles were more likely to be social-oriented, while other students (both home and other overseas students) tended to prefer action-oriented roles; (3) Working in Belbin-engineered groups promoted students’ leadership, initiative, and effort in teamwork than working in self-selected groups.
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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Copyright (c) 2024 Ya He, Mohammad Zandi


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