Identity Construction and Learning Processes at Copenhagen Business School: A Study of International Full-time Students
In the light of globalization, and especially of the Bologna process in Europe, many graduate students take the decision of cursing their graduate studies abroad. This affects the host country students as well as educators and curriculum developers. Knowledge/learning and students become more culturally diverse, so the learning processes denationalize themselves. This qualitative based study presents the relation between identity and learning in international graduate full-time students at Copenhagen Business School (CBS), and the consequences that these have in their learning approaches and processes. The research has as a focus the interaction between prior knowledge of the international students, concentrating on their way of learning and their perception and approaches about learning at CBS.
Our findings lead us to the assumptions that in relation to identity, international students embrace a group identity, which is explicitly differentiated from the exchange and Danish students. They define different challenges they encounter in Denmark and CBS, and all of them define their experience as international, being a positive concept. Students also mention the lost of continuity in changing country of residence and study. In relation to learning, all students see a difference in the way they learn at CBS from their home countries, which encourage them to be more critical and stand by themselves. Furthermore, the students recognize that they take the decision to engage more or less deep in their lectures, depending on their present and future expectations. Also, the role and interaction with the teacher is determinant in their level of engagement.
The Danish students are included in the study as a control group, to see the variations or similarities in which national and international individuals construct a sense of identity and engage in learning at CBS.
Keywords: Identity Construction, Intergroup Identity, Learning Processes, International Students
Montse Badia Serrano
Student Assistant, CBS Learning Lab, Copenhagen Business School
Dr. Claus Nygaard
Associate Professor and Ph.D. Senior Advisor, CBS Learning Lab, Copenahgen Business School