Researching international students: methodological challenges of rebel data

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This paper presents findings from a small scale study into the attitudes and preferences of international students regarding support provision at a Scottish Higher Education institution. The article outlines some of the challenges arising from analysing qualitative data from surveys and interviews with international students, and calls into question the use of thematic analysis which systematically reduces and finds patterns in the data, but which fails to capture the singularities of the international student voice. It argues for the reconsideration of the epistemological underpinnings of the international student experience and the methodological tools with which it is explored.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages7
JournalInternational Student Experience Journal
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 14 Nov 2018


  • international students
  • non-traditional students
  • Scottish higher education

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