Reflections on learning in a transnational context : a study of personal and professional development amongst Open University graduates living in Belgium, Greece and Spain

Bennison, Charlotte Hilary (2005). Reflections on learning in a transnational context : a study of personal and professional development amongst Open University graduates living in Belgium, Greece and Spain. EdD thesis The Open University.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.21954/ou.ro.0000c016

Abstract

This study is an investigation into what it means to be a learner in a transnational context. The research focuses on a cohort of graduates who studied with the Open University whilst living in Belgium, Greece and Spain. The impact of nationality, language and previous educational background on the experience of borderless education is explored, as well as the outcomes in terms of personal and professional development. Set within the wider framework of the development of the European Higher Education Area, the debate over the declining power of the nation-state, the growth of crossborder education and the increased use of English as a global language, the graduates in this survey are identified as both responding and contributing to the forces of globalisation within higher education.

Using a multiple research strategy including a focus group, a questionnaire and a small sample of semi-structured in-depth interviews, this study adopts an interpretative and cross-cultural approach to represent the national, cultural and linguistic diversity of the participants, and to give a voice to the plurality of their experiences.

Although this study was carried out with graduates from the Open University, the findings are of relevance to academic, administrative and student support staff in any university that offers its courses in a transnational setting.

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