After the United States, United Kingdom is a home for the students pursuing their Masters. There has been a dramatic rise in the Middle Eastern students for considering UK as their academic destination. The HESA First Statistical Release 242 (2015-16) suggests that over 9,060 students studied in UK. It is revealed that the following challenges are faced by Arabic Candidate when studying in UK for Masters:
One of the most common problems faced by Arabic candidates is that they face linguistic issues in UK. The dominant language in UK is English which adds to verbal and academic writing. The Masters course requires preparation of dissertations and thesis. The inability to find appropriate articles and references affects their grades.
English is offered as second language learning in the universities in UK. However, there is a difference in the general attitude among the learners. The Arabic students pursuing the Masters course seem to lack motivation when it comes to language acquisition. Learning a second-language also challenges self-esteem of the Arabic students which can act as a barrier in their Masters course in UK.
One of the obvious challenges is faced in the context of culture due to differences between Middle East and Western countries. In the Middle East context, the teachers and student have a feudal relationship where instructors occupy a high tier in the classroom. However, UK follows an interactive teaching process which is challenging for the Arabic students. The Arabic students tend to be unsociable in the classroom which may develop a negative attitude among the teachers.
Due to the terror attacks on 9/11 in the USA, the Arabic students have a hard time pursuing their studies internationally. There have been cases where the universities in UK have been reported of hostile environments. Recently, a Muslim Palestinian student studying at Durham University was beaten up after saying ‘Merry Christmas’.
The education systems have significantly improved in the last two decades. However, the Arabic students continue to face challenges mainly due to lack of vocabulary in English. It is recommended that English may be taught as a second language that can increase the confidence of Arab students. The students must be encouraged and motivated to learn English. At the same time, the students in UK must be encouraged to promote positive social behaviour in the educational institution.