‘All abroad’: Malaysians’ reasons for seeking an overseas-based doctorate

Brendon Tagg

Abstract


This article examines the process by which nine junior Malaysian academics came to complete doctoral degrees in non-Malaysian universities. It expands the scope and refines the focus of an existing study that considered international students’ experiences in New Zealand. Part of the motivation for the current study was the researcher’s recognition that he had sometimes struggled to adjust to the Malaysian university system. And indeed despite the vast sums of money the Malaysian government spends training academic staff overseas, little is known about their motivations for studying abroad, their experiences abroad, and how their experiences abroad shape their interactions within local institutions when they return. The article begins with a brief introduction, an analysis of the existing study and a description of the chosen methodological approach. The following key themes are then discussed: ‘choosing to study overseas’, ‘choosing advisors’, ‘family influences’ and ‘pre-departure training programs’.


Keywords


culture shock; doctorate; Malaysia

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References


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