'British universities don't respect us - they just want our money'

February 10, 2006

According to Zhou Zhaofeng, a Chinese student doing a law PhD at Glasgow University, UK institutions do little to overcome cultural barriers.

Mr Zhou, who also studied at Bristol and Manchester universities, said: "From my own experience, British universities do not respect Chinese students generally - they just want our money. Most of us are doing postgraduate courses, and we rarely get any help from our universities."

He said most lecturers were ignorant of cultural issues that affect the relationship between an international student and an academic. This could mean that problems were not picked up until it is too late.

He said: "For Chinese students, one of the most important things is showing respect. We do not like to complain. The world can be hard, and we think we have to cope alone. So we do not take complaints to lecturers because we do not expect them to help. For me, if I go to my tutor and say I have a problem, it means I am worse than the other students.

"I recommend that universities produce some documents that explain what kind of difficulties foreign students might have and how staff can recognise them and help," he added.

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