Higher Education Leadership Regarding International Students

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Abstract

Leadership in the higher education sector is integral in creating a supportive learning environment for students to acquire knowledge and interact with one another. Particularly, the importance of effective leadership in the higher education sector is more profound in the United Kingdom (UK), which has a diverse student population characterized by the presence of foreign and domestic undergraduates. For a long time, higher education leadership has not paid attention to the importance of promoting shared leadership, as a function of good management practices, in decision-making. This gap in administrative practices is more profound for international students in the UK because school administrators rarely consider alternative views in decision-making. From this background, this study highlights the importance of integrating the voices of international students in higher education leadership.

Three research questions guide the current study and they are focused on investigating the contribution of international students in problem-solving, development of school policies, and maintaining a healthy power balance between students and teachers. The insights published in this study suggest that shared leadership has a positive impact on problem solving and policy compliance. The researcher also found out that the implementation of shared leadership practices in the UK higher education sector would affect the power balance between teachers and students in favour of the latter. To answer the three research questions outlined above, the researcher used the qualitative interviewing method to gather data from 12 students in a UK university. The findings were analysed using the thematic and coding method and it was established that the voices of international students are important in improving leadership effectiveness, especially in the areas of policy compliance and governance.

Introduction

Background

Leadership plays a key role in shaping the education outcomes of students at various levels of learning. Particularly, it is instrumental in influencing students’ learning experiences, as well as their relationship with teachers and the learning environment (Berkovich and Gueta, 2020). Effective leadership recognizes the scope of influence that it commands in shaping multiple aspects of education performance, including enhancing students’ learning experiences and maintaining a healthy relationship among stakeholders (Shurr, Bouck and McCollow, 2021). The higher education sector in the United Kingdom (UK) has undergone significant changes since the Second World War (Selvanathan, Hussin and Azazi, 2020). Traditionally, most institutions of higher learning have been using a top-down management model with teachers and education staff exerting strong influences on the everyday running of these learning facilities, compared to other groups of people in positions of power (Zhang et al., 2021). In this environment, effective leadership practices have consistently depended on the heroic actions of a few individuals at the top of an institution’s administrative structure and their ability to work with others.

Recently, education stakeholders have started to debate the need to re-evaluate existing leadership practices to make them more effective and responsive to emerging trends and influences affecting the higher education sector (Berkovich and Gueta, 2020). High student debt, the rapid adoption of e-learning into mainstream education, and uncertainties caused by the COVID-19 pandemic are among the factors that are fuelling this debate (Feige and Yen, 2021).

Indeed, it is unclear how these factors would affect educational practices in the short term and whether they would persist in the medium-term to have lasting effects on student outcomes or administrative practices of higher education institutions in the future (Nyberg, Backman and Larsson, 2020; Tillmann et al., 2020). The effectiveness of existing leadership practices in addressing some of these emerging issues has come under scrutiny because of the proliferation of the issues mentioned above in most aspects of education practice (Feige and Yen, 2021). Consequently, there are significant demands for change in multiple areas of higher education governance, including the trends mentioned above (Abril and Gault, 2020; Hsieh, 2016).

Additionally, there is consensus among some researchers that current leadership practices adopted in most institutions of higher learning, including some organizations, are incapable of addressing the complexity of factors influencing governance practices as described above (Tillmann et al., 2020; Tian and Virtanen, 2020). Therefore, based on the cynicism surrounding the ability of traditional models to manage current issues impacting the higher education sector, there has been waning confidence regarding the need to preserve or use old models of leadership to manage new challenges of the contemporary 21st educational environment (Eaton et al., 2019). This realization has created a need to look for better and more effective frameworks of leadership to manage contemporary challenges affecting the learning environment.

Research Problem

The United Kingdom (UK) is among several western nations that have reported a surge in the number of foreign students in higher education sector (Xu, 2021). Statistics show that the number of international students seeking higher education in the UK has surpassed 550,000 with China and India being the biggest source markets (ICEF, 2021). This figure represents a double-digit percentage increase in the number of student enrolment in the industry because current estimates suggest that this number represents a 12% increase in student population numbers each year (ICEF, 2021). However, given the challenges of addressing higher education leadership practices in the sector, the voices of international students have been ignored despite their growth, influence, and relevance to the development of the sector.

Research Gap

As highlighted above, international students in the UK higher education sector come from different countries, but a global comparison of the source markets show that most of these students come from China (Xu, 2021). Comparatively, Italy is the largest source market for international students within Europe but, as a percentage of all foreign learners, China’s student traffic is about 10 times the number of Italians (Shaheen, 2016). Despite the increasing population of Chinese students and their importance to the overall diversity of the UK higher education system, few researchers have investigated their views regarding leadership in the higher education sector. The present study aims to fill this research gap and its design is meant to highlight the importance of integrating the voices of foreign students in the leadership echelons of the UK higher education leadership structure, by investigating the views of Chinese students.

Research Aim

Innovativeness in leadership is contextualized within a stronger quest to embrace inclusivity in governance. This concept has also been linked with diversity, which refers to the willingness to accommodate people from different backgrounds into mainstream thinking (Shaheen, 2016). Stemming from this background the aim of the research is as follows:

  • To explain the importance of integrating the voices of international students in higher education leadership

Research Objectives

  1. To explain the contribution that international students could make to problem-solving in higher education leadership
  2. To describe the contribution that international students could make towards improving the effectiveness of policy-making in higher education leadership
  3. To find out the impact that the contribution of international students would have on the power balance between students and administrators in higher education leadership

Research Questions

  1. What impact would international students have towards improving problem-solving in higher education leadership?
  2. What impact would international students have towards improving the effectiveness of policy-making in higher education leadership?
  3. What impact would the contribution of international students have on the power balance between students and administrators in higher education leadership?

Significance of Study

Understanding the value of diversity in leadership portends significant positive implications for educational institutions. Particularly, including the voices of international students in higher education leadership means that educators would have a better understanding of the depth and breadth of the challenges or issues affecting this area of management (Eshghinejad and Moini, 2016; Jabbar et al., 2020). In this regard, educators would better address contemporary issues affecting the learning environment because international students may have different insights or solutions to the problems (Fan and Zou, 2020; Souto-Otero, 2019). The findings of this paper will also highlight some of the major advantages of shared leadership practices in a higher institution setting because it is a key characteristic of innovative and high-performing organizations (Baumgartner and Councill, 2019; Mittelmeier et al., 2021). Improving diversity in management would better enable educators to adopt practices that they deem adaptable and innovative.

The findings of this study are also significant to the overall management of education leadership because they can help to improve accountability and transparency. In this regard, shared leadership could help to enhance the management of student affairs because the involvement of more shareholders in the review process is associated with such outcomes (Selvanathan, Hussin and Azazi, 2020). Nyberg, Backman, and Larsson (2020) say that this is the main basis through which individuals can make meaningful and lasting changes in the education system without encountering the challenge of convincing students or other pressure groups to support the process.

Structure of Paper

This document has five key sections, each representing unique stages of the research process. The first one is the introductory chapter, which sets the stage for the project by providing a background of the importance of diversity in leadership and a definition of key concepts and objectives relating to the concept. The subsequent section contains a review of what other scholars have written or said about the same topic with a keen emphasis on theoretical and empirical discussions surrounding the same topic. The following section of the paper is the methodology chapter, which details and justifies approaches taken by the investigator in answering the research questions. A summary of the findings is provided in the fourth part of the investigation and it is compared/contrasted with the existing body of literature to detect areas of convergence or disparity with past findings. The last section of the study is the conclusion and recommendations chapter, which contains a summary of the main findings and a set of proposed guidelines for enhancing the integration of diverse views in higher education leadership.

Literature Review

This section of the study focuses on leadership practices in the higher education sector with the attention centred on explaining the importance of diversity in this area of administration. These core areas of research are instrumental in understanding how students’ views could help to improve higher education leadership practices.

Diversity in Leadership and Student Population

Diversity in leadership strives to encompass the views of people with different characteristics in leadership (Winther, 2018). In the higher education sector, this process involves including the views of students in decision-making as opposed to solely relying on those of leaders. The importance of diversity in leadership has been affirmed through research investigations that have highlighted its importance in team management (Leroy et al., 2021). Some of these studies have also investigated diversity from a cultural lens and advance the view that assembling team members from different cultural backgrounds helps to improve performance (Raithel, van Knippenberg and Stam, 2021). However, there are challenges associated with embracing diversity in the team setting.

In a study designed to understand the moderating effects of culture on a leader who is working in a foreign environment, it was revealed that experience with diversity helped to moderate leadership effectiveness (Raithel, van Knippenberg and Stam, 2021). In this analysis, it is believed that negative stereotypes are likely to reduce the effectiveness of leadership, especially based on perceived differences between minorities and the dominant culture (Khan, et al., 2020). To illustrate this fact, Ogbeibu et al. (2020) say it may erode people’s confidence in a leader, based on perceived social differences, or an inhibited ability to make rational choices because of inherent biases. This is why many organizations and institutional setups are striving to create a culture-neutral environment.

Creativity in Leadership

The principle of imaginative education has been mentioned in explaining creativity in leadership practices within the organizational setting (Ogbeibu et al., 2020). It is an educational theory that looks at creativity like soil that breeds ideas on effective leadership management practices in most community settings (Vijayadevar, Thornton and Cherrington, 2019). Education and cognitive tools have been highlighted as tools to promote imagination in the education context and leadership is central to understanding how it works (Judson, 2021). In investigations conducted by Judson (2021) and Ogbeibu et al. (2020), leaders were encouraged to use education as imaginative tools for promoting creativity in the organizational context. Relative to this assertion, future leadership practices are seen to take the shape of creative approaches to organizational development as highlighted by Judson (2021). He says the analysis tries to define power arrangements between leaders and students by using imagination to define the relationship between both parties (Judson, 2021). Consequently, innovation and creativity emerge as effective tools for improving leadership effectiveness.

The concept of imaginative leadership is increasingly moving away from ideologies centered on highlighting unique qualities of specific groups of people to another that promotes transformational success by working with other people or stakeholders (Ogbeibu et al., 2020). Cognitive tools, such as storytelling, have been highlighted as useful tools for developing empathy in leadership (Eshghinejad and Moini, 2016; Jabbar et al., 2020). In this context of analysis, creativity in leadership is seen as an effective tool for developing leadership skills in management by merging individual and collective imaginative elements to form a cohesive understanding of leadership practices (Judson, 2021). Relative to this assertion, participatory forms of leadership have been highlighted as useful tools for fostering creativity in the higher education leadership sector (Joslyn, 2018; Judson, 2021).

Creativity in leadership is essential in coming up with solutions for problems affecting an organization or institution (Thompson, 2018; Zheng et al., 2020). He, von Krogh, and Sirén (2021) address the same issue by linking the process of knowledge creation to creativity. They also say that experts may be drawn from different fields to develop creative solutions to contemporary problems (He, von Krogh and Sirén, 2021). The authors also caution that expert advice may hinder creativity through limited knowledge creation processes (He, von Krogh and Sirén, 2021). These views were developed after assessing the role of leadership in promoting knowledge creation objectives within an environment characterized by task uncertainty and informal communication channels in leadership (He, von Krogh and Sirén, 2021). The authors also found out that task uncertainty improves the quality of creativity and moderates the effect that expertise involvement would have on team leadership (He, von Krogh and Sirén, 2021). This type of relationship was strongest in institutions that were task-oriented as opposed to relationship-oriented.

In another investigation, Leroy et al. (2021) explored the role of leadership in developing team creativity. The researchers conducted this analysis by evaluating their role in fostering creativity by encouraging members to understand their team experiences (Leroy et al., 2021). It is believed that in this type of setting, team creativity is best fostered when members derive their uniqueness from within the team itself (Leroy et al., 2021). This aspect of the analysis is associated with the concept of team-derived inclusion (Higdon, 2016; Liang, Dai and Matthews, 2020; Matthews, 2018). Researchers have also pointed out that all members of a team should be encouraged to express their views freely because they are part of the main team membership structure (Khan et al., 2020). Similarly, they are encouraged to openly express their unique viewpoints and defend them, if there is a need to do so (Khan et al., 2020). This analysis was done by evaluating the role of leadership in fostering creativity within teams in an organizational setting.

Similarly, in an organizational context, Bjørkelo et al. (2021) ‘did a similar study to understand how organizations retain employees from diverse backgrounds in the public service sector. The researchers say that much of the evidence on diversity management in an organizational setting stems from the concept of representative bureaucracy (Bjørkelo et al., 2021). It suggests that organizations should have their employee makeup mirror that of the society from which it comes (Bjørkelo et al., 2021). These recommendations were developed after reviewing data from official statistics and interviews with notable personalities who were conversant with the concept of diversity in management (Bjørkelo et al., 2021). These sources of data advocate for the need for organizations to train their employees on the need to embrace diversity in the workplace.

The role of leadership in fostering creativity within the organization is also supported by studies, which show its importance in developing students’ talents. For example, Cheung, Hui, and Cheung (2020) link leadership and creativity to the emergence of a new crop of gifted students within several educational levels. The emergence of this group of students was also associated with the need for educationists to understand diverse educational and affective needs (Cheung, 2020). The recognition of these needs has also been linked to the development of diversity within the school setting (Bjørkelo et al., 2021). It has also been related to positive educational outcomes including curriculum development, student development, and parents’ empowerment (Cheung, 2020). Overall, they suggest the existence of a link between creativity and leadership

Diversity in the Educational Setting

The education sector lags behind others in embracing diversity in leadership (Bislev, 2017; Javaid, Söilen and Le, 2020). Thomson and Davignon (2017) also hold this view by saying that despite the potential that diversity holds in improving institutional practices it remains an aspirational quality for most organizations, in terms of policy and practice. The current works of the literature suggest that most of the gains made in promoting diversity in the higher education field have been centered on promoting gender equality (Worsham et al., 2021). For example, a study authored by Aiston and Yang (2017), which was based in Hong Kong, showed similarities in the underrepresentation of women in Hong Kong and western societies. Therefore, for a long time, discussions on diversity have mostly centered on promoting gender equality in education.

Recently, discussions have moved from advancing gender diversity to promoting the representation of minority groups in leadership. Particularly, such debates have been reported in most institutions of higher education (Aiston and Yang, 2017). An English-based study authored by Fernando (2020) shows the scope of this problem by suggesting that it is notably prevalent in senior positions of England’s higher education sector.

A study by Arday (2018) also highlighted the importance of diversity in leadership by mentioning the underrepresentation of ethnic minorities in leadership. Specifically, the researchers made note of the exclusion of ethnic minorities in educational leadership circles among egalitarian nations (Aiston and Yang, 2017). These countries are often associated with equality and diversity but a culture that does not support it makes it difficult to exercise these qualities in the higher education setting (Arday, 2018). Some authors have also pointed out that the current education system rarely integrates the views of foreign students due to inherent biases in leadership practices that promote a monolithic way of thinking (Prewett, Bergin and Huang, 2019; Chen, 2017). When using race as the primary object of analysis, the quest by some leaders to advance their careers prevents most of them from achieving the true diversity goals in leadership.

Apart from race, diversity has also been explored from the perspective of people’s sexual orientation. Lee (2020) conducted such a study by investigating difficulties that Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) teachers experience when trying to ascend to leadership positions. The author suggests that to solve some of the social barriers affecting the involvement of these minorities in leadership positions, actions should be focused on subscribing to the values of authentic leadership, which celebrate inclusion and diversity (Lee, 2020). The same values also encourage education institutions to accept differences among students and teachers as well as challenge existing dogma on leadership to create opportunities for improvement (Veiga, Magalhães and Amaral, 2019). In this regard, it is recommended that teachers receive training and mentoring about diversity to incorporate them into leadership positions (Finn, Mihut and Darmody, 2021). These measures have been proposed to understand how courageous leaders can inspire teachers and students to take the mantle of leadership.

Challenges of Underrepresentation

Research shows that some of the problems of underrepresentation of minority groups stem from the number of leadership positions available and the methodologies selected by an institution or organization to identify their leaders (Hansen and Clark, 2020). Relative to this assertion, it is reported that organizations, which have many representative positions in their leadership structures, tend to have more minorities and women represented in their overall structures (Broadhurst, Ferreira and Berkeley, 2021). Similarly, those that have few such positions tend to be patriarchal as the dominant leaders jostle for power, devoid of the need to be representative of their communities.

The struggles expressed by Chinese students towards reaching high levels of educational leadership have been traced to several factors affecting people’s perceptions of ethnic minorities (Mullen, 2017). Particularly, Palaiologou and Male (2019) draw our attention to the role that early childhood plays in creating an environment of prejudice and disposition of ethnic minorities. They posit that this type of education helps to create prejudices and biases among students and teachers regarding ethnic minorities. Therefore, researchers say that the exclusion of ethnic minorities from leadership stems from the history of societies, their surrounding cultures, and subjective perspectives about racial struggles that influence how well an organization understands the importance of embracing diversity (Wu, 2020).

Market-related challenges have also been identified to influence diversity development in the educational setting. In line with these observations, researchers have recommended that students be taught about the importance of diversity and social inclusion in their educational curriculum (Grier, 2020). The goal is to build awareness among them, such that they do not pose a barrier to the development of new ideas for fostering inclusivity in leadership. This problem is also present in specialized schools that teach children with disabilities (Cooc and Yang, 2016). Evidence shows that racial disparities are also witnessed when analyzing the qualification of teachers in these schools with educators from minority groups having the least qualifications compared to their counterparts from majority ethnic groups (Lyons, Brasof and Baron, 2020; Raaper, 2021).

Relative to this assertion, Janssens and Zanoni (2021) say that to address the problem of diversity in leadership, leaders need to move beyond the ideation of diversity as a concept and refrain from relying on empirical pieces of evidence that have traditionally limited people’s understanding of diversity and its role in promoting social change. In this regard, the concept of diversity should not be regarded as an emerging concept but rather one that has reached maturity.

Summary

This literature review has highlighted current leadership practices adopted in the higher education sector. Particularly, the attention has been centered on explaining the importance of diversity in this area of administration. However, there is a gap in the literature because none of the researchers addresses leadership issues from the perspective of international students. This core area of research is instrumental in understanding how students’ views could help to improve higher education leadership practices.

Methodology

This section of the study highlights techniques used by the researcher to meet the objectives of the study. Key tenets of this section follow the works of Melnikovas (2018), which explain processes associated with developing academic studies. The author says that research studies are conducted in five phases, including philosophy, approach, strategies, choices, and time horizons (Melnikovas, 2018), as described in figure 3.1 below.

Research stages and processes
Figure 3.1 Research stages and processes (Source: Melnikovas, 2018).

Research Philosophy

The belief a researcher maintains in conducting a study is embodied in the philosophy chosen to undertake it. Relative to this statement, researchers use four main philosophies to conduct their studies: interpretivism, positivism, pragmatism, and realism (Creswell, 2014; Punch, 2009; Woodley and Smith, 2020). Based on the suitability of each of the research philosophies highlighted, the interpretivism framework emerged as the best fit for the present investigation. It suggests that a research issue should be viewed from the environmental context of analysis (Melnikovas, 2018). Its selection is informed by the subjective nature of leadership and the complexity of understanding sociocultural issues affecting international students’ experiences in the UK that shape their views on leadership.

Research Approach

Given that the present study uses the views of a few people to understand the importance of integrating the voices of international students in higher education leadership, the inductive research approach was the best fit for the investigation (Hatta et al., 2020). The researcher selected the technique because it attends to the context of a research topic (Cohen et al., 2011), which was higher education. In this regard, the inductive approach used in the study helped the researcher to facilitate the use of views from one group of international students to generalize those of international students regarding shared leadership. Punch (2009) and Creswell (2014) argue that this is made possible because the inductive approach allows for flexibility and the generation of new theoretical foundations in a study.

Research Strategy

The techniques adopted by a researcher to answer study questions depend on the strategies adopted. As highlighted by Melnikovas (2018) in figure 3.1 above, researchers have an option of choosing from several strategies, including surveys and case studies, when designing their research plans. The researcher used the case study approach in the current investigation because the evidence used in the investigation was gathered from a group of international students in a UK university to make inferences about leadership practices in the higher education sector. This approach helped the researcher to get in-depth data about the research issue through a multifaceted understanding of the contribution that shared leadership would have in higher education leadership. The ability of the case study approach to provide such rich data has been highlighted by SageYin (2004) and Yin (2013) who advocate for its use when exploring complex and subjective issues, such as leadership.

As highlighted in this investigation, the importance of integrating the views of foreign students in higher education leadership would be investigated by sampling those of Chinese students. This research strategy was selected for the current investigation because international students in the UK form a significant percentage of the student population and their views could be sampled using the case study research approach. In this context of analysis, the Higher Education Statistics Agency (2021) says there are about 485,645 out of 2,383, 970 foreign students in UK universities and colleges. Given that Chinese students form a significant percentage of the foreign student population, they account for about 120,385 of the total sample of international learners (Higher Education Statistics Agency, 2021). This variation in student population highlights the importance of sampling the views of Chinese students when understanding the views of international learners in the UK.

The case study approach was instrumental in getting in-depth views of a sample of Chinese international students studying in UK institutions of higher education. The justification for its use in the present investigation was also influenced by the understanding that diversity in leadership requires a careful understanding of the depth and experiences of international students, which was best captured using the case study approach (Melnikovas, 2018). Additionally, researchers hail the use of case studies in such research contexts because it allows them to capture a range of perspectives about specific research phenomena, some of which cannot be easily obtained using a survey or similar research strategies (Melnikovas, 2018).

Research Choice

The qualitative research approach was the main research choice for the present investigation. It is primarily preoccupied with the use of non-statistical tools of data collection and analysis to answer a research question (Hesse et al., 2019). Its relevance to the current topic was influenced by the subjective nature of the two main research variables in the study: student voice and leadership. In other words, the qualitative research choice allowed the researcher to understand the subjective contexts of the respondents’ views regarding the research topic. In this regard, it was possible to understand their attributes and views about leadership by assessing subjective variables affecting leadership, including attitudes, culture, norms, and values that may be held by international students and enrich leadership practices in the broader context of higher education governance (Hesse et al., 2019).

Time Horizon

Research variables can be assessed using either cross-sectional or longitudinal methods. Cross-sectional research is often used in situations where variables are analyzed for a specific period, while the longitudinal technique is applied when there is an intention to measure variables over a long time (Banning et al., 2020). Based on these differences, the cross-sectional time horizon was used for the present study because the research phenomenon was investigated at one point in time (Saito and Liu, 2021). Therefore, the longitudinal research design was not applicable in the current investigation because the researcher sampled the respondents’ views in one session.

Data Collection

The present study will include data from two sources: interviews and secondary research. Interviews provided the main source of data, while the information collected from secondary research was used to complement the primary data. Researchers have mainly used the interview technique to understand the views of researchers regarding various subjects or issues in research (Blake et al., 2021; Irvine, 2011). Therefore, by sampling the views of a small number of people, the researcher effectively obtained different types of data relating to the views of international students regarding leadership in the higher education field, including the attributes, behaviors, feelings, preferences, opinions, and knowledge about diversity that would enhance the quality of leadership in the higher education sector. Therefore, primary data from interviews provided the foundation for the development of the present findings.

The interview questions were open-ended and tailored towards obtaining in-depth information relating to leadership practices in the higher education setting (see appendix 1). Different aspects of leadership were included in the probe, including discussions on problem-solving, development of policy-making decisions, the power balance between students and administrators, and creativity in leadership. These aspects of leadership behavior are highlighted in research studies, such as Kim, Baik, and Kim (2019) because of their importance in maintaining effective leadership practices in the education sector. Notably, in the higher education field, researchers such as Winther (2018), Thao, and Kang (2018) have mentioned the same leadership qualities in developing effective policies on governance.

Focus group discussions were available as an alternative method of collecting primary data, but it was difficult to get all respondents at one meeting place due to logistical and scheduling reasons. The interviews were conducted in person at the school cafeteria in compliance with UK government guidelines on COVID-19 infection control measures (see appendix 3) (Davis et al., 2021). These guidelines are focused on reducing the rate of transmission by minimizing social contact among interviewers and interviewees as well as wearing a mask to minimize infection rates between them.

As mentioned above, secondary data provided auxiliary information relating to the respondents’ views on how decisions should be made at the highest level of university leadership. The main sources of secondary information were books, journals, and reputable websites. This type of information was included in the investigation to maintain the reliability and credibility of the data used in the research. Secondary data was sourced online through reputable databases, including Sage Journals, Springer Link, Google Books, and Emerald. The pieces of information sourced from these databases were instrumental in contextualizing student voice within the wider realm of education leadership. They were further examined to understand its correlation with leadership practices in the higher education sector.

Research Participants and Sampling Method

Before taking part in the study, the researcher made the participants aware of the objectives and characteristics of the current investigation in an introductory letter mailed to them (see appendix 4). This letter detailed the purpose of the study, its risks, and its techniques. After following these steps, the researcher interviewed 12 respondents in alignment with the views of Davis et al. (2021), which suggests that 10 to 40 respondents are an appropriate number of people for conducting qualitative interviews. Based on this identifying criterion, the researcher recruited 12 students based on the case study strategy identified in this paper. Respondents were invited to take part in the study by filling a participant information sheet (see appendix 3), which contained information relating to the privacy and confidentiality of data, identification of persons supposed to participate in the investigation, and the channels of communication that have to be followed if an informant has a complaint.

The researcher recruited students to participate in the study using the purposeful sampling method. It works by allowing a researcher to gain access to participants using their best judgment (Massachusetts Medical Society, 2018). The researcher used the purposeful sampling method in the study because it was important in identifying Chinese students from the larger body of students at the selected university. Therefore, the characteristic of the selected group of informants was the main justification for the use of the purposeful sampling method. Gentles and Vilches (2017) support this statement by saying that the purposeful sampling method is appropriate for selecting respondents with unique demographic traits because it can help to identify a small group of people from a larger population of individuals that fit desired characteristics. Therefore, the design and goal of the study, which is to understand the views of international students in higher education leadership by sampling the views of Chinese respondents, influenced the selection of the sampling design. Table 3.1 below shows a breakdown of the real sample based on the field and year of study.

Table 3.1 Participants breakdown (Source: Developed by Author).

Participant Field of Study Year of Study
1. Education 1
2. Business Management 2
3. Education 3
4. Education 3
5. Engineering 3
6. Law 3
7. Education 2
8. Education 2
9. Health and Medicine 1
10. Education 4
11. Health and Medicine 4
12. Law 4

Data Analysis

Steps taken by the researcher to analyze data was informed by the research approach and data collection techniques highlighted in this chapter. To recap, the main source of information was interviewing and, in line with the recommendations of Nowell et al. (2017), Morgan and Nica (2020) on the analysis of such types of data, the thematic and coding methods were used for data analysis purposes. This technique works by categorizing respondent’s views into key thematic areas that may be linked with the objectives of the study (Xu and Zammit, 2020). The researcher followed six key steps, proposed by Ummar and Saleem (2020), as outlined in table 3.2 below.

Table 3.2 Steps in thematic and coding method (Source: Developed by Author).

Step Action
1 Familiarization with data
2 Coding
3 Generating themes
4 Reviewing themes
5 Defining and naming themes
6 Writing up the final report

These stages of the data analysis processes were followed systematically to allow the researcher to understand how the views shared by the respondents helped to answer the research questions.

Three thematic areas were identified in the study – problem-solving, policy formulation, and power balance. These areas of analysis were identified as being pivotal to our understanding of shared leadership because they have been highlighted by researchers as being instrumental in developing effective leadership practices (Eshghinejad and Moini, 2016; Jabbar et al., 2020). These three thematic areas also characterized the main research questions posed to the respondents (see interview protocol in appendix 1). Therefore, there was synchrony of data between the data collection and analysis phases. Each of the thematic areas was represented by a unique code, where problem-solving was coded as No.1; policy-making was No. 2, and power balance was No. 3. Table 3.3 below provides a summary of the findings.

Table 3.3 Resulting Codes (Source: Developed by Author).

Theme Code
Problem-solving 1
Policymaking 2
Power Balance 3

Research Ethics

Issues relating to consent, privacy/anonymity of respondents, confidentiality, and treatment of data, as highlighted by Stokes (2017), Sekaran and Bougie (2016), formed the basis for developing the ethical implications of the study. These issues are discussed below in detail.

Consent

One of the foundational principles of research ethics is obtaining informed consent from participants. According to Humphreys (2016), researchers should allow them to make a choice regarding participation in a research investigation freely and with full knowledge of what it entails. In line with these guidelines, respondents who took part in the investigation did so voluntarily. Stated differently, the researcher did not coerce them or provide financial incentives to take part in the study. The aim of doing so was to maintain objectivity in the research process by obtaining views from students who wish to give their honest views on the subject matter (Braun, Ravn and Frankus, 2020). Therefore, the researcher only sought the views of respondents who gave their consent freely to take part in the investigation.

The above-mentioned guidelines were included in the informed consent form (see appendix 2). It also contained provisions stipulating conditions for the exit of respondents from the investigation without any repercussions to them. In other words, participants could withdraw from the investigation without suffering any consequence. The informed consent form also contained details regarding the recording of audio tapes for the interviews. Stated differently, the respondents gave their consent to have their voices recorded by signing the informed consent form. It was primarily developed to protect the interests of the informants when obtaining data. The recorded interviews have been transcribed and appear in appendix 5.

Anonymity and Confidentiality

The views of the respondents were presented anonymously to protect their identity from any consequences that may arise out of their participation in the study. Therefore, no identifiable variables relating to the informant’s identity, besides being international students of Chinese origin, were included in the study. This strategy is consistent with the views of Davies (2020), which encourages researchers to take necessary steps to ensure the protection of private data. The researcher also protected the respondent’s confidentiality by taking steps to make sure others do not discover the identity of the respondents. The thematic and coding method, highlighted above, helped to achieve this objective by delinking the respondent’s views from their names using codes. Thus, the findings were presented anonymously and confidentially.

Treatment of Data

The researcher stored the information obtained from the respondents safely in a computer and secured it using a password. This measure was taken to minimize the possibility of unauthorized persons accessing the data and altering it or taking information without consent (Glenna et al., 2019). This step was taken to safeguard the integrity of this study by protecting the interests of the respondents at different stages of the research process, including collection, dissemination, and analysis of data. After the research process is completed and the purpose of the investigation fulfilled, the researcher will destroy the information stored in the computer. Similarly, audio recordings of the interviews will be destroyed to prevent unauthorized use or the utilization of the same information for any other purpose besides the original intention, which is to understand the importance of integrating the voices of international students in higher education leadership. Overall, the measures taken to protect the integrity of data are consistent with the views of Melnikovas (2018), which emphasize the importance of researchers to take necessary measures to protect the integrity of information collected from respondents in qualitative interviews.

Limitations of Study

The findings highlighted above are limited to educational leadership in the higher education sector. This means that they are mostly relevant to tertiary learning institutions and not primary or secondary education levels. Furthermore, the findings highlighted above represent the views of international students who came from China and are studying in the UK. This means that their views do not represent those of students who are UK citizens but of Chinese descent. Therefore, the findings are those of students who have come from China and are currently studying in the UK.

Discussion and Findings

In this section of the dissertation, the findings of the study are outlined because 12 respondents were interviewed by the researcher to understand their views regarding the importance of including foreign students’ views in higher education. The interview protocol contained five key pointers that focused on understanding their views regarding problem-solving, creativity, policy-making, and power balance between students and teachers. The thematic and coding methods were used to analyze their findings and the results are as depicted below.

Problem-Solving

Problem-solving emerged as a core theme in the analysis because it is a core function of leadership. To meet this objective, the research respondents were asked to give their views regarding how shared leadership would influence problem-solving. The respondents all agreed that including alternative voices in the existing leadership plans would have a positive impact on problem-solving. Particularly, they mentioned that doing so helps to increase innovation and creativity, which are essential components of problem-solving. To support this claim, one of the respondents said,

I believe that seeking our views would help to solve some of the problems we experience as students. For example, the issues we encounter in school stem from weaknesses in the implementation of policies that are supposed to facilitate the integration of minority students in the wider student body. I believe it can be addressed by drawing on the experiences of many countries around the world that have undertaken similar programs and the answer is simple….we have a different learning experience, which is yet to be harnessed. I use my skills to solve my problem, so I do not understand why it should be the same in a broader institutional setting. For example, in my hometown, which is largely a tourist area, everyone’s views are respected. I could simply draw on these unique experiences to lead teams of students to come up with innovative ideas that would help the school come up with better solutions for some of our problems.

Based on the above statement, the respondents believed that they had unique experiences that they could draw from to solve problems that affect students in the higher education sector.

Specifically, the respondents claimed that diversity helps to eliminate the monolithic way of thinking that has hampered progress in various aspects of educational development. This aspect of analysis has been highlighted in marketing research, which has shown that including alternative voices helps to relate more with consumers and retailers, thereby allowing them to better solve their problems (Eshghinejad and Moini, 2016; Jabbar et al., 2020). To support this statement, one of the respondents gave an example of a local retail business in his hometown, which grew fast because of the diversity of its employees.

He further remarked that most of the employees were young people with a vision to change how people perceived their retail business. By deploying digital channels of communication, they were able to create a new audience that would not have been formed if the managers stuck to their old habits. The change helped to address one of the most difficult challenges for the company, which was to expand its market share against the background that the organization’s leaders had run out of ideas for achieving this objective. Therefore, the researcher believed that diversity helped in creating solutions to age-old problems. One of the respondents also gave an example of how his willingness to embrace diversity in his high school years when he was a school prefect helped him to carry out his tasks effectively. To support this assertion, the respondent said,

I have had my share of trouble trying to solve problems the old way using conventional reasoning but to no avail. It is only until I chose to be open-minded about these issues that I found a solution to my problems. All this happened in my last year in high school and I found it interesting that the most useful ideas I came up with stemmed from my interaction with students who I would not typically talk to. Just to bring it closer home, I have had similar experiences at home because I am a firstborn. Naturally, in our culture, being the firstborn is a respectable title because your siblings tend to listen to what you have to say. At first, I used to give direction about what needs to be done but I have found a greater level of success and satisfaction working with other people. I believe it is the same for problem-solving because two minds are better than one. Better yet, when minds that can draw from different experiences are put together to solve a problem, the result would be better than if one person was doing the job.

Based on the findings highlighted above, the respondents argued that including the voices of international students would enhance leadership, at least from a problem-solving perspective.

Creativity

The theme of creativity was intertwined with the concept of problem-solving because the respondents seemed to be using both concepts interchangeably with the assumption that the latter requires creativity. Therefore, similar in the manner that they unanimously agreed that alternative views would have an impact on problem-solving they made the same claim when they were asked about its role in fostering creativity. Although the respondents unanimously agreed that coming up with new solutions to problems would foster creativity, research evidence suggests that significant cultural differences between certain segments of the international student population would make it difficult to achieve the level of creativity mentioned by the respondents. Particularly, an extensive body of literature explains the differences between the culture of Chinese students and mainstream peers studying in the UK (Wu, 2020; Zhang and Beck, 2017).

In fact, according to Liang, Dai, and Matthews (2020), this is one of the most notable struggles for Chinese students because some of them have trouble integrating with the host culture due to its foreignness. Although there is a significant difference between the culture of Chinese and UK students, there needs to be a keen understanding of the role of people’s individualism within the larger group context. This statement is true because of the need to prevent cultural bias from happening when assessing the contributions of different ethnic groups in leadership practices.

The respondents did not mention the cultural differences between China and the UK when answering the above-mentioned questions. However, one of the respondents insinuated that creativity could not thrive in an environment where there are different strains on knowledge creation and student interaction processes among peers. To illustrate this point, he said,

The biggest problem I have encountered is maintaining the social pace of my peers. Particularly, I find that hanging out in the pub with my schoolmates is a socially draining affair but I have to do it to maintain social connections with my peers. You can understand how this affects creativity because it strains social connections and poisons the environment that should ideally nurture creativity.

Overall, the informants believed that including the views of foreign students in educational leadership allows institutions of higher learning to draw on their unique experiences to foster creativity in leadership.

From this analysis, a collaborative model of leadership is emerging in these discussions and it is characterized by having a greater number of people in decision-making positions, the ability to interchange leadership and followership positions, and the reluctance to entrench leadership positions in power or authority. The collaborative model of leadership maximizes the contribution that diverse groups of people can make towards improving leadership effectiveness. This approach to governance is based on a binary understanding of the role of the leader and follower in an organizational setting. Stated differently, it gives the two parties equal importance in the management of education issues. They could do so by integrating the collaborative input of students in their plans to realize collective educational goals.

The respondents also hinted that shared leadership does not lose sight of the importance of having a central authority in management because it safeguards the need to maintain power at a central place. However, it is preoccupied with developing effective modalities for sharing this authority and developing an infrastructure for distributing this power among various levels of control without necessarily brewing conflict, as has been the case with past leadership models. The goal is to capitalize on the expertise of different groups of people present in an educational setting to realize greater team performance. From this background, it is important to seek innovative leadership practices that can address current uncertainties impacting higher education. At the same time, the information is essential in developing a framework for nurturing effective leadership practices in UK universities. Indeed, characterized by the influx of different ideas and models of governance, new forms of leadership practices are associated with the need to help educators navigate the complexity of today’s environmental influences on learning.

Policy-Making

Policy-making was the fourth theme that emerged from the study and it focused on the potential of higher education institutions to improve their business processes by integrating the views of minority student groups. When the respondents were asked to give their insights regarding the effects of including the views of international students in policy-making processes, they expressed a mixture of feelings. Particularly, most of the respondents believed that including alternative views in policy-making decisions would not work because of the cultural hurdle that mainstream students and administrators have to overcome before allowing the views of minority students to be immortalized through administrative policies. This statement suggested that the respondents acknowledged the existence of a psychological barrier to the inclusion of alternative views in policy-making. To support this assertion, one of the respondents said,

You see the problem is not that I do not believe our views would not affect policy-making decisions, but we have a long way to go before we can see our contributions appear in policies developed by the university. Therefore, first, I think we should focus on just making them understand that our views are important. Later, we could make advancements in this line of reasoning by trying to encourage them to include our views in the institution’s policies.

This statement showed that some of the respondents believed that the role that international students can play in improving the leadership practices of higher education professionals should not be viewed from a policy perspective because it should come at the end of the inclusion process. Instead, they believed that efforts should be directed towards making school administrators understand the importance of including diverse views in their leadership practices. This statement also means that the students had little faith in their university’s leadership, especially in trusting them to go a step further from listening to their views in developing policies that affect the learning environment.

The skepticism expressed by some of the respondents regarding the willingness of the school leadership to change its policies is similar to the views of Veiga, Magalhães, and Amaral (2019) who mentioned the rigidity and difficulty of changing some educational policies because they have implications on other aspects of school leadership, including curriculum development and teacher training. Therefore, the hesitation noted by some of the respondents is natural, given that institutions of higher learning need to be careful about making significant changes to their policy frameworks due to its implications on other aspects of the school’s operations (Abril and Gault, 2020; Souto-Otero, 2019). Broadly, based on the tone of the informant’s responses, most of them were unsure about the impact that including the voices of international students would have on their school’s policy. Most of them felt it would have little or no effect on the strength of existing policies.

Maintaining Power Balance

The last theme that emerged from the study related to the power balance between school administrators and students. Including the views of international students in the leadership practices of higher institutions of learning was seen as balancing the power between both stakeholders. All the respondents believed that there was an unequal power balance between school authorities and students. Particularly, international students were singled out as having experienced the most significant power distance because they are foreign students. To affirm this finding, one respondent said,

I do not think there is a similar power distance between teachers and international students in a conventional manner we would analyze this relationship. I say this because foreign students have more to deal with when interacting with teachers and other students in the learning environment compared to mainstream students. For example, we have challenges acclimating to our new environment – a challenge that mainstream students do not have. Therefore, they feel more connected to the teachers and their environment, thereby minimizing the power distance between them.

A student’s language was also mentioned as a moderating variable affecting the power balance between students and teachers with three of the respondents admitting that their lack of proficiency in English hinders their engagement with teachers, thereby expanding the power distance between the two. Therefore, there was an overall feeling that international students do not benefit from the same power relationship with teachers that mainstream students enjoy, thereby limiting their participation in leadership activities.

The importance of power distance between students and teachers has been highlighted in several research studies that have focused on understanding barriers affecting teacher-student communication (Finn, Mihut and Darmody, 2021; Prewett, Bergin and Huang, 2019; Tian and Virtanen, 2020). Some studies have contextualized the problem among Chinese students because of the cultural gap that exists between them and their UK counterparts (Xu, 2021; Zhang and Beck, 2017). Others have investigated the same issue out of the UK and highlighted significant differences that power distance plays in affecting leadership practices in the higher education setting (Eshghinejad and Moini, 2016; Jabbar et al., 2020). Nonetheless, the respondents affirmed that the integration of alternative views would help to minimize the gap in power between students and school administrators.

Given current trends and influences affecting the higher education sector, there is a need to find appropriate leadership practices that would sufficiently address current leadership issues. This shared model of implementing leadership practices represents a paradigm shift in how institutions of higher education are structured and managed because, in the past, the sector was designed to respond well to a top-down management structure, but this is changing. Consequently, educators and students are experiencing a period of significant transformational change. It is characterized by an evolving relationship between teachers and students that is influenced by changes in power dynamics between both of them.

Summary

This chapter has summarized the views of 12 respondents who took part in the investigation to understand the importance of integrating the voices of foreign students in the management of universities and colleges in the UK. According to the structure of the thematic and coding method, which was applied in the data analysis process, four themes emerged from the study, and each one of them was assigned a unique code for identifying how they help to address the quality of leadership in higher education sector. The themes are creativity, problem-solving, maintaining power distance between students and school administrators, and policy-making. Including the voices of international students in educational leadership had a positive effect on three out of the four themes sampled – creativity, problem-solving, and maintaining a healthy power distance between students and school administrators. The respondents believed that their views would have the least effect on policy-making because leaders were yet to be open about including the views of international students in school policies. Nonetheless, the findings espoused above suggest that the views of international students help to improve higher education leadership.

Conclusion and Recommendations

Conclusion

From the onset of this study, the researcher strived to understand the importance of including the views of foreign students in the management of UK colleges and universities. The investigation was aimed at answering three research questions. The first one was intended to investigate the contribution that international students could make in problem-solving, the development of school policies, and the power balance between students and administrators. The insights provided by the respondents showed that shared leadership has a positive impact on the two areas highlighted above. In other words, including the views of international students in the school leadership structure would have a positive impact on problem-solving and policy compliance. This finding is consistent with extant literature, which attributes the positive impacts of diversity to the benefits of shared leadership.

The researchers also suggested that the full implementation of shared leadership practices in the UK higher education sector would affect the power balance between teachers and students in favor of the latter. This is because past decision-making structures gave teachers undue influence in the management of institutional affairs. Overall, these insights highlight the importance of integrating the voices of international students in educational leadership.

Recommendations

The racial and national characterises of the respondents limited the scope of the information obtained in this study. For example, the views highlighted in this research topic are presented from students’ perspectives. This means that they are not representative of the views of other educational stakeholders, such as teachers and education staff. Future research should investigate the importance of integrating the voices of international students from the perspective of teachers and other cadres of staff in the higher education sector. Doing so will provide a broader comprehension of the main topic because the views of teaching staff could be compared with those of students highlighted in this paper, to have a broader understanding of the research topic. Furthermore, the current research methodology was reliant on the qualitative interviewing method, which formed the framework for the data collection process. In the future, researchers may consider using a different data collection technique to validate the findings.

For example, quantitative methods of data collection may be employed in future investigations by getting a larger sample of respondents to answer the research questions. Such data can then be compared with the qualitative findings highlighted in this document to identify areas of consistency or divergences of views. Thereafter, these differences or similarities can be investigated further to understand the topic more intricately.

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Zhang, M. et al. (2021) ‘Exploring teacher leadership and the factors contributing to it: an empirical study on Chinese private higher education institutions’, SAGE Open, 7(2), pp. 1-11.

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Zheng, Y. et al. (2020) ‘Service leadership, work engagement, and service performance: the moderating role of leader skills’, Group and Organization Management, 45(1), pp. 43–74.

Appendix Section

Appendix 1: Interview Protocol

  1. How would you characterize the relationship between student voice and leadership in the higher education sector?
  2. In what ways do you think adding the voices of international students to school leadership would affect problem solving, as an important role in leadership?
  3. How do you think international students would influence the policy-making direction in the UK higher education setting?
  4. In what ways do you think involving international students in leadership positions would impact the power balance between them and other students?
  5. If you were to imagine a perfect scenario where students openly engaged with educators on leadership issues, how do you think it would look like?

Appendix 2: Consent Form

Topic: Importance of Integrating the Voices of International Students in Higher Educational Leadership: A Case of Chinese Students in the United Kingdom (UK)

If you are happy to participate in the study, please complete and sign the consent form below

Activities Initials
1 I confirm that I have read the attached information sheet for the above study and have had the opportunity to consider the information and ask questions and had these answered satisfactorily answered.
2 I understand that my participation in the study is voluntary and that I am free to withdraw at any time without giving a reason and without detriment to myself. I understand that it will not be possible to remove my data from the project once it has been anonymised and forms part of the data set.

I agree to take part on this basis.

3 I agree to the interviews being audio recorded
4 I agree that my voice may be used for publications/conference presentations/teaching purposes.
5 I agree that any data collected may be included in anonymous form
6 I understand that individuals may look at data collected during the study from the university, where it is relevant to my taking part in this research. I give permission for these individuals to have access to my data.
7 I agree to take part in this study.

The following activities are optional; you may participate in the research without agreeing to the following:

8 I agree that the researchers may contact me in future about other research projects.
9 I agree that the researchers may retain my contact details in order to provide me with a summary of the findings for this study.

Data Protection

The personal information we collect and use to conduct this research will be processed in accordance with UK data protection laws as explained in the Participant Information Sheet and the Privacy Notice for Research Participants.

________________________ ________________________

Name of Participant Signature Date

________________________ ________________________

Name of the person taking consent Signature Date.

Appendix 3: Participant Information Sheet

You are being invited to take part in a research study addressing the importance including the views of international students in higher education leadership, using Chinese students studying in the UK as a case study. Before you decide whether to take part, it is important for you to understand why the research is being conducted and what it will involve. Please take time to read the following information carefully before deciding whether to take part, and discuss it with others if you wish. Additionally, feel free to seek clarification if there is anything that is not clear or if you would like more information. Thank you for taking the time to read this.

About the research

  • Who will conduct the research?

I will be conducting the research

  • What is the purpose of the research?

To investigate the importance of including the views of international students in higher education leadership, using Chinese students studying in the UK as a case study

  • Will the outcomes of the research be published?

The findings of the study will only be used to fulfil my academic requirements. Therefore, it will not be published outside of the university.

  • Who has reviewed the research project?

This research project has been reviewed by my academic supervisors and complies with the ethical procedures and guidelines governing the development of dissertations

What would my involvement be?

  • What would I be asked to do if I took part?

By taking part in the study, you would be expected to spare an hour of your time discussing the importance of including the views of international students in educational leadership. The interview will be done at the school cafeteria and it will be transcribed for purposes of cross-checking facts.

  • Will I be compensated for taking part?

No. You will be required to participate in the study voluntarily and without any financial incentive.

  • What happens if I do not want to take part or if I change my mind?

It is up to you to decide whether or not to take part. If you do not wish to take part, simply ignore this request but If you do decide to take part you will be given this information sheet to keep and will be asked to sign a consent form. If you decide to take part you are still free to withdraw at any time without giving a reason and without detriment to yourself. However, it will not be possible to remove your data from the project once it has been anonymised as we will not be able to identify your specific data. This does not affect your data protection rights. If you decide not to take part you do not need to do anything further. Given that the interview will be recorded, you are also at liberty to decline such a request without any repercussions. Additionally, if you feel uncomfortable recording the interview in real time, you are also free to request me to stop.

Data Protection and Confidentiality

What information will you collect about me?

In order to participate in this research project we will need to collect information that could identify you, called “personal identifiable information”. Specifically we will need to collect your:

  1. Name.
  2. Contact Details.
  3. Education program being pursued.
  4. Age.
  5. Gender.

For the audio recordings, we will collect:

Voice only during the oral interview

Under what legal basis are you collecting this information?

We are collecting and storing this personal identifiable information in accordance with UK data protection law, which protect your rights. These state that we must have a legal basis (specific reason) for collecting your data. For this study, the specific reason is that it is in fulfilment of my degree requirements.

What are my rights in relation to the information you will collect about me?

You have a number of rights under data protection law regarding your personal information. For example you can request a copy of the information we hold about you, including audio recordings and contact details.

Will my participation in the study be confidential and my personal identifiable information be protected?

We are responsible for making sure your personal information is kept secure, confidential and used only in the way you have been told it will be used. All researchers are trained with this in mind, and your data will be looked after in the following way:

  • Your data will be fully anonymised and destroyed after 5 years.
  • Your identity will be a code only known to the researcher.
  • Data will be stored in the researcher’s computer and secured using a password only known to them.
  • Data will solely be used for academic purposes and will not be transferred to any other agency.
  • The researcher will undertake data transcribing processes and the information will be coded as well.

What if I have a complaint?

In case of any complaint, please contact my supervisor, whose details appear below:

Contact details for complaints

XXXXX

Additional Information In Relation To COVID-19

Your participation in this research will be tape-recorded and your personal data will be processed using the thematic and coding method. This means that your personal data will not be transferred to a country outside of the European Economic Area, some of which have not yet been determined by the United Kingdom to have an adequate level of data protection. The recordings will be destroyed following the completion of data collection. Due to the current COVID-19 pandemic, we have made some adjustments to the way in which this research study will be conducted that ensures we are adhering to the latest government advice in relation to social distancing as well as taking all reasonable precautions in terms of limiting the spread of the virus. You should carefully consider all of the information provided below before deciding if you still want to take part in this research study. If you choose not to take part, you need to inform the researcher. If you have any additional queries about any of the information provided, please speak with a member of the research team.

Are there any additional considerations that I need to know about before deciding whether I should take part?

No. There should be no risk to you since the research is being conducted virtually

Is there any additional information that I need to know?

Please, avail yourself on time for the interview.

What If the Government Guidance Changes?

If there are changes in government guidelines, we will communicate on an appropriate action accordingly

What If I Have Additional Queries?

Please contact my supervisor using the contact details outline here

Appendix 4: Introductory Letter

Dear Participant,

As part of my educational requirements at the University, I am completing a research project on understanding the importance of integrating the views of international students in educational leadership using Chinese students in the UK higher education sector as a case study. Would you be interested in taking part?

The investigation will not be about you specifically but about the collective views of Chinese (and by extension international students) in educational leadership in the UK higher education sector. If you would like to take part, I would invite you to take part in an interview in which I would ask you some questions about your experiences. This is likely to last between 30-45 minutes.

I will conduct the interview as the researcher. Anyone who is a student in the university and who hails from China can take part in the investigation, so feel free to invite your colleagues who fit the above profile and would be open to taking part in the study.

Few risks are involved in the interview and if you are free to stop at any time, you can.

If you want to take part, please reply to this email and let me know.

Best wishes,

_______

Appendix 5: Interview Transcripts

Interview 1

Researcher: Hello and welcome to the interview… How has your day been..?

Respondent 1: Quite hectic…uuhhm…I had an exam I had to sit for and immediately I was done, I had to rush here for the interview. At least I made it, right?

Researcher: Yes…you did and I am thankful for sparing some time…So, I guess we should go straight to it…

Respondent 1: Yes…Yes…No problem…

Researcher: How would you characterize the relationship between student voice and leadership in the higher education sector?

Respondent 1: Well…I believe it is important ….to the extent that it influences educational outcomes and ….uum…the learning environment as well…I suppose?

Researcher: Okay…In what ways do you think adding the voices of international students to school leadership would affect problem solving, as an important role in leadership?

Respondent 1: In leadership?

Researcher: Yes..

Respondent 1: Including alternative voices in existing leadership plans would have a positive impact on ….uummm….problem solving. Particularly, it helps to increase innovation and creativity in addressing issues affecting the education environment. Yeah…so, I think it makes it easier? Problem solving, I mean…

Researcher: Okay… let’s talk about policy-making, do you think it would have the same effect?

Respondent 1: Yes sure…involving the views of foreign students would increase the breadth of insight needed to develop good policies. However, we have to be careful about cultural differences…

Researcher: What differences?

Respondent 1: The cultural hurdle that foreign students and administrators have to overcome before allowing the views of minority students to be immortalized through administrative policies.

Researcher: So you think there is a psychological barrier to the inclusion of alternative views in policy-making?

Respondent 1: Uumm…yeah

Researcher: Okay, in what ways then do you think involving international students in leadership positions would affect the power balance between administrators, as you call them, and other students?

Respondent 1: First off, I believe the power between students and teachers is unbalanced in favour of teachers.

Researcher: You think so, huh?

Respondent 1: ….O focurse…I do not think there is a similar power distance between teachers and international students in the conventional manner we would analyse this relationship. I say this because foreign students have more to deal with when interacting with teachers and other students in the learning environment compared to mainstream students.

For example, we have challenges acclimating to our new environment – a challenge that mainstream students do not have. Therefore, they feel more connected to the teachers and their environment, thereby minimizing the power distance between them.

Researcher: Okay then…If you were to imagine a perfect scenario where students openly engaged with educators on leadership issues, how do you think it would look like?

Respondent 1: Uhh…that is a little too perfect to imagine. I guess in such an environment, students will be able to speak freely with teachers and administrators would willingly consult us, or show some concern about our unique needs…

Researcher: Hmmm…Okay, you mean the needs of international students.

Respondent 1: Yeah..

Researcher: Okay then….I do not want to take up more of your time. You have been of much help. Thank you for participating in the study

Respondent 1: It is my pleasure…

*End of Interview 1*

Interview 2

Researcher: Hello and welcome to the interview. I do not want to take up much of your time because I understand that there is a place you need to be…

Respondent 2: No problem, it is my pleasure to take part in your research.

Researcher: How would you characterize the relationship between student voice and leadership in the higher education sector?

Respondent 2: Well… they are sort of related, right? Student voice has to be part of the leadership structure of any institution…I believe. Learning is based on fulfilling the interests of students, so…I think student voice is important in leadership

Researcher: In what ways do you think adding the voices of international students to school leadership would affect problem solving, as an important role in leadership?

Respondent 2: Well… they are not so good in that, are they?

Researcher: Problem solving, you mean?

Respondent 2: Yeah.. (Laughs) but I am digressing…yes….yes… to answer your question, I think including alternative voices in existing leadership plans would have a positive impact on problem solving. Particularly, it helps to provide multiple perspectives on an issue…hence multiple solutions

Researcher:….and do you think international students would influence the policy-making direction in the UK higher education setting in the same way?

Respondent 2: Yes….it should be the same, although I think the degree varies…

Researcher: How?

Respondent 2: well…in terms of problem-solving, I do believe we have got a role to play in enhancing solutions available for known issues but it terms of policy-making our effect could be minimized, simply because polices take more time to be formulated and adopted. So, If I was tpo rank the two…uuhhmm…problem-solving would be number one and policy-making would be number two

Researcher: In what ways do you think involving international students in leadership positions would impact the power balance between them and other students?

Respondent 2: First off, I believe the power between students and teachers is unbalanced in favour of teachers because we are few compared to the general student population. Furthermore, I think it is only recently that some schools are adopting diversity management, which should have been a key requirement from the get-go.

Researcher: If you were to imagine a perfect scenario where students openly engaged with educators on leadership issues, how do you think it would look like?

Respondent 2: For starters, we would matter (chuckles)…Anyway, I believe that in such a scenario we would have the same influence as mainstream students. In other words, our influence would matter in the same way as that of a UK student here at the university.

Researcher: Okay then….I do not want to take up any more of your time. You have been of much help. Thank you for participating in the study

Respondent 2: It is my pleasure…

*End of Interview 2*

Interview 3

Researcher: Hello

Respondent 3: Hello

Researcher: Thank you for making the time to participate in the study. You showed up a bit late…

Respondent 3: Yes…yes…I am sorry about that; I got my timing mixed up a little…

Researcher: No problem, the most important thing is that you came.

Respondent 3: ….I agree…

Researcher: How would you characterize the relationship between student voice and leadership in the higher education sector?

Respondent 3: well…I think they are one in the same because student voice should be part of leadership. This is because the education system is designed to benefit students. Therefore, they should be consulted when making important decisions relating to their education

Researcher: In what ways do you think adding the voices of international students to school leadership would affect problem solving, as an important role in leadership?

Respondent 3: Including alternative voices in existing leadership plans would have a positive impact on problem solving. There are solutions that easily emerge when two or more people brainstorm. Can I tell you a story?

Researcher: Yes, sure…

Respondent 3: Well… there was this one time, I had a bugging issue and I could not seem to find the answer…I mean…I will not explain the issue here because it was a personal one. I had a random conversation with a stranger and he helped me think of my problem in a way that I never would have, if I were left by myself. See….it is this alternative view that helped me solve my problem. I believe the same is true for higher education leadership

Researcher: I see…so how do you think international students would influence the policy-making direction in the UK higher education setting?

Respondent 3: I think they would enrich it….

Researcher: How?

Respondent 3: Well…by making it more responsive to student needs…I mean I believe current policies are too old to meet present student challenges. Frankly…I don’t think they have a better model as we speak but we could help them find one. They just need to reach out..

Researcher: Okay, In what ways do you think involving international students in leadership positions would impact the power balance between them and other students?

Respondent 3: See…this power balance thing…It is the same reason why they rarely consult us because they act like they know everything. It is a problem, students need feel included in the leadership structure of the institution. It is the only way it will work…

Researcher: So, would think be a perfect scenario for you, where students are consulted at various levels of decision-making?

Respondent 3: Yes…consulting students is very important

Researcher: Okay then…thank you very much for taking part in the study. I hope you have a good day

Respondent 3: You too…

*End of Interview 3*

Interview 4

Researcher: Hello and welcome to the interview.

Respondent 4: No problem, I am happy to take part in your research.

Researcher: Okay…So…uhhh…how would you characterize the relationship between student voice and leadership in the higher education sector?

Respondent 4: Including alternative voices in existing leadership plans would have a positive impact on leadership in general. In the higher education sector, the same is true because students are important stakeholders in addressing issues that affect them

Researcher: Speaking of these issues, in what ways do you think adding the voices of international students to school leadership would affect problem solving, as an important function of leadership?

Respondent 4: I believe that seeking our views would help to solve some of the problems we experience as students. For example, the issues we encounter in school stem from weaknesses in the implementation of policies that are supposed to facilitate the integration of minority students in the wider student body. I believe it can be done by drawing on the experiences of students from many countries around the world that have undertaken similar programs.

You see… the answer is simple….we have a different learning experience, which is yet to be harnessed. I use my skills to solve my problem, so I do not understand why it should not be the same in a broader institutional setting. For example, in my hometown, which is largely a tourist area, everyone’s views are respected. I could simply draw on these unique experiences to lead teams of students to come up with innovative ideas that would help the school develop better solutions for some of our problems.

Researcher: I see… So, how do you think international students would influence the policy-making direction in the UK higher education setting?

Respondent 4: Well…about policies…I think the processes for changing them are very cumbersome and it is the same in my home country, I guess….but if these difficulties were not there, international students would definitely add value to policy-making processes. Ohh…and I should point out that it would be easier for the administration to implement their policies if they talked with students in the first place

Researcher: In what ways do you think involving international students in leadership positions would impact the power balance between them and other students?

Respondent 4: First off, I believe the power between students and teachers is unbalanced in favour of teachers. If I could speak about myself, I find that my lack of proficiency in English extends this power imbalance

Researcher: So, how would a perfect situation be?

Respondent 4: Well… a perfect scenario would arise if we all have to have equal power in negotiations but I doubt if that is likely to happen

Researcher: What do I know?

Respondent 4: Yeah… (chuckles)

Researcher: Well I do not want to take up any more of your time. Thank you for participating in the study and good luck!

Respondent 4: Uhhm…you too

*End of Interview 4*

Interview 5

Researcher: Hello and welcome to the interview. I do not want to take up much of your time because I understand that there is a place you need to be…

Respondent 5: No problem, it is my pleasure to take part in your research.

Researcher: How would you characterize the relationship between student voice and leadership in the higher education sector?

Respondent 5: Well…I think student voice should be included in leadership,…they sought of go hand in hand. Not in a superficial way though…where you see a few faces of student leaders being integrated in the administrative structure and with few tangible benefits on the ground. It must be demonstrated that they are truly cognisant of student perspectives and needs…

Researcher: Okay, that is pretty detailed, so in what ways then do you think adding the voices of international students to school leadership would affect problem solving, as an important function of leadership?

Respondent 5: Including alternative voices in existing leadership, plans would have a positive impact on problem solving. Particularly, it would help to increase innovation and creativity. However, creativity could not thrive in an environment where there are different strains on knowledge creation and student interaction processes among peers…you see…

Researcher: What kind of strains?

Respondent 5: Well… they are many…for starters; not including student views is one of them…

Researcher: Okay…I see…Let us talk about policy-making now…

Respondent 5: Hmmm

Researcher: Do you think international students would influence the policy-making direction in the UK higher education setting?

Respondent 5: Why not…At least I think they should, we come with unique perspectives on student experiences that should be harnessed to improve our learning outcomes and make it more comfortable for those that would come after us…more so… at a policy level…

Researcher: Okay…I see what you are saying, but in what ways do you think involving international students in leadership positions would affect the power balance between them and other students?

Respondent 5: That is a tricky one! First…uuhhm…I do not think students and teachers have an equal power balance, but this is okay I suppose? Teachers should be the central authority in student matters. When it comes to integrating the views of students though….I think this power balance will shift in favour of the students…only by a small margin…I think…

Researcher: Okay…so if you were to imagine a perfect scenario where students openly engaged with educators on leadership issues, how do you think it would look like?

Respondent 5: Well…I believe in a perfect world, students and education staff should have a 51% to 49% power ratio in favour of teachers. I say so because teachers should be the ultimate power of authority in an educational setting. The 49% is as much as I believe student power should be…

Researcher: Hmmm…Interesting how you allocate those percentage points, but thank you for participating in the study. You have been of much help!

Respondent 5: You are welcome!

*End of Interview 5*

Interview 6

Researcher: Hello and welcome to the interview. I trust that you have had a good day?

Respondent 6: Funny you say that….I did!….It is my birthday today. Can you Imagine?

Researcher: Wow!! Happy birthday!!

Respondent 6: Thank you! However, do not spend too much time on my personal stuff; I know we are here for a reason…

Researcher: Yes! And I will get right to it.. Okay…How would you characterize the relationship between student voice and leadership in the higher education sector?

Respondent 6: I believe they are both correlated because effective leadership has to demonstrate some aspect of student participation…to some degree…otherwise what is the point of leading a population whose views you are not interested in?

Researcher: Okay, in what ways do you think adding the voices of international students to school leadership would affect problem solving, as an important role in leadership?

Respondent 6: I believe that students are best placed to answer issues that involve them. Therefore, to the extent that they can help address student issues…I completely agree that international students would improve problem solving. However, when it comes to administrative issues, I do not think they can add much value. So… I think we need to make a distinction there.

Researcher: I see… would you say the same for policy-making?

Respondent 6: Well…you see…that’s the point, I do not think the voices of international students would help much in policy-making, unless we are talking about policies that directly affect students…

Researcher: How about the power balance between students and teachers, in what ways do you think involving international students in leadership positions would affect this dynamic?

Respondent 6: See…well….teachers and students naturally have an imbalance in power dynamics because they are figures of authority. Therefore, I think increasing student involvement in leadership would shift this balance in favour of students…

Researcher: Okay…So…If you were to imagine a perfect scenario where students openly engaged with educators on leadership issues, how do you think it would look like?

Respondent 6: An ideal situation would be defined by the adoption of inclusive practices in leadership. In other words, the views of all stakeholders should be represented in the decision-making processes of any institution

Researcher: Okay…Thank you so much for participating in the study! I know you have to rush somewhere…

Respondent 6: Yes…Yes…Thank you for remembering. It is my pleasure…

*End of Interview 6*

Interview 7

Researcher: Hello and welcome to the interview. How are you?

Respondent 7: I am well…Thank you. How about you?

Researcher: Also good…I know you are here briefly, so I will get right to the interview…

Respondent 7: Yes…

Researcher: How would you characterize the relationship between student voice and leadership in the higher education sector?

Respondent 7: Well…I do not think much consultation has been happening in the past, but recently, I think there has been some seriousness in recognizing the need to include diverse voices in leadership. I believe people are starting to recognize that the two are mutually exclusive concepts….

Researcher: Okay…I will talk a little about problem solving and then we will discuss policy-making….

Respondent 7: Yes… Sure…

Researcher: In what ways do you think adding the voices of international students to school leadership would affect problem solving, as an important role in leadership?

Respondent 7: Can I tell a little story about myself…?

Researcher: Yes… go ahead…

Respondent 7: My willingness to embrace diversity started in my high school years when I was a school prefect …students used to come to me with so many problems…. I tried to solve problems the old way using conventional reasoning but to no avail. It is only until I chose to be open-mined about my weaknesses not to seek help that helped me to find a solution to my problems. All this happened in my last year in high school and I found it interesting that the most useful ideas I came up with stemmed from my interaction with students who I would not typically talk to.

Just to bring it closer to your topic of discussion, I have had similar experiences at home because I am a first-born. Naturally, in our culture, being the first-born commands a respectable title because your siblings tend to listen to what you have to say. At first, I used to give direction about what needs to be done but I have found a greater level of success and satisfaction working with other people. I believe it is the same for problem solving because two minds are better than one. Better yet, when minds that can draw from different experiences are put together to solve a problem, the result would be better than if one person was doing the job.

Researcher: Okay…That is quite an interesting story and experience you have there….Well…How do you think international students would influence the policy-making direction in the UK higher education setting?

Respondent 7: Hmmm. about policy-making…I am not sure students would add much value…

Researcher: Why do you say that ?

Respondent 7: I do not know It is just a feeling…

Researcher: Okay….In what ways do you think involving international students in leadership positions would affect the power balance between them and other students?

Respondent 7: First off, I think the power between students and teachers is unbalanced but I also believe that student involvement would create a bottom-up approach to leadership, which is good for everyone…

Researcher: Hmmmm…If you were to imagine a perfect scenario where students openly engaged with educators on leadership issues, how do you think it would look like?

Respondent 7: A perfect scenario? Well…let us see…I think in an ideal setup, students would have equal powers with teachers and their interaction with one another would create a hybrid leadership structure that is good for everyone involved…

Researcher: Okay, I will end the interview here…

Respondent 7: Thank you for having me..

Researcher: Yes…The pleasure is all mine…

*End of Interview 7*

Interview 8

Researcher: Hello and welcome to the interview. I trust that your day has been okay?

Respondent 8: Yes… Thank you for asking…and you?

Researcher: Good as well…The interview will not take much time…so I want to go straight to it…If I may

Respondent 8: Yes…yes…shoot…

Researcher: Okay, How would you characterize the relationship between student voice and leadership in the higher education sector?

Respondent 8: Well…I think student voice should be included in higher education leadership plans, at least to the extent that the vision of an institution captures the imagination of the people it is intended to serve

Researcher: Students you mean….?

Respondent 8: Yes…yes..

Researcher: Okay…In what ways then do you think adding the voices of international students to school leadership would affect problem solving, as an important role in leadership?

Respondent 8: Including alternative voices in existing leadership plans would have a positive impact on problem solving. Particularly, I think it could help the current crop of leaders to be more innovative in how they address pressing problems

Researcher: What about policy-making….uhhmm…?

Respondent 8: What about it?

Researcher: How do you think international students would influence the policy-making direction in the UK higher education setting?

Respondent 8: Well…I think they would have a positive impact as well. Policies are important to the extent that they influence the learning environment. Involving students in their development would surely have a positive impact on the same…

Researcher: Okay…and in what ways do you think involving international students in leadership positions would affect the power balance between them and other students?

Respondent 8: Personally, I think for a non-resident student, who does not speak English, the power gap is high because of communication challenges…and possibly cultural, and attitudinal differences in learning. If international students are included in discussions on leadership, this gap could be minimized…

Researcher: Hmmm…I see…I will, get to the last question now….If you were to imagine a perfect scenario where students openly engaged with educators on leadership issues, how do you think it would look like?

Respondent 8: Well…in a perfect situation, students and teachers should be free to interact with one another and share ideas. However, I do not know whether this is practical in our institutional context…

Researcher: So…you believe we have a long way to go?

Respondent 8: Yeah…

Researcher: Okay…That will be it for now. Thank you for taking part in the interview

Respondent 8: It was my pleasure…

*End of Interview 8*

Interview 9

Researcher: Hello and welcome to the interview. I trust that you are well

Respondent 9: Yes. I am… and you?

Researcher: Also good….I do not intend to take up much of your time, so I will get right into the topic….How would you characterize the relationship between student voice and leadership in the higher education sector?

Respondent 9: Well….If you ask me….The two concepts share a common origin in the sense that the inclusion of student voice in leadership helps to foster collaboration through the relationship between student voice and leadership.

Researcher: In what ways do you think adding the voices of international students to school leadership would affect problem solving, as an important role in leadership?

Respondent 9: Well…. As international students, I believe that we have unique experiences that could be used to draw lessons on how to solve problems in a multicultural setting. Therefore, including the voices of international students would help to improve problem solving

Researcher: Would you give the same answer about the contribution of international students towards policy-making?

Respondent 9: Yes…yes….It is the same, international students would make quite a useful contribution towards the policy-making processes of the university. Frankly, I think some of them have not been developed with consideration of the views of international students…

Researcher: Could you please elaborate?

Respondent 9: Well…I could start by language use for example,….there is little consideration of the views of international students who do not use English as their first language…uhhmm…in decision-making

Researcher: Okay then….In what ways do you think involving international students in leadership positions would affect the power balance between them and other students?

Respondent 9: Ohhh…the power balance will obviously be affected. I think students are likely to gain strength in such an environment because the inclusion of their views in leadership would cause a decline in the power of teachers, especially in influencing the policy direction of the institution….

Researcher: I see…so, if you were to imagine a perfect scenario where students openly engaged with educators on leadership issues, how do you think it would look like?

Respondent 9: Well…a perfect scenario would emerge when teachers and students both have equal power in the leadership structure of their institutions. However, I do not know whether this is possible…

Researcher: Okay…well….it is imagined…so, I understand…Well…that will be all for now. Thank you for participating in the study!

Respondent 9: I am glad I have been of use…

*End of Interview 9*

Interview 10

Researcher: Hello…

Respondent 10: Hello…

Researcher: Thank you for coming…

Respondent 10: You are welcome…I promised I would….so…I am here…

Respondent 10: Yes…yes…so… I will just start…

Respondent 10: No problem…

Researcher: How would you characterize the relationship between student voice and leadership in the higher education sector?

Respondent 10: Well…I believe effective leadership should integrate aspects of student leadership. I read somewhere…uhhhmm…I cannot remember where… that students need to be engaged in developing the vision of the institution because it helps to enhance their educational experiences. Therefore, I believe student leadership is integral to the improvement of educational outcomes…

Researcher: Okay… we will talk about problem solving now… In what ways do you think adding the voices of international students to school leadership would affect problem solving, as an important role in leadership?

Respondent 10: I believe that diversity helps to eliminate the monolithic way of thinking that has hampered progress in various aspects of educational development….There is no creativity or innovation in the manner problems are being solved. I believe this is a narrow way of looking at things and it should change through the integration of student voices…

Researcher: How do you think international students would influence the policy-making direction in the UK higher education setting?

Respondent 10: Well…I do not think it is any different from problem solving as I have mentioned…The same common pattern of thinking is also evident in the manner polices are formulated. It lacks diversity and hence limits responsiveness in achieving the intended objectives

Researcher: Okay…what about power balance? Would you say the same? I mean, In what ways do you think involving international students in leadership positions would impact the power balance between them and other students?

Respondent 10: First off, I think there should be an imbalance of power between students and teachers because the latter is a figure of authority in the educational environment…Well.. if we are talking about the balance of power; involving students in leadership would not change the ratio much. It is only that they will be more involved that is all…

Researcher: If you were to imagine a perfect scenario where students openly engaged with educators on leadership issues, how do you think it would look like?

Respondent 10: Well…that would be ideal! Nevertheless, I think a perfect situation would emerge when students can talk in the same voice first. Particularly, international and native students should speak in the same voice. I will tell you a little personal story…

The biggest problem I have encountered is maintaining the social pace of my peers. Particularly, I find that hanging out in the pub with my schoolmates is a socially draining affair but I have to do it to maintain social connections with my peers. Differences in culture play a role….You can understand how this affects creativity because it strains social connections and poisons the environment that should ideally nurture creativity…so this needs to be addressed first to find a common student voice

Researcher: I see…

Respondent 10: Yes…

Researcher: Well…I will not take up any more your time. Thank you for participating in the study.

Respondent 10: You are welcome..

*End of Interview 10*

Interview 11

Researcher: Hello and welcome to the interview.

Respondent 11: Thank you for having me…

Researcher: Okay…So…are you ready?

Respondent 11: Yes…Yeah..

Researcher: How would you characterize the relationship between student voice and leadership in the higher education sector?

Respondent 11: Well…student voice is an important part of leadership, so I think one should not happen in the absence of another…

Researcher: Okay…in what ways do you think adding the voices of international students to school leadership would affect problem solving, as an important role in leadership?

Respondent 11: Of course…It will have a positive impact on problem-solving…There is this example of a local retail business in my hometown, which grew fast because of the diversity of its employees. Most of the employees were young people with a vision to change how people perceived the business

Researcher: What type of business was it?

Respondent 11: It was in fashion….

By deploying digital channels of communication, they were able to create a new audience that would not have been formed if the managers stuck to their old habits. The change helped to address one of the most difficult challenges for the company, which was to expand its market share against the background that the organization’s leaders had run out of ideas for achieving this objective. Therefore, diversity is important in problem-solving

Researcher: Okay…So how do you think international students would influence the policy-making direction in the UK higher education setting?

Respondent 11: Well…I am not so sure about policy-making. I do not think students can have such a significant impact…Perhaps maybe in its implementation. You know…policies are complex things…

Researcher: In what ways do you think involving international students in leadership positions would impact the power balance between them and other students?

Respondent 11: Okay…uhhmm…I think it would have make students more powerful…maybe just by a small degree….So…yeah…it would shift the balance of power in favour of students…

Researcher: If you were to imagine a perfect scenario where students openly engaged with educators on leadership issues, how do you think it would look like?

Respondent 11: I think it should be free from human input…I am an Artificial Intelligence (AI) supporter. Eliminating human biases through digital solutions will make leadership more objective and diverse…So, in a perfect world, robots should do most of these work…

Researcher: Okay…I see…Thank you for taking part in the study.

Respondent 11: Thank you..

*End of Interview 11*

Interview 12

Researcher: Hello and welcome to the interview. I do not want to take up much of your time because I understand that there is a place you need to be…

Respondent 12: No problem, It is my pleasure to take part in your research.

Researcher: Okay…How would you characterize the relationship between student voice and leadership in the higher education sector?

Respondent12: I think they are mutually exclusive concepts. Student voice should definitely be included in leadership discussions

Researcher: Hmmm…In what ways then do you think adding the voices of international students to school leadership would affect problem solving, as an important role in leadership?

Respondent12: Well…it would make it easier to solve some of the problems affecting learning. Not all…Maybe only those ones that directly affect students..

Researcher: How then do you think international students would influence the policy-making direction in the UK higher education setting?

Respondent 12: You see… the problem is not that I do not believe our views would not affect policy-making decisions, but we have a long way to go before we can see our contributions appear in policies developed by the university. Therefore, first, I think we should focus on just making the administrators understand that our views are important. Later, we could make advancements in this line of reasoning by trying to encourage them to include our views in the institution’s polices.

Researcher: I see…In what ways do you think involving international students in leadership positions would impact the power balance between them and other students?

Respondent 12: Uhhmm, I believe the power between students and teachers is unbalanced in favour of teachers. Particularly, international students are most disadvantaged because they are foreign. In other words, students from around here seem to have a bigger say in administrative matters compared to us…

Researcher: Why do you think this is so

Respondent 12: The lack of proficiency in English hinders my engagement with teachers…

Researcher: Okay…last question…If you were to imagine a perfect scenario where students openly engaged with educators on leadership issues, how do you think it would look like?

Respondent 12: Well…in such a context, teachers and students should be able to talk freely without any judgments…or biases. I am talking about real contributions and not just mere talk..

Researcher: Okay…I understand. Thank you for taking part in the study.

*End of Interview 12*.

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ChalkyPapers. (2022, December 11). Higher Education Leadership Regarding International Students. Retrieved from https://chalkypapers.com/higher-education-leadership-regarding-international-students/

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ChalkyPapers. (2022, December 11). Higher Education Leadership Regarding International Students. https://chalkypapers.com/higher-education-leadership-regarding-international-students/

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"Higher Education Leadership Regarding International Students." ChalkyPapers, 11 Dec. 2022, chalkypapers.com/higher-education-leadership-regarding-international-students/.

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ChalkyPapers. (2022) 'Higher Education Leadership Regarding International Students'. 11 December.

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ChalkyPapers. 2022. "Higher Education Leadership Regarding International Students." December 11, 2022. https://chalkypapers.com/higher-education-leadership-regarding-international-students/.

1. ChalkyPapers. "Higher Education Leadership Regarding International Students." December 11, 2022. https://chalkypapers.com/higher-education-leadership-regarding-international-students/.


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ChalkyPapers. "Higher Education Leadership Regarding International Students." December 11, 2022. https://chalkypapers.com/higher-education-leadership-regarding-international-students/.