Transnational education (TNE) has become a significantly important element of Higher Education Institution (HEI) delivery throughout the world, and much has been written on the subject. However, the majority of research in this field is produced from the perspective of the (usually Western) awarding institution. A neglected aspect of the TNE relationship is the role of the academic situated in the delivery institution. My doctoral research addressed this gap by investigating the lived experience of a group of Indian academics working in collaboration with a UK university. The study explored their experience through consideration of culture, identity and practice. The research focused on the conflicting sub-identities which exist in cross-cultural contexts, and the stories which the academics tell of adapting their practices, in order to make sense of their competing cultural realities.
The research drew on methods used in narrative inquiry. Using this method, I collected stories from participants, which related to their individual experiences and revealed their perceptions of identity (Creswell, 2013). Primary data were produced by a process of co-construction between the researcher and the 14 voluntary participants. As part of the process, participants were asked to bring ‘artefacts’ which represented their teaching identity; these formed the starting point for discussion.
The concept of identity and how it is revealed through storytelling was a key theme in the doctoral research. In this presentation, I describe how I used artefacts to generate narratives of identity. I present the artefacts selected, and categorise them into themes, sharing quotes from the participant narratives. I conclude by explaining how this element of my research contributed towards my overall PhD findings, resulting in a typology of the relationships experienced by the participants within the TNE partnership.
McLatchie, J. (2021, June). Narratives of identity: The lived experience of the local academic in transnational higher education. Paper presented at Narrative Methods in Multilingual and Educational Research Symposium, Edinburgh [Online]