Understanding experiences of faculty from the home institution in China-U.S. transnational education programs: A phenomological case study




Ping, Hongjie


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Transnational education (TNE) provides an innovative approach to international education, allowing students to study in one country with a curriculum supplied by an educational institution in another. The TNE program can be delivered in multiple ways, from twinning or franchise programs to joint/double/multiple (JDM) degree programs, co-founded institutions, distance education programs, and even international branch campuses (IBCs). TNE experienced rapid growth worldwide in the early 1990s. As of today, the United States, the United Kingdom, and Australia are the primary providers and source countries for TNE programs worldwide. China, as one of the largest education markets globally, actively engages in TNE, establishing extensive collaborations with global higher education institutions to enhance international education opportunities for Chinese students. Given the growing prominence of TNE, it naturally draws the attention and focus of scholars, educational experts, and policymakers. To delve into this phenomenon, this qualitative study employed a phenomenological case study approach, drawing data from a university in the central United States. The study delves into the experiences and perspectives of a U.S. home institution faculty who are involved in TNE with China. Three participants participated in this study. Analyzing data from one-on-one interviews, participants’ curriculum vitae, and professional development resources, this study uncovered three main themes: (1) embracing passion and expertise in cross-cultural education, (2) valuing, understanding, and recognizing the needs of the cultural context in teaching, and (3) recognizing the cultural cues for necessary adjustments in instructional strategy. The findings indicate that all participants agreed on the valuable experiences of working with students from diverse cultural backgrounds. Moreover, the findings also highlight the synergistic roles of enthusiasm, cultural cognizance, and adaptability in forging efficient, inclusive, and culturally sensitive educational environments. However, administrative challenges within both home and host institutions were a shared concern, indicating potential areas for improvement. These insights are pivotal for TNE leaders in establishing effective mechanisms and specifying strategies to improve the experiences of home institution faculty and host institution students in TNE programs.


A dissertation submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership.


faculty, faculty experiences, China, United States, transnational education programs



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