Bridging the Cultural Divide: Applying Critical Thinking in TNE Partnerships



It is often reported by lecturing staff working with overseas partners that non-European students seem to lack the capability in critical thinking (Huang 2008; Durkin 2011; Zhang 2017; Fox 1996) at final year degree and masters level required by UK QAA benchmarks (The Quality Assurance Agency 2016). Concerns are also expressed that overseas staff fail to sufficiently value the importance of critical thinking. This results in assignments that fail to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate critical thinking or marking that gives disproportionate marks to knowledge retrieval rather than critical thinking. This chapter examines these assertions in the context of degree and masters’ level courses in computing and computer-related courses. It suggests that there can be real problems. However, by analysing what we actually mean by critical thinking, and examining how relationships with partners are managed, benchmark programme learning outcomes can be satisfied. There are hidden costs involved in managing TNE partnerships that are often overlooked by provider institutions. If these are not accounted for, programmes can be compromised.


Critical thinking Academic culture TNE management Academic quality 


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Passerelle SystemsNewcastle under LymeEngland

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