Volume 32, Issue 122 (February 2020)                   IJN 2020, 32(122): 14-29 | Back to browse issues page

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1- Professor, Nursing Care Research Center, Iran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
2- Associate Professor, Nursing Care Research Center, Iran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran (Corresponding author) Tel: 02143651000 Email: najafi.t@iums.ac.ir
Abstract:   (2607 Views)
Background & Aims: Internationalization refers to the process of integrating an international and intercultural dimension into the teaching, research, and service functions of the institution. The internationalization of education emphasizes the process of including the international dimension in all aspects of education, and its main objective is to expand knowledge, abilities, attitudes, and values that are recognized at the international level. Focusing on professors as the main component of the internationalization process is vital, and their attitudes, beliefs, experiences, and levels of engagement are related to their participation in the internationalization process. One of the basic pillars of the process of internationalization of medical education is the assessment of readiness to participate in the international education market. The data obtained by this assessment is a basis for determining policies and directing academic planning. Given the growing emphasis on attracting international students and the moral responsibility of schools and departments in providing and facilitating conditions, the present study aimed to determine the preparedness of professors in educational departments of Iran University of Medical Sciences to train international students.
Materials & Methods: This descriptive, cross-sectional study was performed in nine schools and 99 educational departments of Iran University of Medical Sciences in 2018-2019. The subjects were selected by the voluntary method from all professors of the university (n=900). In total, 378 professors filled the questionnaires. Data were collected through self-report, and research tools included a researcher-made questionnaire based on the professors’ attitudes and abilities to train international students. The questionnaires were distributed in various groups in person. Due to the low participation of members and the problems related to access to some people, the questionnaire was subsequently emailed to the professors five times. The questionnaire contained items related to assessing the attitude of professors (14 items) and items related to assessing the ability of professors (7 items) in the form of self-report. In addition, a general question (regardless of the level of capability in the field of international student education, are you willing to cooperate in this field? Explain the causes?) was asked, and data analysis was performed in SPSS version 16 using descriptive and inferential statistics, analysis of variance, Scheffe test, independent t-test, Fisher’s exact test, and Chi-square. Moreover, the open question related to the reasons for the willingness/unwillingness to cooperate in international student education was analyzed using the qualitative content analysis method.
Results: In this study, the mean age of the participants was 47.08±8.04 years. In addition, the majority of the participants were female (52.1%) and had a specialized PhD or PhD (44.2%) and had the academic rank of assistant professor (54.0%). About 42.9% of the participants had previous experience of training international students and mean teaching experience to foreign students of 4.09±4.06 years. Furthermore, 28.8% of the subjects had an experience of educational mission or studying abroad with a mean education experience of 1.01±2.54 years. Most of the participants had the experience of living abroad (63.8%) and the majority of the participants had an English Language Certificate (62.2%). The mean score of attitude and abilities of the subjects in training international students was relatively favorable and reported to be 53.14±8.65 and 23.32±5.17, respectively. According to the results, there was a direct, weak, and significant relationship between work experience and ability in the field of international student education (P=0.005). In people with more work experience, the tendency to cooperate in international student training was higher (P=0.038) and professors with international student training experience expressed more ability in this field. Moreover, there was a direct, weak, and significant association between the duration of international student training and competence in this field (P=0.025). The participants with a history of educational mission or study abroad as well as living abroad reported a positive attitude and ability in educating international students. On the other hand, no significant relationship was observed between the duration of study abroad with the attitude and ability to train an international student and the desire to train an international student (P=0.00). Regarding English language proficiency, those with an English Language Certificate had a higher ability to train international students (P=0.022). In terms of gender, men had a more positive and empowered attitude towards foreign student education, although women were more willing than men to cooperate in internationalization. According to the results, 61.4% of the subjects were reluctant to cooperate in educating international students. Reasons related to an unwillingness to cooperate in international student education were divided into two categories of individual and academic, and causes related to willingness to cooperate were divided into four categories of individual and professional, educational group, university, and country.
Conclusion: According to the results of the study, the professors expressed a relatively favorable attitude and ability in the field of international student education. A review of the literature revealed that professors’ behavior is affected by two individual and social knowledge factors. In this regard, individual factors were demographic characteristics, job characteristics, and professions of professors and the social knowledge was recognized as professors’ perception of the values and expectations of the educational institution, rewards, and teachers' self-learning that shape the behavior of faculty members. Some of the causes of professors’ willingness to participate in training foreign students were promoting individual and professional competence, increasing competence in English, educational methods, gaining experience, opportunities for scientific exchange, contributing to individual dynamism, emerging individual competence and familiarity with other cultures. On the other hand, individual causes for unwillingness to cooperate in foreign student education were lack of financial benefits, job motivation and security, lack of English language proficiency, multiple job descriptions, lack of time, high workload, and foreign student education as increasing workload and stress. One of the most important mechanisms in the internationalization process is to prepare professors in the internationalization process. Therefore, the necessary infrastructures must be provided in universities to improve internationalization. It is suggested that motivational and empowerment programs be designed by university officials to improve professors’ attitude and enhance their ability to cooperate in international student education.
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Type of Study: Research | Subject: nursing
Received: 2019/11/5 | Accepted: 2020/02/3 | Published: 2020/02/3

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