Searching for 'a third space’: a creative pathway towards international PhD students’ academic acculturation
- Publisher: Routledge
Undertaking a PhD is a challenging endeavour. Pursuing a doctoral education in a ‘foreign’ context tends to increase the demands of this intellectual venture. The nature of research-based PhD programmes, often characterised by a lack of formal curricula where academic supervision lasts several years, may add another layer of complexity. Drawing upon an extended version of Urie Bronfenbrenner’s bio-ecological theory of human development, this paper attempts to offer a greater understanding of both academic and non-academic concerns confronting international PhD students with a view to highlighting their implications for institutional policy and practice. Underpinned by a visual metaphor approach, our research findings advocate embedding the use of ‘a third space’ as a creative pathway and strategy for maximising students’ chances of achieving a successful PhD academic acculturation journey.