Main Article Content
Cultural Differences, Higher Education, Mobility
Processes of globalization are permeating the world of higher education and escalating to a previously unprecedented degree, and institutions of higher education previously known for their cultural homogeneity are becoming increasingly heterogeneous. Consequently, cross-cultural study of higher education is evolving from a discipline investigating a relatively marginal phenomenon to one examining a rapidly accelerating process shifting from the margins to the center. Today some claim that cultural differences between students are an essential factor affecting their study expectations, practices, and preferences. This study seeks to examine differences in learning styles, expectations, and study practices of Israeli students versus students in the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS).
The research population consisted of 1,122 students, 554 studying in Israeli institutions of higher education and 568 in the CIS.
The research tool was developed specifically for this study and it consisted of 44 items related to four main spheres: 1) students' personal and academic background characteristics, 2) perception of the academic world and of the opportunities afforded by higher education, 3) evaluation of the study environment, and 4) faculty/student responsibility for the study process.
Research results indicate intercultural differences on almost all dimensions examined - personal and academic characteristics, perception of opportunities offered by academic studies as manifested in perception of crucial factors for selecting schools, factors arousing academic interest, crucial factors producing competent lecturers, requirements for receiving a good education, creating satisfaction with study conditions, study practices, and time devoted to studies.
Research conclusions indicate that the inclusive character of the findings should prompt the academic world to examine mobility in higher education from a cultural perspective. Specifically, it is necessary to consider the diversity of practices, study styles, and preferences among international students.