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UBC Undergraduate Research

Barriers in Research Opportunities for International Students at Post-Secondary Institutions Ramachandran, Pooja; Dhillon, Baldeesh; Li, Jenny; Ghaemian, Sameen; Im, Jayoung


Our client, the UBC AMS aims to increase accessibility to research opportunities at the UBC campus. To support this endeavour, we conducted an extensive literature review on the perceptions of international and domestic post-secondary students in academic and non-academic contexts. This revealed a knowledge gap on comparative research conducted between the two groups, and specifically within undergraduate academic contexts. To address the knowledge deficit on the topic, we hypothesize that undergraduate international students, relative to undergraduate domestic students, will experience disproportionately negative experiences due to self-efficacy, financial constraints, mental well-being, and sociocultural barriers when pursuing research opportunities. To conduct our study, we administered a survey using the UBC Qualtrics Platform, which was distributed to students enrolled in eight post-secondary institutes in BC. Our analysis indicated that undergraduate international students are not disproportionately impacted by the barrier of social support compared to undergraduate domestic students, thus our hypothesis was not supported. However, further analysis suggests that international students perceived having less social supports compared to domestic students. We recommend that BC post-secondary institutes integrate greater social support in academic contexts, as well as provide instructors with resources and training on fostering inclusion and supporting international students in classes. Disclaimer: “UBC SEEDS provides students with the opportunity to share the findings of their studies, as well as their opinions, conclusions and recommendations with the UBC community. The reader should bear in mind that this is a student project/report and is not an official document of UBC. Furthermore readers should bear in mind that these reports may not reflect the current status of activities at UBC. We urge you to contact the research persons mentioned in a report or the SEEDS Coordinator about the current status of the subject matter of a project/report.”

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