Doctoral students’ socio-academic interactions and integration with thescholarly communities of International Universities


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Higher education institutes, socio-academic interaction, socio-academic integration, international universities, scientific communities


International doctoral students now constitute a significant proportion of higher education institutes. Their socio-academic interactions lead them to a certain level of socio-academic integration with the scholarly communities within the universities. Doctoral students from different international universities in a European country were selected to explore this phenomenon qualitatively. Therefore, twelve participants were approached through purposive sampling and they were interviewed with a semi-structured guide allowing an in-depth interview for examining doctoral students’ experiences of interactions with the academic and professional communities of the universities and how they are supported to integrate. The data were analyzed qualitatively through line-by-line and highlighting approaches to understand the underlying meanings of participants’ experiences. It was concluded that most of the doctoral students have actively interacted with the scholarly communities and they were academically and socially integrated to a great extent that led them to academic satisfaction and progression. The study has implications for international doctoral students, higher education institutions, academic and professional communities, and student bodies working in the universities.