Currently, the proportion of international students in British universities are increasing significantly. As a result, this has raised questions about what possible effects of this change on international students themselves in the new academic environment——from UK culture to cultural diversity in higher education. This discussion will attempt to provide an overview of the often positive and sometimes negative effects of multiculturalism in UK universities.
First of all, it is generally accepted that many international students could benefit from the multicultural education environment. A significant advantage of this educational situation is enhancing the students’ academic environment and learning atmosphere(Arafat al: 2009), which namely means students might develop greater understanding of other cultures with a global vision by adjusting to those new ways to learn instead of using their original limited background in a seminars (Arafat al: 2009). This further indicates that their different perspectives, values, experiences and beliefs may be changed due to the coexisting of cultural diversity. In addition, owing to the multiculturalism in the UK universities, international students could build up relationships and friendships with from different countries. (Arafat al: 2009) In specifically, they not only exchange many ideas with previous experience and accept real values of others with less misunderstanding, but also share happiness and sorrow together during their study, thereby cultural barriers and bias of stereotype could be come across.
At the same time, some evidence suggests that multiculturalism in UK universities has negative implications. For example, some recent news stories found on TV or Internet report that culture conflicts lead to intension, depression and homesick because their intolerance to other culture, which might result in disease , crime and even suicide.
In conclusion, these statements above have clearly illustrated the effect of cultural diversity in British universities. Multiculturalism in UK universities indicate that international students could border their perspectives in a new learning atmosphere , and build up new relationship with others though the existing of culture shock has impact upon themselves. Therefore, British universities should be encouraged to be more multicultural and make students acquire more interpersonal skills. (word count:344)