Students’ Experiences of English-Medium Instruction at the Postgraduate Level: Challenges and Sustainable Support for Success

Benjamin Luke Moorhouse*, Yuwei Wan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


More and more students are exploring overseas destinations and English-Medium Instruction (EMI) environments for their postgraduate studies. While it is known that students can often struggle in an EMI environment, the challenges faced by postgraduate students, and the support they receive or need, are not fully understood. By adopting a two-stage qualitative sequential data collection approach, this study explored the experiences and perceptions of full-time postgraduate students from Mainland China studying in a one-year Master of Education programme at a Hong Kong university during their first semester. Data were collected through an online survey (N = 73) and three in-depth group interviews (N = 12). The analysis of data offered a holistic understanding of the students’ challenges, needs, and struggles. The findings provide suggestions for support that teachers and programmes can provide to postgraduate students, as well as student self-help support strategies. Several sustainable support strategies are proposed to assist students in adjusting and succeeding in the EMI context at the postgraduate level.
Original languageEnglish
Article number3243
Number of pages19
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2 Feb 2023

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Computer Science (miscellaneous)
  • Environmental Science (miscellaneous)
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Hardware and Architecture
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law
  • Building and Construction
  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment

User-Defined Keywords

  • EMI challenges
  • EMI sustainable support strategies
  • English-Medium Instruction (EMI)
  • Hong Kong
  • Mainland China
  • higher education
  • postgraduate students


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