|dc.identifier.citation||Bahiss, Z. (2008). Lifting the Veil: Muslim women’s adjustment to a New Zealand university (Thesis, Master of Education (MEd)). The University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10289/2493||en
Due to a decline in the number of domestic students in many New Zealand and
other foreign Western countries' universities, there is more recruitment of
international students. In New Zealand universities, beside the increase in the
number of other foreign international students, the number of Muslim
international students and especially Muslim women students has increased in the
past few years. This is due to internationalisation of New Zealand education and
the economic benefits which international students provide to New Zealand
The reason for undertaking this study is because as a Muslim women and a
student myself, I wanted to investigate the adjustment problems of the increased
number of Muslim women international students at the University of Waikato.
This is because, it would provide information to researchers, theoreticians and
policy developers regarding adjustment issues that might be specific to Muslim
women. Unfortunately, this area is under researched; hence this study could assist
in filling the vacuum in this area.
The literature so far has discussed the adjustment issues of international students
in general and from the literature there seems to be two main dominant areas
where international students suffer adjustment problems. These two areas are the
academic environment of the university and the socio-cultural environment of the
university. The academic environment has many elements to which many
international students are believed to face adjustment problems such as adjusting
to the 'study shock'. On the other hand, in the socio-cultural environment,
students are believed to face adjustment problem to the culture shock. However,
there are many flaws in the existing literature which results in its weakness and
hence the need for this study.
In order to discuss the adjustment issues of Muslim women international students'
one has to examine the educational background of these students. It is important
to also examine the religious and cultural backgrounds of these students because
religious beliefs and practices combined with their cultural background have an
impact on their adjustment into the foreign academic and socio-cultural
environment. Islam strongly encourages the acquisition of education for women.
Looking at the history of Muslim women, one can find great scholars who
achieved enormously from their right to education. However today there is great
tension in the Islamic world regarding women's education which makes this issue
very complex. This is due to the different interpretations of the Islamic scholars of
the verses of the Quran, and Muslim people cultural and tribal codes. Therefore,
many Islamic countries have taken different approaches to the education of their
female population that is from very conservative to liberal ones.
The qualitative approach used in this chapter helped in understanding the
perspectives and world views of the respondents which would have not been
The confidentiality and anonymity of the respondents was catered for before
conducting the interviews and pseudo names are used in this study to refer to the
respondents of this study. This study is however limited in that the time constrain
did not allow me to do a longitudinal study in order to discover the many un
answered questions or ambiguous sentences.
This study has revealed four major themes which were identified through this
research as being specifically important to the adjustment of Muslim women
international students. These women did not view their adjustment as a huge shift
instead for them it required more of gentle shift in their adjustment. The
similarities in the academic environment of the international students and that of
New Zealand universities made the adjustment to the academic environment even
smoother. There are also other positive adjustments these international students
make while in New Zealand universities. They are more independent and are able
to communicate in English language which for most international students seems
to be main reason for coming to Western universities.
There is need for the staff and students to understand the religious and cultural
beliefs of these international students so that they can help them in the adjustment
process. There is also increased need for the universities and policy developers to
provide help and support for the international students.
There are many issues that seemed to need further exploration which this study
has not managed to find out. The research needs to be done to discuss the huge
emotional or psychological impact on the international students' due to teachers'
and local students' lack of knowledge of their religious and cultural beliefs.
The researchers also need to investigate how this change in the personality and
thinking of women impacts on them when they go back to their home countries.
In theorisation, there is need to theorise the adjustments of students who belong to
other religious and cultural groups and how it might impact their adjustment
For the practitioners, there is need to investigate the role of the staff and institutes
to clearly identify to the role of staff in how they could make international
students transaction to the university smoother.||en_NZ
|dc.publisher||The University of Waikato||en_NZ
|dc.rights||All items in Research Commons are provided for private study and research purposes and are protected by copyright with all rights reserved unless otherwise indicated.||
|dc.title||Lifting the Veil: Muslim women's adjustment to a New Zealand university||en_NZ
|thesis.degree.discipline||Policy, cultural and social studies in education||en_NZ
|thesis.degree.grantor||University of Waikato||en_NZ
|thesis.degree.name||Master of Education (MEd)||en_NZ
|pubs.place-of-publication||Hamilton, New Zealand||en_NZ