What differences have you observed so far between your previous institution and Lancaster University, especially in terms of terms of teaching and learning?
After moving to the UK to study here I have noticed some differences between the education systems in this country compared to my home country of India. In India students are pressurized into studying hard as to get accepted into a university you need an average of 90%+ in your grade 12 board exams. So the learning system in India is based on trying to memorize what you learn from your class and text books and applying it in your exams. Whereas in the UK there is a quiet and a relaxed atmosphere of the way how things are done about over here. No one is under a lot of pressure to perform well, the student’s studies are their responsibility and it is up to them on how they go about it. Instead of trying to memorize and mug up the work, in Lancaster, there is more emphasis given on trying to understand what we learn in class so we can use the knowledge practically.
The size of both the institution campuses varies. My school campus back in India probably took up the area of anyone of the college residences. Lancaster university is a large campus and quite easy to get lost in at first.
Back in India the main form of assessment throughout the year was through final year examination. Any extra assignments did not count. In Lancaster I am not only assessed by final year examinations but through other methods as well like group presentations, essays etc. It was quite astonishing to me as I figured end of year exams counted for everything you did throughout the whole academic year. So there is more emphasis on practical and theoretical knowledge then compared to back in India.
In India classroom sizes would vary from 40-50 students per class. Whereas in the UK seminars sizes are around 5-15 students. Therefore there is more individual attention given to students by teachers to help them understand the work better. Also contacting the teachers here is more suitable as we can drop a message by email for them to help us anytime in any situation. Teachers back in India should try to use this method to help students.
Teachers in the UK do not seem to show any discrimination towards their students depending on the student’s background. Everyone is treated equally.
There is more friendly relations between teachers and students in the UK. Over here we seem to address our teachers by their maiden names and mostly they don’t want us to call them with a title. It is as if we are talking to our friends. In India we have to address them with a title with their first or last name.
I have noticed the better education facilities provided over here compared to be back in India. Classes in India were mainly conducted on a chalk board whereas over here we use an electronic board and projectors. Lecture notes are available to check online after classes whereas there was nothing of the sort back in India.
What was your learning/study routine like in your previous institution, and how do you think it will change in Lancaster?
Back in India I would normally study 3-4 hours a day after classes to revise what was taught in