An Insight Into Utilising LEGO® Serious Play® to Explore International Student Transitions Into a UK Higher Education Institution

Benjamin Ajibade, Catherine Hayes

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


The exponential increase in the number of students from non-European Union countries coming to study in the United Kingdom, relative to those from the European Union, is attributable to a number of factors, one of which may be potential insecurities surrounding any final impact of Brexit. Nigerian students are now occupying a large percentage of those places previously occupied by students from the European Union. This research methods case study will provide an insight into a research project undertaken as part of a doctoral project. It was designed to investigate the concept of internationalisation of the curriculum in relation to the capacity that international (Nigerian) students have to adapt and transition into UK Higher Education systems. Qualitative research data were collected using the LEGO® Serious Play® method to facilitate meaning-making, via personal storytelling and metaphor construction. This was undertaken by building three-dimensional models and systematic analysis of the stories culminating as a result. This enabled the early identification and organisation of themes to inform findings and their subsequent discussion. The participant group was composed of international nursing students of Nigerian origin. Quirkos, a commercial software package was used to analyse the collected data and to identify not just the most common but also the most salient themes from the findings of the study. It is important to consider the contextual backdrop to this study. The known factors impeding on the capacity of students to learn in the United Kingdom are the pragmatic issues of moving from Nigeria to new and unfamiliar higher education institutions in the United Kingdom, lack of university support services, difference in culture, and for women particularly, issues of self-esteem, the use of digital learning technology, and their extant family responsibilities and commitments. This case study provides an insight into how these issues were further explored, alongside pragmatic curricula issues.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSAGE Research Methods Case Series
Subtitle of host publicationPart 1
ISBN (Electronic)9781529710625
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2020
Externally publishedYes

Publication series

NameSAGE Research Methods Cases


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