International student academic success: looking at the importance of underpinning knowledge from an educational supply chain perspective

David Bell

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

22 Downloads (Pure)


Higher Education in the UK appears to be in a state of flux with ever changing policy for the recruitment and funding of home and EU students. As the market becomes more competitive the recruitment of international students studying specialist Master’s programmes is expanding, introducing greater variability into the educational supply chain. This study has investigated the factors affecting academic success, and reviewed recruitment from a supply chain perspective. The study has then focused on the importance of having the required underpinning knowledge to study on specialist Master’s programmes in achieving academic success. A quantitative methods approach has been adopted, aligned with a realist ontology and positivist epistemology to carry out the investigation. The current criteria used for entry to the programmes at Northumbria were compared with similar HEIs. Expert opinion was used to determine the underpinning knowledge students were expected to have when enrolling on to specialist Master’s programmes and this was verified on newly enrolled post graduate students through the survey method using a test. The results were then used to identify variations in underpinning knowledge in the educational supply chain and investigate the use of a model to predict academic success. The criteria for entry to specialist Master’s programmes was identified as having varying levels of both English and academic qualifications. The level of underpinning knowledge known by graduating Northumbria undergraduate and enrolling international postgraduate students was found to be similar and can be linked to academic success. This study has contributed to knowledge by confirming that there is a statistically significant positive relationship between underpinning knowledge and academic success. A contribution to practice has been made by using supply chain theory to identify the variation in student underpinning knowledge entering the educational supply chain and providing a test that can be used to predict academic success.
Original languageEnglish
  • Shell, Ian, Supervisor
  • Corlett, Sandra, Supervisor
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2015


Dive into the research topics of 'International student academic success: looking at the importance of underpinning knowledge from an educational supply chain perspective'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this