Volume 5, Issue 1 April 2022, pp. 17–32 Download PDF

Regular Articles

Promoting acts of kindness on campus: Views of Chinese international students in the UK

Ming Cheng1, & Olalekan Adekola https://orcid.org/0000-0001-9747-05832

1 Edge Hill University, UK chengm@edgehill.ac.uk
2 York St John University, UK o.adekola@yorksj.ac.uk

DOI: https://doi.org/10.29140/ice.v5n1.495


There is increasing research on the challenges experienced by Chinese international students during their studies in the UK such as language barriers, social interactions, academic achievement, and psychological adjustment. This study proposes to understand these challenges through a kindness approach. It explores how sixty-three Chinese Master’s students from a British university interpreted the challenging and supportive features of their learning environment through the notion of (un)kindness. Drawing on 63 semi-structured interviews, the study reveals a range of ways these students experienced academic staff and student interactions as “unkind,” as well as their experiences of teaching materials, coursework feedback, and administrative support. It identifies three key factors that students perceive impede acts of kindness on campus. The findings offer important insight into the practice and the value of using a kindness approach to improve Chinese international students’ academic and social experiences in the UK.


© Ming Cheng, Olalekan Adekola

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.

Suggested citation

Cheng, M., & Adekola, O. (2022). Promoting acts of kindness on campus: Views of Chinese international students in the UK. Intercultural Communication Education, 5(1), 17–32. https://doi.org/10.29140/ice.v5n1.495

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