Cultural influences on pharmacy student engagement in a global university

Kim San Tang, Jasmine M Y Loo, Cai Lian Tam, Shaun Wen Huey Lee


Background: Global universities are universities with international branch campuses. There has been an increase in the number of global universities operating in various countries. Local students who study in branch campuses of global universities in their home country may find it challenging to adapt to the culture of these institutions. 

Aims: The aim of this study is to explore how the students’ pre-university education background can impact on their first year experiences at a global university. 

Methods: The authors explored acculturation levels of three groups of first year pharmacy students of different pre-university education background, who studied at a global university in Malaysia. Impact of acculturation on student engagement, sensation seeking and psychological determinants such as depression, anxiety and stress were also investigated.

Results: The language acculturation was significantly different among the examined groups. The overall acculturation was significantly correlated with cognitive and psychological engagement. Students with lower acculturation scores had significantly higher scores in thrill and adventure seeking, and depression. 

Conclusions: Overall, the findings of this study provide practical implications for mental health and university-wide initiatives in improving the psychological well-being of pharmacy students.

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