Using English as the medium of instruction has been practised in the Hong Kong Polytechnic University for a long time. Although this can increase its internationalization raising graduate employability and attracting overseas students (Rose & Mckinley, 2018), research conducted recently in this university has indicated that it can be challenging and frustrating for students to understand lectures in English (Jarvis, Kohnke & Guan 2020 in press). Nearly half of the freshmen in the university come from Chinese-medium secondary schools and may take a year to adapt to the change of medium of instruction (Evans & Morrison, 2018). Studies also show that lack of trained teachers could be another reason (Ng, 2017). Lecturers are expected to adopt new strategies in the classroom to help students integrate global features (e.g. task fulfilment, text organisation and vocabulary) of the language of instruction (Ramiro & Perez, 2012).
Other than the challenge of teaching, the rising global competition in institutional rankings in higher education section has brought mounting pressure to junior/novice academics in non-Anglophone countries such as Hong Kong to publish in international journals (Li, 2019). In addition, there is an explicit graduation requirement for doctoral science students to publish international journals during candidature (Li, 2016). Appropriate support of these supervisors in terms of doctoral student writing is essential to the faculty members.