The literature on learning styles suggests that although the behaviour of some students may appear different from what is defined as a `high-quality learning process', their conduct does not demonstrate an `inferior' approach to learning. Furthermore, existing and emerging academic literature that associates learning theories with the studies of cultural concerns suggests alternative interpretations that may help to develop a richer multicultural learning and teaching approach within Western higher education institutions (HE). This article brings together elements of the theory on learning styles and some elements of multicultural management theory to introduce interpretations that may apply to the emerging UK multicultural universities. It considers the importance of memorization as a tool for learning, and reveals how motivation, communication and collaborative patterns could work differently in different cultures. The comparison between best known Western learning theory and Confucian principles is expected to increase academics' awareness of international students' background. The discussion helps to understand some of the students' pragmatic reactions to the challenges prompted by their studies in foreign countries.