What makes a ‘Global Student’? Insights from Students and Professionals
Professor Helen Spencer-Oatey, University of Warwick
“I don't really know what 'skills for a global workplace' actually means? The term is loosely thrown around as a fashionable buzzword by many universities, but at no point have I been told during my time here what the skills actually involve and how to develop them.” This comment was made by a British student when answering i-Graduate’s Student Barometer survey in the summer of 2014. It raises some fundamental questions: What does it actually mean to be a ‘global student’? Can we, and do we, explain that to students? What aspects of life at university are particularly helpful for fostering it?
In the first part of this talk I explore students’ perspectives on these questions. Working in collaboration with Warwick’s International Office, we inserted some additional questions on mixed nationality friendships, mixed nationality group work, and the development of skills for the global workplace into i-Graduate’s Student Barometer and International Student Barometer surveys. 2000 undergraduate and postgraduate taught students completed these surveys (57% of whom were British), enabling us to gain fascinating insights into their viewpoints. I report our findings on the following questions: Are our degree programmes helping them to become ‘global graduates’? How important are mixed national friendships and mixed national group work for the development of global skills? Are there differences in viewpoint across different nationality groups?
I then turn to the viewpoints of professionals. I consider what employers mean by ‘global skills’ as well as how they are conceptualised in the intercultural field. Finally, I explore the implications of all this for tackling the task of ‘making global students’.
Download the slides here.
The Internationalisation of Higher Education – a Change of Paradigm for European Educators
Prof Dr Juliana Roth, Ludwig Maximilian University Munich, Germany
The internationalisation of higher education coincides with the development of political and economic globalisation. According to the German Ministry of Education and Research „the growing globalisation requires a stronger international orientation of the universities on the worldwide educational market, also more exchange of students and researchers“. Inter¬nationalisation is important, because it confronts individuals with something new, stimulates reflection, and impacts the learning process in a positive way.
The presentation focusses on the necessity of considering culture and cultural diversity as an important factor for the success of any internationalisation strategy. The intercultural opening of a university requires a dedication to cultural awareness on the part of the top level actors, who must then „translate“ it into processes and organisational structures.
The “National Code of Conduct on International Students” which addresses the integration of non-German students into the German academic and social environment will be presented. It provides a frame for the instalment of new institutional units within the universities, specially geared at supplying support, counselling, and advising services for the international students. The experience of the Intercultural Counselling Office of the Ludwig Maximilian University will serve as a case in point.
Download the slides here.
‘Feedback and fresh ideas’ – your chance to raise any points, challenge any views and put forward your own ideas
Chaired by Dominic Scott, UKCISA
This will be a round table discussion event. We will ask you to select a rapporteur for each table who will capture the three best ideas, challenges or suggestions about institutional and student union practice relating to the Summit’s theme of ‘What makes a global student?’ We hope this highly interactive session will generate some lively debate and bright ideas. This is your opportunity to have your say!
A Quick Fire Round (Up) of Best Practice
Chaired by Claire O’Leary, University of Warwick and Julie Allen, UKCISA
In this fast-paced closing session, 4 delegates who wish to share best practice will be given 5 minutes to present an initiative linked to today’s theme.
Download the presentations here.
A. Succeeding in a Global Job Market: Articulating Intercultural Experiences for Increased Employability
Joy Elliot Bowman, National Union of Students and Abi Sharma, University of London
This interactive session will explore research from NUS UK and NUS Scotland on global employment and employability, looking at both international and UK students. It will draw on good practice from across the University of London Colleges and showcase how Careers Services such as those at UCL, Kings College London, Royal Holloway and Queen Mary University of London train students to be employees in a global workplace.
Delegates attending the session will gain an understanding of global employment and employability for both international and home students. The workshop will provide a broader understanding of how we can help students recognise where they have gained an international outlook and intercultural skills from a year abroad or overseas internship, and how this can be marketed to potential international employers.
The session will also invite delegates to consider how we can equip students for an international job-search and address some of the ways this is being done at the University of London.
Download the presentation here.
B. Digital Networks: Connecting Students Worldwide
Matt Lloyd, University of Sheffield Students’ Union and Teresa MacKinnon, University of Warwick
The ‘Virtual Cultural Exchange’ project involved students at the University of Sheffield discussing and exploring their own cultures with peers at the Islamic University of Gaza via webcam. These exchanges were then shared with the wider student community through blogs, social media and images. During the session the speakers will share their story of creating this unique project – including the positives and negatives! They will then use practical activities to replicate the experience of the Virtual Cultural Exchange and highlight how digital technology not only removes physical barriers, but can also help students to understand their position in a global society.
Download the presentation here.
The Clavier project, now in its 4th year, connects over 1000 students on both sides of the Channel. Crossing the boundaries of formal and informal learning, this innovative project is an active research environment and facilitates digital skills acquisition for both students and their tutors. Online Intercultural Exchange (OIE) has the potential to develop various generic, interrelated, and transferrable skills that are invaluable for graduates entering the global workplace. These include intercultural communicative competence and e-literacies necessary for effective international team collaboration in a globalised economy. This workshop will share the insights into normalisation of OIE in Higher Education and offer an opportunity to engage with the participants and developments online.
“...the future belongs to those who learn to work together with other groups without regard to location, heritage, and national and cultural difference” (Grandin and Hedderich, 2009, p. 363)
Download the presentation here.
C. Gone International: Enhancing Intercultural Competence through Study Abroad
Leo Boe, UK Higher Education International Unit and Sophie Reissner-Roubicek,
Lynette Richards and Emily Lim, University of Warwick
Many students who have spent a period of their degree programme abroad have a truly transformative experience. Research shows that spending time abroad can affect a students’ outlook, resilience, and intercultural skills and can influence employment and academic attainment outcomes. Unfortunately, the UK lags far behind its European neighbours in terms of the proportion of students who go abroad. This is due to real and perceived barriers which can and should be addressed. This session will focus on the recent Gone International: Mobile students and their outcomes report and will inform attendees about what the latest figures tell us about who goes abroad, where they go and what their outcomes are, compared with non-mobile students. It will explore how more work can be done with academics and students to increase participation in study abroad through promoting the benefits of spending time overseas.
Find the presentation here.
Intercultural effectiveness both contributes to, and comes out of, integration between home and international students. However, students must be able to do more than just understand how to apply the intercultural effectiveness they have acquired. Crucially they must also be able to articulate it in a way that employers can recognise and engage with. So how do we ensure that we are giving students appropriate opportunities to develop the kind of reflection skills needed, and how do we make those opportunities relevant to their individual experiences? In this interactive session we explain the steps taken to provide those opportunities, and illustrate how a skills and competencies orientation to intercultural learning complements a non-essentialist approach to culture while focusing on employability. Firstly we offer an overview of the three-stage programme we developed using blended learning methods to support students in developing their intercultural competence, and discuss how and why to provide a vocabulary for culture. Secondly we demonstrate how students have been able to reflect on the skills they have acquired for employability through a variety of activities: Study Abroad, volunteering overseas and working in multicultural teams on campus. We will reflect on our first year of delivery, considering each stage of the training and some of the outcomes from these interventions.