Uws 20 june 2013

page 1 Slide title (Time Internationalisation of the curriculum What does it mean for us? The GLOBAL PERSPECTIVES Project at Glasgow Caledonian University Sabine McKinnon Lecturer in Academic Development GLOBAL PERSPECTIVES Project Manager GCU LEAD UWS Learning and Teaching Conference 20 June 2013 Image



Transcript of Uws 20 june 2013

Page 1: Uws 20 june 2013

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Slide title (Time Internationalisation of the curriculum

What does it mean for us?

The GLOBAL PERSPECTIVES Project at Glasgow Caledonian University

Sabine McKinnon Lecturer in Academic Development


UWS Learning and Teaching Conference

20 June 2013


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1. The strategic context at GCU


3. Where are we at GCU? Initial results from GLOBAL PERSPECTIVES research

4. The way forward: sharing responsibility

5. The process of internationalising the curriculum

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The strategic context at GCU (GCU Global: Internationalisation Strategy 2012-2015)

“We now wish to make a step change in our focus and our activity towards greater internationalisation.” (p.4)

“ (GCU has) ... a long-term aspiration that internationalisation is embedded across all relevant University activities.” (ibid)

“ The implications of internationalisation are at the heart of our approaches to learning and teaching.” (p.19)

Internationalisation of the curriculum (IoC) is a core component of the strategy (p.4)

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What does ‘internationalisation of the curriculum’ mean in practice and how is it currently being implemented at GCU?

How do students and academic staff experience the impact of GCU’s internationalisation strategy on learning and teaching?

What are their perceptions of the benefits and challenges of developing an internationalised curriculum?

What are the best mechanisms for embedding IoC in all schools?

What support is required to enable academic staff to deliver an internationalised curriculum?

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GLOBAL as shorthand for the process

• Growing awareness of international issues

• Learning from other cultures

• Observing and reflecting on cultural differences

• Being prepared to challenge oneself

• Avoiding cultural stereotypes

• Listening to culturally different points of view

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The Project Phases

Phase 1

Research: opportunities for and barriers to implementing IoC

Phase 2

Create a community of interested staff and students

Pilot and evaluate innovative solutions

Disseminate best practice to all subject disciplines

Phase 3

Develop guidelines and support mechanisms for implementation university-wide

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GLOBAL PERSPECTIVES pilots in 2013-14

Subject Title

Law Internet Law: Law without frontiers requires learning without borders

Marketing Cross cultural education and fashion industry knowledge exchange

Physiotherapy Internationalisation of curricula: a departmental perspective

Engineering International Audio Engineering Society Recording Competition

Engineering Collaboration with the Institute of Engineering and Technology (IET) on the internationalisation of the curriculum

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What does IoC mean? (Leask, 2009)

• “Internationalisation of the curriculum is the incorporation of an international and intercultural dimension into the content of the curriculum as well as the teaching and learning processes and support services of a program of study.”

• “An internationalised curriculum will engage students with internationally informed research and cultural and linguistic diversity. It will purposefully develop their international and intercultural perspectives as global professionals and citizens.”

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What are we trying to achieve? The Global People Project (Reid et al, 2010)

Global citizens ...

make an effort to understand international issues

actively seek to understand unfamiliar behaviour

avoid judging people from other cultures on the basis of stereotypes

use diversity as a mirror to explore their own cultural identity

are ready and prepared to deal with culturally ambiguous situations

know at least one language other than English



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Where are we at GCU? GLOBAL PERSPECTIVES research

• on-line survey sent to 85 programme leaders in all schools;

• 48 responses = 56%

• 17 individual interviews with 8 of 9 Heads of Department and senior staff

• focus groups with 31 ‘Student Leaders’ from all schools

• UK: 18; International:13

• UG: 28; PG: 3

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What is an internationalised curriculum? The student view

1. GCU curricula should be aligned with international practice

“I think an international curriculum should be the one that can be like ...other curriculums from abroad. For example a student from GCU could go to another university outside UK and being accepted there because of the curriculum. The curriculum is similar. “ (home student)

“Yeah, well, I agree with that, especially as an international student myself, you don’t want to come to a university where you feel as if that what is being taught can’t be transferred to where you’re from or to another place. “

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2. Curricula should improve international employability

“I would say it’s more like being able to compete on a more global level so that you could work anywhere rather than just being able to work in the UK. “ (home student)

“ I think having a good stead to get jobs in other countries and once you qualify, not just being confined to Scotland or the UK, being given the opportunity and the skills basis to go wherever you want. “ (home student)

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3. Curricula should reflect intercultural awareness

“ I believe that when you want to make a curriculum internationalised you not only have people come from different countries to study at your university, I feel that you should somehow consider the background that these people have gone through in their different countries ... I feel that a great deal of concentration should go into ‘ok in this country how do they do stuff?” (International student)

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The academic view Perceptions of new strategy

Sceptical about new approach

“How would you characterize GCU's approach to internationalisation? In your view, how much importance does the university attach to its different aspects?”

89% of survey respondents: recruitment is a top priority

33% : raising UK students’ international awareness

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Lost in translation? The difficulties of operationalizing the strategy

o Potential conflict with other GCU strategies and targets

“ ...there’s a large number of people who just see it (teaching international students) as more work ...you have people whose English is not great ... and then they fail . So why would you take people from a different culture when they’ve got a higher chance of failing? ...you know, turkeys don’t vote for Christmas.”

o Insufficient guidance on contextualisation in subject discipline

o Just another fashion?

“ There is a big spotlight on it for a period of time and then it sort of diminishes really. It moves on to something else and I think it’s about sustaining that kind of level of focus...”

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The need to ‘break the mould’

Students and staff agreed that majority of GCU students lack international ambition and awareness.

Academics “ (they) have a long way to go ... (for them) global citizenship would be an

aspiration , I would say, because, to be frank, we have an agenda on Scotland that encourages students to stay at home”

“ I feel that students are happy to take a lesser job, but it’s one that allows

them to remain within the area.”

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“ they (home students) are not even interested in any culture...they are friendly, but they don’t want to know anything about different countries.” (international student)

Staff survey 37% : majority of home students are aware of international issues 42%: minority are aware 20%: not aware

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The way forward: sharing responsibility

The student view

It is up to students to show initiative and interest but they need to be encouraged and supported.

“I think it should be promoted more, but it should be down to you as well...I’d say 60% it should be you going for it, but you do need the support and background to guide you in the right direction.”

Make ‘international modules’ compulsory and assess knowledge

“I think it wouldn’t be enough if you just told people. I think it needs to be marked. Otherwise there is no point.”

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The academic view

Do not rely exclusively on the champions

“ I think ... it’s not really happening. It’s not happening in any consistent way across the university. So that’s a big problem.”

Adopt a “carrot and stick approach”

“there has to be some kind of structural mandate that makes them (engage) even if they don’t in their hearts of hearts believe in it...they have to do it ...because it is expected of them.”

Take a flexible approach to curriculum design

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Review and



Revise and plan



Where do we start? The process of internationalising the curriculum

(Leask and Bridge, 2013)

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Where is GCU on the “spectrum of acceptance”? (Bell, 2004)

Survey results

IoC is essential and should be integrated: 51%

IoC is possible but not essential: 40%

IoC is not required: 9%

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“Interpretations and enactments of

internationalisation of the curriculum in

context require critical reflection, imagination

and careful nurturing. “

(Leask and Bridge, 2013, p. 98)

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Bell, M (2004) Internationalising the higher education curriculum – Do academics agree? http://uow.academia.edu/maureenbell/Papers/258073/Internationalising_the_Higher_

Education_Curriculum_Do_Academics_Agree Glasgow Caledonian University, Internationalisation Strategy 2012-2015 http://www.gcu.ac.uk/media/gcalwebv2/international/Internationalisation_Brochure_2

013_web.pdf Leask, B (2009) ‘Using formal and informal curricula to improve interactions between

home and international students’. Journal of Studies in International Education, 13 (2), pp 205-221

Leask, B and Bridge, C (2013) Comparing internationalisation of the curriculum in action across disciplines: theoretical and practical perspectives, Compare, 2013, vol 43, no 1, pp 79-101

Reid, S, Stadler, S, Spencer-Oatey, H and Ewington, N (2010) Internationalisation in the UK Higher Education Sector: A Competency based Approach, University of Warwick