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Globalisation and a university education.

In conversation with: Christopher Barnatt, Martin Binks, Stephanie Bridges, Chris Ennew. Produced: November 2009; Duration: 4 minutes : 13 seconds.

Stephanie Bridges:
It's not just international students and thinking about the international students but actually, it's a much wider process and how it relates to the whole student body. And I'm quite struck by how a lot of the literature does relate to international students and what you think of as international education rather than internationalisation of education. In other words, a sort of recruitment of international students and thinking about the education of international students rather than thinking about everybody's education but the sort of global and international perspectives on that.

Chris Ennew:
Within our own system, we argue that more constructivist approaches to learning are preferable to more didactic, and I suppose, in some senses, the parallel with (MC.) is seeing ourselves as perhaps more constructivist and systems in a number of other countries and I'm thinking maybe particularly of China but not necessarily, being much more didactic and therefore there being benefits from encouraging an approach that involves a greater degree of student centred learning, a greater degree of problem oriented learning and then more critical perspectives so, so I think we almost start off from saying we know our system is different. From the way that we've analysed our system we believe that it may be a better system for at least some students than a highly didactic system

And it, you know, in a sense we wouldn't do the things we do if we didn't believe they were right. I think we've just got to get the balance right and be a little bit willing to reflect on the merits of alternative approaches.

Martin Binks:
The significance of what you're trying to do and trying to achieve will be different for different students, and it will be different for different cultures. And in some cultures there will be virtually no recognition of why on earth anybody would want to do this in the first place. If you've got an issue with something, go and ask somebody else, you know, about it. There's no need to take those decisions on your own or whatever it is. So I think as a lecturer in higher education which is now international, you face… you have a greater responsibility and you face a bigger challenge in conveying the relevance, and importance, and significance of what it is you're wanting them to learn.

Chris Barnatt:
We're very focused on the physicality of education and inevitably if it's taught in a local context. So if a student comes along and says well actually I need to be in another country for this period of time, can I access you electronically? Generally the answer would be no because that's not the way the system has been run. Whereas I think the more you start to think in a global perspective I think we'll have to start thinking our delivery will have to move global as well and with the overseas campuses we've got a lot more opportunity to deliver things in different parts of the world. I think our sharing and joint development of electronic resources will make education get a little bit more detached from the lecture theatre, the tutorial room, the particular academic's office. So I guess we have to think about a product that can be delivered globally and has a global message within it

Martin Binks:
I think it's of great importance that people do go out there and we get staff from those campuses coming here, because we're not realising yet the full benefits, not in a subject specific way but in a much broader sense in terms of people's ability to empathise and identify with different cultural backgrounds and sets of beliefs and conditions.

Short paper

Exploring culture in international learning: Because culture is so firmly embedded in society, which is itself dynamic and complex, "culture" is a very elusive concept to define This paper briefly looks at a major contribution to the field of cross-cultural or international understanding of culture, that made by Geert Hofstede (born 1928). Hofstede is an influential Dutch writer interested in the interface between national and organisational cultures. His work indicated that cultural groups persistently influence the behaviour of organisations and societies. In 2008 Hofstede's work attracted some criticism by Ailoni yet his work remains an important contribution to the field that is worthy of attention.
... more from Exploring culture in international learning.

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