Global Perspectives and Global Citizenship: Understanding the Views of Our Learners
In the UK, a number of higher education institutions have been developing approaches to internationalisation based on the notion of developing global perspectives and global citizenship. Such approaches address ‘internationalisation at home’ and in the case of Bournemouth University (BU), aim to prepare students for global employability and to enhance awareness of global issues, such as poverty and social injustice and the need for sustainable development. This paper briefly describes the endeavour at BU and outlines how initiatives have been embedded, through a strategic approach to curriculum change and the establishment of the Centre for Global Perspectives to lead internationalisation, across the university. The paper then provides an account of research undertaken in 2009 to determine the future direction of international activity. The aim of the research is to provide a reality check: future developments need to acknowledge the perspectives of students in relation to global issues, their willingness to engage with internationalisation, and the extent to which they feel that their learning experience prepares them for global employability. The paper presents the results of survey data conducted to ‘understand the learner’ and offers a summary of students’ perceptions of what it means to be a global citizen. The conclusion suggests a number of approaches for engaging students more effectively, including ways to enhance learning of other cultures in the classroom and through mobility programmes and volunteering.
Keywords: Global Perspectives, Global Citizenship, Internationalisation
Assoc. Prof. Chris Shiel
Director, Centre for Global Perspectives, Bournemouth University
She is an Advisor to the UNESCO Centre, University of Belfast and to the Development Education Research Centre,Institute of Education, University of London. She is also a Board member of a number of NGOs.