22 SES 09 D, Inclusion and Diversity in Higher Education Settings
This paper results from part of a research project on global citizenship in higher education in the UK, conducted from 2012 to 2013 with funding from the UK Higher Education Academy. The project was carried out at one of the largest universities in northernEngland, Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU). Located in Manchesterand the surrounding area, MMU has a total student population of over 37,000 students, representing diverse cultural backgrounds, with 44% from low income backgrounds. It has eight faculties on five campuses, and provides over 1,000 courses and qualifications, with a strong emphasis on professional education. It is characterized by the fact that it has an extremely multicultural staff and student body, who traditionally have spent and expect to spend most of their lives in northwest England. The aims of the project were to explore concepts of global citizenship among the senior leaders, faculty, staff and students of the university, and to use the findings of this first stage of the project to inform the development of university policy and programmes of global citizenship education for faculty, staff and students.
Within this context, this paper focuses on the shift in institutional strategy and culture from being a regionally-focused, multicultural university to being a university that aims to develop global citizens as it educates “global professionals”. This occurs, evidently, within the context of the globalization and internationalization of higher education (Altbach & Knight, 2007; King, 2009). Increasingly, universities state in their visions and mission statements that their graduates will be “global citizens” or will be “globally competent”. However, these concepts still tend to be aspirational rather than real, appearing much more often in university mission statements than in actual policies and practices, and it seems to be difficult to cross the gap between aspiration and implementation. One initial attempt at defining global competence has been made by Boix Mansilla and Jackson (2011: 11):
"Students demonstrate global competence through awareness and curiosity about how the world works—informed by disciplinary and interdisciplinary insights. Specifically, globally competent students are able to perform the following four competences:
1. Investigate the world beyond their immediate environment, framing significant problems and conducting well-crafted and age-appropriate research.
2. Recognize perspectives, others’ and their own, articulating and explaining such perspectives thoughtfully and respectfully.
3. Communicate ideas effectively with diverse audiences, bridging geographic, linguistic, ideological, and cultural barriers.
4. Take action to improve conditions, viewing themselves as players in the world and participating reflectively."
The aim of this paper is to examine the perceptions and views of senior leaders at one higher education institution regarding this process of crossing the bridge from aspirational vision statements to implementation, as global citizenship as a concept at various levels of policy and practice was being developed, including the introduction of faculty and staff professional development and a global citizenship award for students. While the project involved data collection from a wide range of stakeholders within the university, this paper focuses on the perspectives of senior leaders in the university, exploring their understandings of global citizenship in the local context, and their views about strategies to implement global citizenship and the requirements in terms of changes in institutional culture.
Altbach, P. & Knight, J. (2007) The internationalization of higher education: Motivations and realities. Journal of Studies in International Education, 11, 290-305. Boix Mansilla, V. and Jackson, A. (2011). Educating for Global Competence: Preparing our Youth to Engage the World. New York: Asia Society. King, R. (2009). Governing Universities Globally: Organizations, Regulation and Ranking. Northampton, MA: Edward Elgar. Kvale, S. & Brinkmann, S. (2009). Interviews: Learning the Craft of Qualitative Research Interviewing. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE.
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