20 SES 10, Citizenship and Motivation in Higher Education and Collaborative Learinging in Cultural Diverse Motivation Expectations and Experiences for International Sutdents in Higher Education Groups
Nowadays, Higher Education graduate students more often need to cross borders to find a job (Eichhorst, Hinte, & Rinne, 2013). Economic crisis has had an important impact on student mobility opportunities and thus affecting their competences development, mainly in Southern European countries.
Previous research has shown that students who went abroad developed specific competences as intercultural sensitivity, management of intercultural situations (Van der Zee & Van Oudenhoven, 2000, 2001, 2013), foreign language skills learning, culture awareness (Behrnd & Porzelt, 2012), social initiative, cultural empathy, and flexibility (Carmona, Van der Zee, & Van Oudenhoven, 2013).
According to the European Commission (2006), the key competences for lifelong learning are a combination of knowledge, skills and attitudes appropriate to the context, and necessary for personal fulfilment and development, social inclusion, active citizenship and employment. Based on this lifelong Competency-Based Approach (CBA), from the eight key competences, the five more related to student mobility and relevant for the present proposal study are: communication in foreign languages, social and civic competences, digital competence (Ala-Mutka, Punie, & Redecker (2008), cultural awareness and expression, and sense of initiative and entrepreneurship.
However, how well prepared are university students to study or work abroad? How can university students’ professional development be encouraged through a CBA approach to promote quality and equity in higher education? These questions raise the topic related to what competences undergraduate students accomplish interacting and learning with other European students, and how European citizenship could be form or transform from this base.
As mentioned earlier, economic crisis has decreased the demand of exchange mobility due to high expenses but also to the cuts in scholarships, financial aid, grants, and fellowships that used to be more available but now are less easily obtained by students. In addition, there are the national economic cuts and often short-sighted politics that ensue.
Therefore, higher education institutions in Europe need to find out new ways to improve, in a similar vein as mobility programs do, the lifelong learning competences among students. For example, a possible solution is re-think the role of mentoring programs as a way of educational program in higher education institutions. Thus, the purpose of the present study is to develop students’ key competences within countries and universities, through a mentoring program and ICT technologies in collaboration with other European universities.
In line with Ward´s model (2001) adaptation to other cultures is a unique experience and it may be meaningfully divided into two domains: 1) Psychological domain (emotional/affective) and 2) Sociocultural (behavioral) domain related to the ability to “fit in'' to acquire culturally appropriate skills and to negotiate interactive aspects of the host environment. In the same way as mobility program benefits students, there is also a need to enhance key competences of those students who due to economic reasons are not able to get involved in any exchange mobility experience.
Therefore, the goal of the present proposal is to develop a program in which a set of collaborative mentoring and digital strategies aim at promoting processes to develop key competences for the LLL among university students.
Ala-Mutka, K., Punie, Y., & Redecker, C. (2008). Digital competence for lifelong learning. Institute for Prospective Technological Studies (IPTS), European Commission, Joint Research Centre. Technical Note: JRC, 48708. Behrnd, V., & Porzelt, S. (2012). Intercultural competence and training outcomes of students with experiences abroad. International Journal of Intercultural Relations, 36(2), 213-223. Eichhorst, W., Hinte, H., & Rinne, U. (2013). Youth unemployment in Europe: what to do about it? (No. 65). IZA Policy Paper. Carmona, C., Van der Zee, K., & Van Oudenhoven, J. P. (2013). Competencias interculturales: aspecto clave para la internacionalización. En J. Gacel-Avila and N. Orellana (Coords.), Educación superior: gestión, innovación e internacionalización (pp. 195-214). Valencia: Publicacions de la Universitat de Valencia. European Parliament and the Council (2006). Recommendation of the European Parliament and the Council of 18 December 2006 on key competences for lifelong learning. Official Journal of the European Union, L394. available at: http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/site/en/oj/2006/l_394/l_39420061230en00100018.pdf Van der Zee, K. I., & Van Oudenhoven, J. P. (2000). The multicultural personality : A multidimensional instrument of multicultural effectiveness. European Journal of Personality, 14, 291–309. Van der Zee, K. I., & Van Oudenhoven, J. P. (2001). The multicultural personality questionnaire: Reliability and validity of self- and other ratings of multicultural effectiveness. Journal of Research in Personality, 35, 278-288. Van der Zee , K., Van Oudenhoven, J.P., Ponterotto, J. G., & Fietzer , A. W. (2013). Multicultural Personality Questionnaire: Development of a Short Form, Journal of Personality Assessment, 95(1), 118-124. Ward, C., & Kennedy, A. (2001). Coping with cross-cultural transition. Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, 32(5), 636-642.
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