22 SES 02 A, Inclusion and Diversity In Higher Education Settings
Parallel Paper Session
Universities increasingly regard student mobility within their degree programmes as a context for the acquisition of intercultural skills, cosmopolitan outlooks, awareness of global issues, and potential labour market advantage (Brooks & Waters 2011). If executed thoughtfully, student mobility programmes can enrich students’ educational experience, through promoting competencies for a globalised world. Immersing students in unfamiliar cultural contexts, and different academic systems, can make them aware of their own taken-for-granted practices and assumptions, as well as bringing them into contact with people and issues that broaden their perspectives. Little is known, however, about the preparation and support that students receive to maximise their learning from mobility programmes.
This paper uses Bourdieu’s (1984, 1993) writings on ‘forms of capital’, ‘field’ and ‘position-taking.’ We examine why an increasing number of universities are encouraging their students to participate in mobility programmes, as well as investigating student motivations and experiences of mobility.
The key research questions addressed in this paper are:
1/ What are the reasons that universities present to their students for participating in mobility programmes?
2/ What are the demographic backgrounds and subject disciplines of undergraduate students who participate in these programmes?
3/ What are the academic experiences of these students during their international study?
4/ What are the personal and sociocultural adjustments they face?
5/ What are their perceptions of the value of participating in the mobility programme?
Brooks, R. & Waters, J. (2011). Student mobilities, migration and the internationalization of higher education. Basingstoke, Palgrave McMillan. Bourdieu, P. (1984). Distinction: a social critique of the judgement of taste. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. Bourdieu, P. (1993). The field of cultural production. Cambridge, UK: Polity.
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