Students studying in UK universities can expect an international and cosmopolitan education, learning with and from people of all nationalities, gaining new perspectives and beginning to see themselves as citizens of the world.(1)
The diversity evident in a contemporary UK university, both in its domestic and international student and staff population as well as its community context, offers prospects for imaginative curriculum design…. students or staff coming to the UK from other countries can offer alternative perspectives on the curriculum and should be valued for this.(2)
Developing intercultural competence and understanding in students is an aim that universities commonly express for their undergraduate programmes. This can be encouraged through intercultural dialogue and the attendant exposure to alternative perspectives. The inevitable misunderstandings, which demand patience and tolerance to overcome, form an essential part of the learning process for all involved.(3)
The idea of ‘decolonising education’ is concerned with deconstructing dominant pedagogical frames which promote singular worldviews to extend the inter- cultural understanding and experiences of students, plus their ability to think and work using globally-sensitive frames and methods. To decolonise the HE learning experience also means creating more inclusive learning environments and encouraging the kind of informal learning that takes place through cross- cultural socialising and co- curricular activities.(4)
(1) Wintrup J Nascimento J D’Aeth a Phillips L Wheeler L Laosebikan P Adams J and Truman J (2015) Purposeful partnerships and practices: An international education collaboration in global health. https://www.heacademy.ac.uk/sites/default/files/purposeful_partnerships_and_practices.pdf (accessed 02/01/2017).
(2) Jones E (2015) Should Internationalisation begin at home? The International Unit http://www.international.ac.uk/newsletters/international-focus/international-focus-100/articles/should-internationalisation-begin-at-home.aspx (accessed 02/01/2017).
(3) Scudamore R (2013) Engaging home and international students: A guide for new lecturers. The Higher Education Academy. https://www.heacademy.ac.uk/sites/default/files/rachelscudamorereportfeb2013.pdf (accessed 02/01/2017).
(4) Ryan, A and Tilbury, D (2013) Flexible Pedagogies: new pedagogical ideas. The Higher Education Academy. https://www.heacademy.ac.uk/system/files/resources/npi_report.pdf (accessed 02/01/2017).
(5) Higher Education Academy (2016) Essential frameworks for enhancing student success: 05. Internationalising higher education. https://www.heacademy.ac.uk/enhancement/frameworks/framework-internationalising-higher-education
(6) Joint Board of Moderators (2017) Guidelines for Developing Degree Programmes: http://www.jbm.org.uk/uploads/JBM117degreeguidelines_jan18.pdf (accessed 02/03/2018).
A full set of results (Thematic analysis of student blogs) can be found in the attached document.
This piece of coursework was unorthodox yet very rewarding. At the initial stages I was sceptical regarding its relevance to the course, however as we delved further in to the coursework and as I got to know my group much better, I realised that this coursework was extremely useful and inspiring. It was something new and exciting and to tell the truth it was the first piece of coursework I was genuinely looking forward to completing.
I found the whole experience to be enlightening and feel that we taught each other about engineering and social aspects of both of our countries, increasing our knowledge and appreciation of how foreign nationals view engineering projects from a different perspective, based on their history, culture & education. In conclusion, I am very glad to have taken part in this project and would highly recommend that it is continued in the years to come.
I really hope this is a coursework that will still continue to be given to students in coming years to help them integrate themselves better in this country. As a foreigner I really appreciate the fact that the University of Strathclyde is helping people like me meet more people and feel at home even so far away from their actual homes.
This example involved 65 groups (3-4 students) of first-year students (n=260) with an additional set of EU / Industrial mentor (n=65) volunteers (over three academic sessions). Coordinating the meetings and arranging for poster production and presentations requires time and unexpected problems did arise. Increasing or decreasing the number of students involved would no doubt have both positive and negative impacts on the allocation of time required to arrive at a successful outcome.
Whilst this example involves UG engineering students the industry sector and the theme of the poster could be changed for any UG /PG course offered at Strathclyde.