The Relevance of the Internationalised Curriculum to Graduate Capability: The Role of New Lecturers’ Attitudes in Shaping the ‘Student Voice’
Recent research with UK students in higher education suggests that whilst they have a prevailing interest in other cultures and recognise the benefits of working in the ‘international classroom’ their experience is not tied more widely into learning or skills acquisition and benefits are often incidental, of low yield and not contextualised. Some students also feel that it is the institutions’ responsibility to review policy, procedure and pedagogical practice to better facilitate communication between different student groups (Harrison & Peacock, 2007; this volume; Peacock & Harrison, 2006). Arguably this process of review is well underway and at some institutions it has prompted notions of internationalisation which embrace the concept of global citizenship (Bourn, this volume; Caruana & Spurling, 2007). At the institutional level the rhetoric of global citizenship is manifest in mission statements and internationalisation strategies that trumpet internationalised, intercultural and inclusive curricula (Caruana & Spurling, 2007). However, internationalisation is not a clearly defined, absolute set of ‘best practices’ but rather a nuanced construct which is highly context specific. In other words, internationalisation will be manifest in different ways depending upon disciplinary perspectives, whether it is viewed from an academic or administrative stance, from an institutional, faculty or department vantage point or from staff, student, employer and other stakeholder perspectives. However, the crucial factor determining the possibilities for intercultural dialogue within the student learning experience is academics’ attitudes towards, and the ways in which they understand, the process of internationalisation (Hyland, Trahar, Anderson & Dickens, 2008; Schoorman, 1999).