University of Twente Student Theses


Lecturer's awareness and activity engagement with group exercises as tools to develop intercultural sensitivity in students of higher education in University of Twente

Acevedo Hernandez, J.A. (2012) Lecturer's awareness and activity engagement with group exercises as tools to develop intercultural sensitivity in students of higher education in University of Twente.

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Abstract:Every day, the world is becoming more connected in the economic, cultural, political, and social spheres; in reaction, higher education institutions are changing their approach and integrating the international scope in order to prepare their graduates to become global citizens and professionals. Thus, being sensitive to diversity and differences has become more important, students need to develop attitudes, knowledge, and skills that will aid them to function in a global society. The purpose of this study was to explore to what degree students can be influenced into being more competent in their intercultural encounters and to assess, from the point of view of the lecturer, the support the lecturer receives from the Internationalisation committee for enhancing their awareness and motivation into creating an environment that promotes intercultural learning for the students. As a research method for this thesis, triangulation was chosen in order to look at the Intercultural sensitivity from different perspectives. By triangulation, the intention was to find different theories that would support the findings for this thesis. First, a literature review was conducted to find all relevant theory about intercultural sensitivity in students and ways it could be enhanced. Second, a quasi-experiment was carried out to find if students that were exposed to diverse cultural groups and completing assignments using their cultural background had an influence in their intercultural sensitivity. Third, a questionnaire was implemented to assess the lecturers’ internationalisation perceptions and attitudes, the extent to which they integrate the internationalisation components into their academic methodology and teaching, and the extent to which the institutions were supporting and assessing their academic staff about the internationalisation component in their lectures. Students perceived that working in diverse cultural groups helped them to observe, understand, and learn how to interact with people from different cultures. But there was no evidence that group work and the assignments influenced their intercultural sensitivity. This study also showed that lecturers claimed they were aware of the diverse cultures present in their lecture. However, they also expressed that little had been done to promote the lecturer’s active role for internationalisation in the classroom, and they tended to overlook the importance of creating cultural awareness in the students. Internationalisation has to be undertaken from the more general aspects as internationalisation policies that cover major aspects of the university’s goals and objectives to more specific aspects like developing efficient methods to promote the intercultural interactions between students, and the training for lecturers to help them to promote the best environment for students to develop their intercultural skills. Keywords: Internationalisation, group work, intercultural interaction, intercultural skills, intercultural sensitivity, intercultural awareness, profile of ideal lecturer, teaching intercultural awareness.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:85 business administration, organizational science
Programme:Business Administration MSc (60644)
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