Traditional HE measures of internationalisation typically include numbers of international staff and students, student mobility numbers, and international research. The University of Liverpool recently had the opportunity to participate in a pilot study of the Global-Education Profiler (GE-P), a diagnostic tool developed by Spencer-Oatey and Dauber to go beyond these traditional measures and help institutions identify what kind of global learning environment our students are actually experiencing.
This new tool asks students to rate items such as social and academic integration in terms of both their ‘importance’ and their ‘actual experience’. The GE-P “identifies students’ actual experiences of integration, and opportunities and support for developing ‘Global Graduate’ skills”, which many employers say they are looking for graduates to possess, and which might typically include the following:
Spencer-Oatey and Dauber (2016) have also developed a model (below) to show the five stages of development for an institution to become fully internationalised:
Many institutions are in the middle stage of this model. The GE-P tool can provide information to help institutions develop strategies to facilitate movement to the higher stages.
Helen Spencer-Oatey gave a really interesting presentation to staff in May where she presented some initial findings from the survey. You can hear a short video from Helen about the importance of looking at ‘wider’ measures of internationalisation to support institutions in developing a truly international student experience, and how the Global-Education Profiler tool can provide strategic information to support this process. View a copy of Helen’s full presentation (available to Liverpool staff only at this stage as this work was part of a pilot study using a survey that is not yet refined nor generally available).
Although Helen’s team were only at the early stages of analysis of the pilot data, which was based on a fairly small sample, staff attending the talk were fascinated to see what Liverpool students think about their experiences. Although in some cases, Liverpool doesn’t quite meet the high expectations of students, the gap between expectation and experience is small for communication skills and academic integration, with a slightly bigger gap between the two noted for social integration. Language skills and global skills were a little more of a concern. Interestingly, comparing students from Asia with UK students, the overall differences in results are not large. Asian students saw social integration as slightly more important than UK students and their experience falls a little shorter of their expectations. However, we were encouraged by the results which provide some useful pointers as to how we can get ourselves firmly into the stage of ‘Community Internationalisation’.
You may also be interested in a previous blog which highlights some of Spencer-Oatey and Dauber’s previous research in this area.
Anne Qualter and Trish Lunt
British Council (2013) ‘Culture at Work – The Value of Intercultural Skills in the Workplace’ Available at https://www.britishcouncil.org/sites/default/files/culture-at-work-report-v2.pdf (accessed 13 June 2016)