Global Citizenship

Dower (2002) point our that the idea of global citizenship involves a significant identity, loyalty and commitment beyond the nation-state. Education for global citizenship becomes essential for helping students to develop the knowledge, skills and attitudes needed for meeting the challenges of a fast-changing and interdependent world (Oxfam, 2006). Oxfam (2006) identifies the qualities of a global citizen, as someone who:

  • is aware of the wider world and has a sense of their own role as a world citizen;
  • respects and values diversity;
  • has an understanding of how the world works economically, politically, socially, culturally, technologically and environmentally;
  • challenges social injustice;
  • participates in and contributes to the community at a range of levels from the local to the global;
  • is willing to act to make the world a more equitable and sustainable place; and
  • takes responsibility for their actions.

University College London (UCL) aims to produce distinctive kinds of graduates through education for global citizenship. Graduates are expected to possess certain attributes, to be: critical and creative thinkers; ambitious – but also idealistic and committed to ethical behaviour; aware of the intellectual and social value of culture difference; entrepreneurs with the ability to innovate; willing to assume leadership roles: in the family, the community and the workplace; and highly employable and ready to embrace professional mobility (University College London, 2010, p. 3).

The School of Social Sciences in University of Southampton's 'Teaching Citizenship in HE' website introduces 11 learning activities, fousing on active citizenship, global citizenship, environmental citizenship, and new media and citizenship, that aim to challenge students to explore different aspects of citizenship in contemporary society (University of Southampton, 2011).

More details:

Oxfam (What is global citizenship?)

UCL (Global Citizenship)

UCL (Videos: UCL Vice Provost talks about what global citizenship means to UCL)

UCL (Videos: Global Citizenship Study Abroad Student Perspectives)

Southampton University (Teaching Citizenship in Higher Education)

Global Perspectives

According to Bourn, McKenzie and Shiel (2006), the purposes of developing global perspectives in higher education are to help students to:
  • understand their own situation in a wider context;
  • make connections between local and global events and scales;
  • develop skills and knowledge to interpret events affecting their lives;
  • learn from experiences elsewhere in the world; and
  • identify common interests and explore wider horizons.

Global perspectives enable students to become informed and active citizens in the world through equipping them to be aware of the need for global sustainability and different ways of thinking about the global society and its issues (Lunn, 2008).

Bournemouth University (2011) embeds global perspectives in its learning and teaching strategies across the institution. Its curricula are aimed at cultivating appropriate values, attitudes and skills of students as global citizens through addressing global issues, the globalisation process, internationalisation and sustainable development.

Leeds Metropolitan University (2003) also emphasises global perspectives as perspectives that enable students to understand global issues and the relationships between local actions and global consequences, and promote their responses to globalisation process based on justice and equality.

More details:

Leeds Metropolitan University (Cross-Cultural Capability & Global Perspectives Guidelines for Curriculum Review)

Global Employability

Global perspectives and global citizenship are associated with employability (Archer, 2005; Caruana and Hanstock, 2003). Yorke and Knight (2006) conceptualise employability as

a set of achievements, skills, understandings and personal attributes that make graduates more likely to gain employment and be successful in their chosen occupation, which benefits themselves, the workforce, the community and the economy (p. 3).  

Employers increasingly appreciate graduates who are equipped with skills and attitudes, such as creativity, curiosity, passion, entrepreneurship, cross-cultural communication skills and effective team players and leaders, that are needed for working in the global economy and society (Archer, 2005; Bourn and Sharma, 2008). Several British universities promote global employability as the main learning objective of IoC.

More details:

Universities UK (Enhancing employability, recognising diversity - case studies of British universities)

Leeds Metropolitan University (Hands-on Internationalisation)

Bournemouth University (Global Citizenship and Employability)

Bournemouth University (Video: Improving the global employability of BU graduates)