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International Education as Intercultural Learning

An Employee Perspective

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This chapter offers an employee perspective on the process of internationalisation as this evolved in a Danish university college of engineering, UCS,1 over a period of 2½ years. Within the overall frame of the collection, it addresses the problem of uncertainty confronted by members of staff in their encounters with international students, emphasising the need for teaching and administrative workers to adjust culturally and psychologically to an international learning environment. The core arguments are that employees experience a transition comparable to the one identified in relation to international students, and that intercultural awareness among the staff is a prerequisite for successful internationalisation.

The background to the discussion is the extensive process of internationalisation undertaken by Danish universities and colleges over the past 10 years. In part, this development has been prompted by EU initiatives such as the 1999 Bologna Declaration; in part, by the institutions’ awareness of their need to attract international students to replace the Danes who have chosen to study abroad. As in the Australian cases discussed by Schapper and Mayson (2005) and Naidoo and Jamieson (2005), the motivation behind Danish internationalisation is mainly financial, with international and exchange students representing a new source of income for the universities. This has resulted in a dramatic increase in the number of international, English-language programmes in areas such as engineering, business studies and communications, leading to the establishment of large, international communities at many colleges and universities.

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Tange, H. (2008). International Education as Intercultural Learning. In: Hellstén, M., Reid, A. (eds) Researching International Pedagogies. Springer, Dordrecht. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4020-8858-2_7

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