Making Students Globally Competititive

Decorative: A map of the globe focusing on the circumpolar region


A. "Making Students Globally Competitive While They Learn" (post) responds to the the way "globalisation has expanded the horizons of students all over the world ... [and] increased the demanding conditions and requirements that they have to satisfy to craft their future in it."

  • The post outlines doable practices to ensure "that students of today are trained and equipped to combat the problems and challenges that they will face on a global scale."

1. The post offers suggestions under the following topics: 

  • "What It Means to Be Globally Competitive"
  • "Need for Innovation in Education Systems"
  • "Measures that Students Can Take" (and that departments/faculties should support)

2. At Lakehead, such efforts are consistent with the following:

  • The university's framework goal to "develop informed education, research, and service strategies and opportunities through ... global partners"
  • Its named strategy "to develop global perspectives through ongoing internationalization of Lakehead University campuses, curricula, and increased international experiential learning opportunities across disciplines" (2018-2023 Strategic Plan 10, 13)

B. "What It Means to Be Globally Competitive"

"The Asia Society’s Centre for Global Education defines a Globally Competent student using four primary characteristics":

1. "Investigating the World"

  • "Students should be aware and eager to learn about different cultures around the world."

2. "Recognising Perspectives"

  • "Students should understand that a difference in opinion is always a possibility between people belonging to different cultures."
  • "Thus, they should be able to acknowledge different perspectives, without trying to enforce their own."

3. "Communicating Ideas"

  • "Students should be adept at conveying their thoughts and emotions, verbally as well as non-verbally, to a diverse audience."

4. "Taking Action"

  • "Students should not only obtain knowledge about the world but also learn to utilise and leverage their learnings in a positive way, to make a difference in the world."

C. Needed Innovations in Education Systems

"Through constant innovation, educational systems can incorporate a number of measures to make students more globally competent":

1. Promote Languages in the Curriculum

  • "Apart from teaching a globally accepted language like English, institutes can also teach [and promote] second languages like Mandarin, Spanish, and French, which are fast becoming prominent language skills required for any multinational company."

2. "Incorporate Global Resources into Every Subject"

  • "Students should be encouraged to refer to research papers and studies from different countries to understand different perspectives from across the globe."
  • "Resources from non-English-speaking countries may also be used to inculcate fresh perspectives and encourage empathy."

3. "Utilise Problem-Based Learning"

  • "Students who are globally competent need to be able to solve real-world problems and apply their theoretical learnings in practical situations."
  • "Problem-Based Learning ... requires students to conduct research on specific problems by themselves, incorporate a range of perspectives, and formulate a solution accordingly."
  • "This will aid students in developing critical-thinking skills instead of simply relying on their textbooks for solutions ... [and], in turn, will facilitate a better and deeper understanding of the concepts as well as enhance their communication skills."

4. "Organise Educational Trips" (or Support Participation in Study Abroad Programs)

  • "Perhaps the best way to make a student culturally aware is by encouraging travel in the teaching pedagogy, through educational trips to different countries."
  • "Such trips would act as a gateway for students to experience different locales on a first-hand basis."

5. "Explore the City"

  • "Immersive learning experiences can play a key role in facilitating a student’s all-round development and problem-solving skills."
  • "By using the city as a classroom, students can be exposed to a range of real-life problems, which will train them in devising strategic and well-planned solutions."

D. "Measures that Students Can Take" -- and Instructors Can Encourage

"While institutions play a key role in helping students become globally competent, this competency can only be leveraged to yield results, if the students also take certain steps to further their development."

1. "Watch Global News" (i.e. News from Around the World)

  • "Students need to explore and be aware of everything that is going on around the world."
  • "By watching and listening to news from a number of different countries, they will be able to understand a number of differing perspectives for the same news."

2. "Learn a Foreign Language From Your Phone"

  • "Smartphones ... offer a variety of means to enhance one’s knowledge and keep learning."
  • "Apps allow students to learn a range of new languages in a fun and interactive manner, using their phones."
  • There are also many useful international-news apps as well.

3. "Travel the Globe on a Budget"

  • "With multiple options like homestays and youth hostels now being available, travelling to a different destination has become extremely convenient."
  • "[S]tudents can explore a number of different places, and understand the ground realities of life there."
  • This "can also help them grasp the many nuances of various cultures through an interaction with the natives." 

4. Intern Abroad

  • "Apart from travelling, the best way for students to expose themselves to new cultures is by taking up internships in a foreign country."
  • "Many organisations today arrange internships in companies or volunteering positions in NGOs for foreign students, to enable them to learn from exposure to various other cities and countries."
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