Exploring stakeholder perspectives regarding a ‘global’ curriculum: a case study

Slade, Sharon; Galpin, Fenella and Prinsloo, Paul (2012). Exploring stakeholder perspectives regarding a ‘global’ curriculum: a case study. In: Ryan, Janette ed. Cross-Cultural Teaching and Learning for Home and International Students: Internationalisation of Pedagogy and Curriculum in Higher Education. Abingdon: Routledge, pp. 141–155.

URL: http://www.routledge.com/books/details/97804156301...


As higher education becomes increasingly borderless, with technological innovations and globalisation allowing higher education institutions to reach beyond their own geopolitical boundaries, different stakeholder groups have a range of expectations regarding the meaning of an ‘international’ curriculum. These expectations may differ starkly from the hype and rhetoric of the discourses of the internationalisation of higher education. Often these expectations and assumptions result in specific claims regarding curriculum design, development and delivery.
Students are registering to study with overseas institutions which offer programmes often developed within considerably different cultures and contexts than the students’ own. Institutions offering ‘international’ qualifications are in danger of (and often accused of) prescribing Anglophone epistemologies as universally true and applicable. Such curricula may result in cultures losing their distinctive features or becoming syncretistic mixtures of cultural practices dislocated from their original locations.
This paper shares the findings of a research project in the context of a large distance learning Business School in which 500 students, faculty, tutors and employers were surveyed regarding their expectations of an MBA with a stated claim of providing students with an ‘international’ learning experience. The findings reveal that the different stakeholder groups have very different views of what they expect from both an international business curriculum and an international mix of students. While all stakeholders stated several advantages of being exposed to diverse contexts (local and global, private and public) and different cultures; students and sponsors considered the ‘international’ nature of the curriculum to be less important than tutors and faculty. The findings will be of interest to faculty, curriculum and instructional designers, tutors, employers and higher education management.

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