International management learning: comparative study of the Open University students

Ramanau, Ruslan and Tyler, Sheila (2011). International management learning: comparative study of the Open University students. In: Proceedings of the European Humanities University Conference: Social Sciences, Humanities and Higher Education in Eastern Europe after 1991, Vilnius, Lithuania, 14-16 Jun 2011, Vilnius, Lithuania.

Abstract

Literature on ‘internationalisation’ within the higher educator sector lacks a student perspective as a result of imperatives to attract students from outside the host countries of education providers. Most courses are ‘international’ only by virtue of having an international and culturally-diverse student body rather than being designed to provide cross-cultural knowledge and inter-cultural learning experiences. Progression from a monocultural perspective has not been demonstrated in student populations, nor what is involved cognitively and emotionally. Without such information effective methods of ‘internationalising’ curricula cannot be achieved. This study is a first, small step to discovering what students’ needs and aspirations are and what drives these. Findings were counter-intuitive: among distance-learning students desiring ‘internationalised’ course content were those with least intercultural awareness and experience.

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