SEIS Academic Forum Series
Forum on Intercultural Studies
Missed connections in a Sino-French programme?
Critical intercultural perspectives
Speaker: Professor Fred Dervin
Date: December 6th, 2017 (Wednesday)
Venue: Room 115, English School Building, BFSU
Different forms of internationalization have witnessed a tremendous growth in higher education in the last ten years. China is no exception to the rule as it is currently exploring many and various internationalization initiatives. In the last few years one internationalization initiative explored by China has consisted in setting up hybrid institutions with foreign institutions such as the Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University at Suzhou and the University of Nottingham and Zhejiang Wanli University at Ningbo. These are often referred to as “joint-venture universities” (Knight & McNamara, 2017). In this presentation my interest lays in the notion of interculturality in such an institution. It is important to note that many scholars from around the globe have been critical of the somewhat na?ve idea that internationalization is inherently supportive of interculturality. As Roberts (2002: 114) puts it: “(it) is not an automatic outcome of this experience.” This thus calls for a critical perspective on interculturality in relation to internationalisation. This presentation examines, on the one hand, the ways the students discuss interculturality within and in relation to the programme, on the other hand, the impact of (potential) educational intercultural encounters between Chinese students, international staff and exchange students at a joint-venture university. My emphasis is on the Chinese students’ perspectives: How do they perceive the intercultural during the program? How do their expectations about it (potentially) change? What do they tell us about the kind of interculturality taking place at the university? And finally how do their encounters impact on their personal and professional identity?
About the Speaker
Fred Dervin (文德) is Professor of Multicultural Education at the University of Helsinki (Finland), where he leads the TENSION Research Group (Criticality, Interculturality and Bias in Education). Dervin has been awarded several honorary titles in Australia, Canada, China, Luxembourg, Malaysia and Sweden. He is a leading authority on multicultural/intercultural education in the world.