Departmental Bulletin Paper Global Education at Australian Universities

Higashino, Mitsunari  ,  Ota, Masahiko

In this paper, we examine several practices of global education at Australian universities and, thereby, identify their characteristics and challenges in order to derive implications for higher education in Japan. We visited four universities in Australia, i.e. the University of Wollongong, the University of Melbourne, Monash University, and La Trobe University, and conducted interviews with academic as well as administrative staff in charge of global education or studies abroad. The universities we visited understood that the institutional transformation of educational systems was a necessary prerequisite for globalization of university education. In the implementation of institutional transformations, initiatives undertaken by a university-wide organization, the involvement of faculty members through workshops and group discussions, and careful implementation considering potential tensions between “research” and “education” were confirmed. With regard to the actual contents of global education, the cases we examined strongly emphasized the practical application of learned knowledge or skills, to be acquired through interactions with real society, to global issues. It was clearly recognized that a major role of universities is to help students acquire such competencies for the practical application of knowledge, with an emphasis on the processes through which students recognize that they can – and should – apply learned knowledge to global problems for solutions. We confirmed that the practices of Australian global education, which refer to “inner multicultural situations” and strive to foster global citizenship contributing to solutions of global problems, have many implications for Japanese universities.

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