Diversity in Higher Education: A Bridge Toward Global Competency Development on Campus
Villikka, Denise; Wallinvirta, Eivor; Paakkonen, Heikki (2017)
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This article introduces the concept of facilitating the development of global competencies through campus diversity, through everyday campus experiences. It is believed to be the responsibility of educators to intentionally provide stimulation that supports students in building relationships outside their homogeneous peer groups to create campus communities that are racially and ethnically diverse. Educational institutions that measure the degree of diversity, not only through statistics, but also by the amount and type of social interaction, may gain a clearer picture as to the state of diversity within their organization. Through the creation of an inclusive campus culture and continual meaningful interaction between a mix of individuals, natural exchanges occur that allow students to gain insight into other cultures. Thus, empowering students to take center stage in their learning journey, during their time at university, and through a helping others campus culture, global competencies and cultural intelligence are nurtured through genuine and frequent interaction. The concepts of cultural intelligence and diversity form stepping stones that support the global competence development of higher education institutions across Finland. This article is written in connection with a Master’s thesis titled, Diversity in Education: Investigating the Integration of Multinationals in Higher Education.