Preparing students to be global citizens

Helen L. Gallagher*, Thomas Peschken, Robert Gilmour

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Graduate attributes are university defined aspirations for students as they emerge into the professional world. They represent the desired transferable skills, understanding and qualities that a student may expect to achieve at the end of their learning journey; consequently, they also define the values and principles underpinning academic practices. Many HEIs seek to engender Global Citizenship(GC) in graduates to prepare them for life, employment and employability within the context of a complex and uncertain landscape and an increasingly interconnected world. The competences associated with GC include learning dimensions such as perspectives, attitudes and behaviours that cannot be directly imparted; rather students have to construct their own learning through reflection, self-challenge and self-appraisal. The role of educators is to create suitable environments and learning opportunities to support students to achieve this learning across both the formal and informal curriculum. Furthermore, in order for students to fully benefit, this learning requires to be explicit and measurable, to enable them to articulate their attributes to a potential employer or sponsor (Oliver and Jorre de St Jorre, 2018). We propose a phased approach for embedding the learning dimensions of GC throughout the curriculum using an adaptation of a ‘Exposure, Immersion, Mastery’ model (Charles et al. 2010). This approach facilitates the pre-defining of levels of competences required at each stage of the programme and for these to be recognised within learning outcomes, teaching and assessment methods. The authors’ direct experience of two highly successful Erasmus+ Strategic Partnerships (EQUIIP, PEETS) informs this model.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe European Conference on Education 2020: Official Conference Proceedings
PublisherThe International Academic Forum (IAFOR)
Number of pages12
Publication statusPublished - 16 Sept 2020
EventThe 8th European Conference on Education - University College London (& Online), London, United Kingdom
Duration: 16 Jul 202019 Jul 2020 (Link to conference website)

Publication series

NameThe European Conference on Education: Official Conference Proceedings
PublisherThe International Academic Forum (IAFOR)
ISSN (Print)2188-1162


ConferenceThe 8th European Conference on Education
Abbreviated titleECE2020
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
Internet address


  • graduate attributes
  • intercultural competence
  • learning outcomes


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