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Research Case studies

Developing a sustainable model for fostering intercultural understanding and building cross-cultural capability through learning in multicultural communities.


This on-going project is funded by the Higher Education Academy (HEA) and the UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA).

It involves collaboration between Leeds Beckett University and the University of South Australia (UniSA), aimed at developing a model for operationalizing student learning in multicultural communities as a mechanism for fostering intercultural understanding and developing cross-cultural capability for international and home students alike. Development of the model involves multiple stakeholders – students, academic and professional/support staff, and student and community organisations – working together to shape the structures that can support community learning for intercultural understanding and cross-cultural capability. The modelling process is underpinned by key activities such as identifying barriers and enablers, issues, areas for development and examples of good practice.

Research objectives include:

  • Identify the barriers to interaction and social cohesion between home and international students on campus in order to develop a model of community learning which addresses them.
  • Identify the extent and nature of international students’ interaction with social, welfare, spiritual, charitable and other multicultural organisations within the community and consider how universities might build on this.
  • Explore how universities are currently engaging with the local multicultural community and investigate local organisations’ views and experiences of their engagement with universities.
  • Particularly in terms of the last two objectives the project focuses on identifying existing good practice, potential blockers and enablers in relation to developing a model which embeds community learning within curricula across the disciplines.
Key outputs

The project is due for completion on 1 September 2012.

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