The challenges of a multicultural university environment in the era of crisis
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The challenges of a multicultural university environment in the era of crisis. Gyöngyi Pozsgai – Attila Kajos – Tímea Németh University of Pécs. The aim of the presentation.

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The challenges of a multicultural university environment in the era of crisis

The challenges of a multicultural university environment in the era of crisis

Gyöngyi Pozsgai – Attila Kajos – Tímea Németh

University of Pécs


The aim of the presentation
The aim of the presentation the era of crisis

To examine how/if crisis can stimulate intercultural dialogue and multicultural environment at the universities by the growing number of international students

To introduce the attitude of the international students towards the domestic students and through their relationships towards the domestic culture – comparing these data with the attitude of our Hungarian students towards international students and their cultures

Using the results of three surveys


World trends
World trends the era of crisis

Hugeincreaseininternationalstudentenrollment

2001: 1 millioninternationalstudentsworldwide

2009: 3,3millioninternationalstudents

2025: 8 million (UNESCO estimation)


Reasons for growing importance of international student recruitment in the era of crisis
Reasons for growing importance of international student recruitment in the era of crisis

financial benefits

1.on institutional level – to balance growing costs, decreasing govenmental support

2.on societal level - important financial commodity

- contribution for the US economy – 19 billion USD, UK economy – 14 billion USD ( 2010)

solution for demographic decline – keeping the workplaces of the current lecturers, researchers

bring new perspectives to the classroom experience - allow for home students to benefit from international experiences – can help their future employability on international Labour Market


University of p cs
University of Pécs recruitment in the era of crisis

Total student number ( 2010) : 27 963

International students ( 2010): 1762 – 6,3 %

Largest international student groups come from Germany , Norway, Iran, Serbia, South Korea

International programmes:

General Medicine and Dentistry in English and in German, Pharmacy in English

BA programme in Business Administration and MsC in Applied Management (validated by Middlesex University, London)

BA programme in Psychology


Surveys
Surveys recruitment in the era of crisis

Survey I. (2010)

Aim : To explore the motivations and decision making process of international students when choosing their place of study

Methodology: on-line questionnaire

72 completed questionnaires

conducted among the international students of UP

2. Survey II. (2011)

Aim: To explore the attitude of foreign students to Hungarian students and culture

Methodology :standard on-line questionnaire

Completed surveys: 152

3. Survey III (2011)

Aim: To examine the attitude of Hungarian students to foreign students and their culture

Methodology: on-line questionnaire

103 completed questionnaires

Carried out by 2 PhD students – University of Pécs, Faculty of Business and Economics


Survey i main source of information about up
Survey I. recruitment in the era of crisisMain source of information about UP

:

Sequence of importance:

The main source of information about the University of Pécs are the friends – former and current international students of UP


Benefits of studying abroad
Benefits of studying abroad recruitment in the era of crisis

The third most importantbenefit is tolearnaboutdifferentcultures


Survey ii do you consider the university of p cs up to have a mixture of different cultures
Survey II. recruitment in the era of crisisDo you consider the University of Pécs (UP) to have a mixture of different cultures?

97% of them find that UP provides a multicultural environment


Do you consider that these cultures are respected
Do you consider that these cultures are respected? recruitment in the era of crisis

85% of the students feel that the different cultures are respected - 15 % have experienced the opposite


Have you ever felt that you have been treated differently due to your origin culture
Have you ever felt that you have been treated differently due to your origin/culture?

32 % of students experienced to have been treated differently due to their cultures/origin – 68 % have not felt this


How important do you think it is that you learn about different cultures at up
How important do you think it is that you learn about different cultures at UP ?

49 % of students find it somewhat important to learn about the different cultures - 45 % think it is very important, 6% of students feel it is of no importance


Are you aware of any activities taking place at up that make students aware of other cultures
Are you aware of any activities taking place at UP that make students aware of other cultures?

77 % of students are aware of activities, events that introduce the different cultures of students , 23 % are not


Do you think that lecturers students at up respect other nations cultures
Do you think that lecturers/ students at UP respect other nations/cultures?

88 % think that lecturers respect them, whereas 12 % think they don’t

80% feel that students respect them whereas 20% they don’t


Would you like to have more opportunities to introduce your culture
Would you like to have more opportunities to introduce your culture?

About 50 % of students would like to have more opportunties to introduce their cultures – female students are more positive to do so


Do you have any ideas that you think would help up to enrich the students multicultural awareness
Do you have any ideas that you think would help UP to enrich the students’ multicultural awareness

‘Should organize more common events ( may be obligatory ones) for international and Hungarian students’


How much have you learnt about the hungarian culture since you have been enrolled
How much have you learnt about the Hungarian culture since you have been enrolled?

48 % learnt not too much about the culture of Hungary, whereas 26-26 % learnt little and much


Please list 5 words that describe hungarian culture
Please list 5 words that describe Hungarian culture you have been enrolled?

From the responses we created groups of words – categories: absolute positive, mainly positive, neutral, mainly negative and absolute negative

55 % have absolute positive or mainly positive attitude towards Hungarian culture, 22 % neutral, 23 % negative or absolute negative


Please list 5 words that describe hungarian culture1
Please list 5 words that describe Hungarian culture you have been enrolled?

Friendly

Proud (of their country, proud of their culture,proud of their nationality )

Wine

Traditional

Open


What nationalies do your friends at the university you spend most of your free time with have
What nationalies do your friends at the university – you spend most of your free-time with - have?

35 % make friends only with own nationality, 51 % with own and other nationality ( Hungarians excluded) - Only 14 % of the international students spend their free-time with Hungarians


How often do you meet hungarian students at the university
How often do you meet Hungarian students at the university? spend most of your free-time with - have?

Most of them rarely or never meet them - only 27 % of the international students meet several times or every day with the Hungarian students


If you spend your free time rarely or never with hungarian students what is the reason for it
If you spend spend most of your free-time with - have?your free-time rarely or never with Hungarian students what is the reason for it?

‘I simply spend my time with others/ I don’t know any Hungarians’

‘Language barriers – Hungarians don’t speak English’

‘Hungarians do not want to make friends, they are very reserved’

‘Different schedule, no opportunity’

‘We have been socialized differently, we have no common topic’

‘Because we don't have so much connection, in this university nations are like bands. All of them sticks together and they don't like to spend their time with other nations so much’

‘It is very hard to get to know them. They tend to keep to themselves.


Relationships between responses
Relationships between responses spend most of your free-time with - have?

Those who feel that lecturers or students do not respect their cultures have more negative opinion about Hungarian culture

Those who feel that students do not respect their cultures have no Hungarian friends at all

Those who meet Hungarians more often feel that they have gained more information about the Hungarian culture

Those who meet Hungarians every day or several times a week 100 % feel that Hungarians respect other cultures

The less time foreign students spend with Hungarians the more negative attitude they have about Hungarians


Comparison of results survey ii and iii foreign students hungarian students
Comparison of results Survey II. and III. spend most of your free-time with - have?Foreign students – Hungarian students

Similar results were found -

32% of Hungarian students felt that students are treated differently due to their culture/origin

The data show that appr. 90 % of Hungarian students feel that lecturers respect other nations, 10% that they don’t

20 % of Hungarian students are on the opinion that students do not respect other nations, 80 % that they do


Would you like to receive more opportunities to introduce your culture learn about other cultures
Would you like to receive more opportunities to introduce your culture/ learn about other cultures?

Hungarian students are more open to learn about the culture of foreign students


How often do you spend your free time with hungarian international students
How often do you spend your free-time with Hungarian/ international students?

Hungarian students spend a bit more time with international students


What is the reason for not spending your free time with international students
What is the reason for not spending your free-time with international students?

‘lack of opportunities to meet them’

‘I don’t know them’

there aren’t any common activities/events’


Final conclusion questions
Final conclusion - questions international students?

Important element in motivation concerning studying abroad – learning about other cultures

Do the international students of UP learn about the culture of Hungary? Are they really open to learn about other cultures?

and/or :

Do we provide enough assistance and opportunity for them?

Most common word about Hungarian culture: ‘friendly’

If Hungarians are friendly why don’t foreign studens make friends with them?

Foreign language No 1 is English, most students have passed a language exam from English- what makes foreign students think that there is lack of English knowledge?


Final conclusion answers
Final conclusion- answers international students?

Most importantsource of informationabout a universityarefriends – former and presentstudents

Wehavetomakesurethatourinternationalstudentsare MOST satisfiedwiththeuniversity and withtheirstay – ifwewantthemtorecommendus/ helpinourrecruitment

Financial crisescanindeedstimulatetohave more internationalstudents

BUT

that is notenoughfor a successfulinterculturaldialogue, and multiculturalenvironment

Ifwewanttoincreasethenumber of internationalstudents – wehaveto:

respecttheirculture and treatthemequally – makesurethatalllecurers(!) anddomesticstudentshave a positiveapproachtowardsthem

arrangemixed classes and organizecommonculturalevents

provide more opportunitiesforinternationalstudentstointroducetheircultures

stimulateourdomesticstudentstoassistintheirintegration

findallwaystoprovidethemwithopportunititestolearn moreabouttheHungarianculture



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