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Global Citizenship in a Thai University. Prapassara Thanosawan (PhD Candidate) Supervisor: Dr. Kevin Laws The Faculty of Education and Social Work The University of Sydney.

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global citizenship in a thai university

Global Citizenship in a Thai University

PrapassaraThanosawan (PhD Candidate)

Supervisor: Dr. Kevin Laws

The Faculty of Education and Social Work

The University of Sydney


The Stoics…arguing that each of us dwells, in effect, in two communities-the local community of our birth and the broader community of human argument and aspiration.

Martha Piper’s (2002) speech on her Killam Lecture


My interest in global citizenship

        • Born and lived in Thailand
        • Experience of studying in Australia
        • Recognize differences between Australia and Thailand
        • Why are university students in Australia and Thailand different?
graduate attributes in higher education
Graduate Attributes in Higher Education
  • Global citizenship
    • Australian universities (e.g. Curtin U, Griffith U, Macquarie, University of Sydney, University of Melbourne, UNSW, UniSA)
    • Canadian Universities (e.g. UBC, U.Vic)
    • UK (e.g. Bournemouth U, UCL, Oxfam, Dfes, DfEE)
  • Global/intercultural competency
    • USA (ACE, 2008; Deardorff, 2006; Lewin, 2009; Nodding, 2005)
background information
Background Information
  • Global citizenship is often associated with a particular set of awareness, knowledge, skills and values.
  • The concept appears in academic discourse and is predominantly mentioned in the attributes of university graduates.
context in thailand
Context in Thailand
  • In Thailand, global citizenship first appeared in the report in 1996 (CTEEG, 1996).
  • Higher education reform aims to enhance the knowledge of the Thai people, who will be endowed with the basic qualifications of global citizenship (OEC, 2004).
  • Desirable Thai society is imagined “the society of learning, competitiveness and cooperation; having capacity, discipline, morality, values, freedom, justice, happy people, happy families, strengthened communities, peaceful society, a balanced and steady economy, a sustainable environment, recognition of human rights, and prosperity...”(8th NESDP)
significant of the study
Significant of the study
  • Global citizenship has been central to graduate attributes of universities worldwide. However in Thailand, the concept has not been a priority of universities. Their main objective is to produce manpower to meet national demands.
literature review
Literature review
  • Internationalisation and globalisation of higher education is becoming a factor that drives the global citizenship discourse and movement.
  • USA - focus on intercultural competence, study abroad, campus internationalisation
  • Europe - focus on student mobility (Erasmus program), internationalisation at home, Bologna Process, English program courses
  • UK - followed Australia in developing a market-driven approach to internationalisation of higher education.
    • Global citizenship/global perspectives for domestic students (school curriculum), internationalisation and multiculturalism

(Jones, 2011)

literature review1
Literature review
  • Global citizenship has been advocated in the modern academic discourse (Byers, 2005; I. Davies, Evans, & Reid, 2005; L. Davies, 2006; Gacel-Ávila, 2005; Hanson, 2008; Ibrahim, 2005; Schattle, 2005; Urry, 1999).
  • A single person can alternate his or her identity and loyalty from being a loyal citizen of a nation-state…and active participant in a global community (Scheinin, 2007, p. 9).
  • Identity becomes fluid and changeable according to our role.
definition of global citizenship
Definition of global citizenship
  • Oxfam defined global citizenship as
      • an individual who has an understanding of the way a society operates at a global level, and having that understanding, that they interpret, for whatever reasons that they have some responsibility as an individual to take action to achieve social justice or equity or environmental sustainability.

(Braun, 2001 as cited in Schattle, 2008, p. 45).

integrated framework
Integrated framework

Adapted from Boix Mansilla and Jackson, 2011

research questions
Research Questions
  • What is global citizenship in a Thai higher education context?
  • How does the University implement global citizenship into curriculum and teaching?
  • What are the students’ learning outcomes?
  • Case study (Stake, 2000; Yin, 2009)
    • Collective case study
    • purposive selection
        • Mission statement
        • Public university
        • National program
        • Thai language and culture
  • Grounded Theory (Glaser & Strauss, 1967)
  • Investigate the world
    • Conducted through General Education course
    • International materials e.g. UN and journal articles
    • Focus on local issues
  • Additional findings
    • Cross-cultural knowledge (e.g. understanding of other cultures in form of knowledge)
    • Transdisciplinary knowledge (ability to adapt one’s knowledge in other related field)
    • Discourse on human rights (based on Buddhist principle)
recognize perspective
Recognize perspective
  • “A good Thai citizen” stance (pay taxes, peaceful, moral values, and cherish Thai traditions)
  • Global perspectives grounded in Thai values (cultural constraints)
  • Global citizenship made up from multiple layers of identities
  • Additional findings
    • Critical thinking (mentioned by executives and lecturers but rarely mentioned by students)
    • Pluralistic outlook (linked to pluralistic society and openness to other cultures)
communicate ideas
Communicate ideas
  • Ability to communicate in Thai and English
  • English language skills can be limited
  • Weak English proficiency inhibit learning process
  • Additional findings
    • Computer literacy (ability to use technology to communicate and find information on certain topics)
take action
Take action
  • Group project in General Education
  • Extra-curricular activities & students’ clubs that promotes actions of community involvement (a rural development project)
  • Internship (compulsory for subjects such as medicine)
  • Additional findings
    • Moral values and practices (translated from moral outlook)
    • Professional competence (students will be competitive and competent in their chosen fields)
concluding comments
Concluding comments
  • Thai Government encouraged universities to prepare globally competent graduates.
  • Global citizenship in Thai university resembles cosmopolitanism.
  • Global citizenship competencies are addressed through General Education course.
  • Thai students are encouraged to take action about global issues at local level.
global citizenship in a thai university1

Global Citizenship in a Thai University

PrapassaraThanosawan (PhD Candidate)

Supervisor: Dr. Kevin Laws

The Faculty of Education and Social Work

The University of Sydney

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  • Boix Mansilla, V., & Jackson, A. (2011). Educating for global competence: Preparing our youth to engage the world. New York; Washington  D.C.: Council of Chief State School Officers; Asia Society. Retrieved from
  • Byers, M. (2005). Are You a “Global Citizen”? Are you a “global citizen”? Retrieved April 7, 2011, from
  • CTEEG. (1996). Thai education into the era of globalization: Vision of a learning society. Synopsis of a report. Thailand: The Commission on Thailand’s Education in the Era of Globalization: Towards National Progress and Security in the Next Century.
  • Davies, I., Evans, M., & Reid, A. (2005). Globalising Citizenship Education? A Critique of “Global Education” and “Citizenship Education.” British Journal of Educational Studies, 53(1), 66-89.
  • Davies, L. (2006). Global citizenship: abstraction or framework for action? Educational Review, 58(1), 5-25. doi:10.1080/00131910500352523
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  • Gacel-Ávila, J. (2005). The Internationalisation of Higher Education: A Paradigm for Global Citizenry. Journal of Studies in International Education, 9(2), 121 -136. doi:10.1177/1028315304263795
  • Glaser, B. G., & Strauss, A. L. (1967). The discovery of grounded theory: strategies for qualitative research. Transaction Publishers.
  • Hanson, L. (2008). Global Citizenship, Global Health, and the Internationalization of Curriculum: A Study of Transformative Potential. Journal of Studies in International Education, 14(1), 70-88. doi:10.1177/1028315308323207
  • Held, D. (1995). Democracy and the global order : from the modern state to cosmopolitan governance. Calif.: Stanford University Press.
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  • Ibrahim, T. (2005). Global citizenship education: mainstreaming the curriculum? Cambridge Journal of Education, 35(2), 177.
  • Jones, E. (2011, October 11). Ex unoplures: Comprehensive Internationalisation - Possibility or Pipe-dream? Paper presented at the Australian International Education Conference, Adelaide. Retrieved from
  • Lewin, R. (2009). The handbook of practice and research in study abroad: higher education and the quest for global citizenship. New York: Taylor & Francis.
  • NESDB (National Economic and Social Development Board). (1997). Eight National Economic and Social Development Plan. Bangkok: Med Sai Printing Ltd.
  • Noddings, N., & Boston Research Center for the 21st Century. (2005). Educating citizens for global awareness. New York: Teachers College Press.
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  • Scheinin, M. (2007). Prologue. In T. Kaivola & M. Melén-Paaso (Eds.), Education for global responsibility-Finnish perspectives (pp. 7-10). Helsinki: The University of Helsinki Press.
  • Stake, R. E. (2008). The art of case study research. Thousand Oaks, Calif.: Sage Publications.
  • Thailand. Office of the Education Council. (2004). Strategies and roadmap for higher education reform in Thailand. Office of the Education Council. Retrieved from
  • The University of Sydney. (2011). The Sydney Graduate. Retrieved June 1, 2011, from
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  • Yin, R. K. (2009). Case study research: design and methods. Los Angeles, Calif.: Sage Publications.