The Government has recently articulated its vision for Ireland to “become internationally recognised for the development of global citizens through our internationalised education system and a market leader in attracting international student talent.” (DES 2016, p. 7). In terms of growth targets, the Government aspires to increase the number of international students studying in Irish HE from 33,118 in 2014/2015, to approximately 44,000 by the end of the 2019/2020 academic year, an increase of 33%. This will grow the economic value of Ireland’s international HE sector from €819m in 2014/2015 to €1.15bn by 2019/2020 (DES 2016).
Internationalisation is an ongoing strategic priority for Maynooth University. International student numbers have more than doubled from 526 in 2011/2012, to 1,070 in 2017/2018, with international students now representing 9.5% of our total enrolments. In addition, Maynooth hosts approximately 600 visiting students from North America and the EU each year, and all of our students are encouraged to incorporate a period of study or work abroad into their degree. We are also committed to promoting intercultural interaction, discourse and learning; supporting the development of a multilingual campus; and developing and delivering programmes of study with international partners.
The linguistic, cultural and educational diversity that accompanies internationalisation has implications for how we teach and assess students; academic staff may need to be supported in adapting their practices to this new context (Carroll & Ryan 2005). This poster will illustrate how Maynooth University’s Centre for Teaching and Learning is redesigning its accredited programmes in learning and teaching in order to foster a transcultural approach to curriculum design, pedagogy and assessment. While previous CPD strategies have tended to focus on equipping teaching staff to deal with the ‘differences’ and perceived ‘deficiencies’ of international students (Ryan 2011), contemporary research highlights the need to promote a transcultural approach, which acknowledges that, although more diverse cohorts undoubtedly generate new challenges, they can also provide opportunities to enrich the learning experience for all students (Montgomery 2010; Ryan 2011; Sanderson 2011).
Carroll, J. & Ryan, J. (eds) (2005) Teaching International Students. Improving learning for all. Oxon: Routledge.
Department of Education and Skills (DES). 2016. Irish Educated Globally Connected- An International Education Strategy for Ireland, 2016-2020. Available from goo.gl/AqvuXR
Montgomery, C. 2010. Understanding the international student experience, London: Palgrave Macmillan.
Ryan J. 2011 Teaching and Learning for International Students: towards a transcultural approach, Teachers and Teaching, 17(6), 631–648.
Sanderson G. 2011. Internationalisation and teaching in higher education. Higher Education Research and Development, 30, 661-676.