Friday, February 08, 2008

Global Citizens

Listening to a speech by pro vice chancellor of Roehampton University this week, something struck me. Andy Masheter said Roehampton University decided some years ago to adopt internalisation to prepare students to be global citizens. He said this was through having international students to study at Roehampton. Masheter's speech was captivating and interesting due to its content and manner of delivery...the pro VC was lisping, a condition I had when I was very young!!

The important thing is I was taken back to my undergraduate days at Chancellor College in Zomba, Malawi. In those days the constituent college of University of Malawi used to have international exchange students from as far as the United States. We shared rooms with them and ate the same food with these folks! Some even mastered the art of 'druze' or shoving and jostling to get served first in the cafeteria or library, while others frequented drinking joints at Chikanda Village and Chinamwali. Some Chanco students were on the other hand visiting the home universities of the visitors!!
I thought that was a great arrangement, but sadly it died down.
This was a very good point for cultural exchanges between the two sides. When two 'worlds' meet like this, there is no inferior or superior side. Both have something to learn from the other, just like it is when lecturers meet students.

I doubt it if Malawian students are getting prepared to be global citizens with little or no internalisation at our campuses. Are there still expatriate teachers? Maybe the curricula are doing that, I dont know. But the world is changing at a fast pace and it would be good to have Malawian graduates with skills to deal with the internalisation, digitalisation and globalisation of almost every facet of life these days.


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