Context and Aims

“We live in an age where students and professionals are required to engage increasingly in cross-disciplinary and multicultural collaborations. In the very near future technological developments and increased mobility will only intensify this state of affairs, to the point where interdisciplinary, multicultural collaborations will become implicit, everyday elements of everyone’s professional life. Most of us, in fact, are already there. This presents Higher Education institutions with a very specific set of challenges in relation to preparing their graduates and staff to live and work in environments that are both transdisciplinary and transcultural. The ways of doing this are varied and each term may carry slightly different nuances – “Global competency”, “Cosmopolitanism”, “Global citizen”, “Cosmopolitan capital” – but in the context of Higher Education the intent is essentially the same: to provide students with the skills sets that will give them the mobility and flexibility to be able to operate efficiently in a variety of cultural and professional contexts. The need to build capacity in these shifting environments can be understood as a need to build culturally literate graduates.” (García Ochoa, McDonald and Monk, Intercultural Education 27. (6) forthcoming December 2016.)

During the 2015 CLE Conference at Birkbeck, it became apparent that there was a need for developing best practice models for embedding Cultural Literacy in the Higher Education Curriculum.  That is the aim of this special interest group, to research, develop, foster and share new techniques, models and approaches that will help educators in the Higher Education sector to incorporate Cultural Literacy into their teaching practice. We promote collaboration with colleagues internationally to create dissemination workshops and other events (including online) where these practices can be shared and refined.