Academic journal article Review of European Studies

The Students' Attitude to the Social Environment of the University: Cross-Cultural Aspect

Academic journal article Review of European Studies

The Students' Attitude to the Social Environment of the University: Cross-Cultural Aspect

Article excerpt

Abstract

The article notes that increasing the international competitiveness of the university requires the consideration of many factors, including the social environment of the university. The purpose of this study is to develop a methodological approach to assess the impact of cross-cultural features on the students' attitude toward the social environment of the university as a factor of its international competitiveness. In this study we developed a model of culture that reflects a list of cultural values, the characteristics of the material and institutional environment, which are adapted to the market of educational services of universities. We highlighted the elements of the social infrastructure of the university: housing and utilities, public catering and trade, consumer services, cultural and recreational, sports and fitness, communication. The proposed methodological approach was tested on Chinese and Russian students. The results of the study can be used to develop measures to improve the international competitiveness of the universities.

Keywords: social media, cross-culture, model of culture, competitiveness of the university

1. Introduction

Modern universities form and develop human capital, and the international competitiveness of the country largely depends on it. The growing cross-country competition determines the need to find new sources of increasing the competitiveness of the universities. The competitiveness of universities is considered in modern science from different positions. A content analysis of 186 international publications in the past five years has allowed to allocate the following actual trends in studying the competitiveness of universities: international university rankings; the formation of world-class universities; universities as research corporations; university's cooperation with the business environment; the impact of universities on the development of a specific territory; university management systems; innovation activity of universities; information and communication technologies in education; student migration; the process of educational activities in universities; employment of students and graduates; social environment of the universities and so on. In this study, the authors attempted to estimate the students' attitude to the social environment of the University as a factor of its competitiveness.

International competitiveness of the universities, the factors determining it, including the social environment of the universities, is analyzed in the following works (Aghion et al., 2010; Buela-Casal et al., 2007; deFilippo et al., 2012; Dill et al., 2005; Filinov et al., 2002 ; Glänzel et al., 2002; Li et al., 2005; Harvey, 2008; Liu et al., 2005; Merisotiset, 2005; Mohrman, 2013; Mok et al., 2011; Mok, 2014; Rodionov et al., 2014; Yasar et al., 2012; Yonezawa et al., 2002). The works of Barlett, 2011 cover the studying of students' catering as an element of the social environment. The advantage of this study is the consideration of the social environment of the University in a cross-cultural context. The problems of cross-cultural researches are reflected in the following works (Agarwal et al., 2010; Hyari et al., 2012; Cheung et al., 2011; Dimitrova et al., 2014; Gelade, 2008; Gestel, 2012; Harrison, 2006; Hofstede et al., 2002; Redden et al., 2011; Sankaran et al., 2011; Yousaf et al., 2013).

The analysis of the publications above showed the absence of a common approach to the assessment of the social environment of the universities: some elements of the social environment are not covered, factors affecting its formation and development are not analyzed, the problems of cross-cultural analysis of students' attitude to the social environment of the University are poorly studied, although their relevance increases with the increasing of international competitiveness of the universities. All this indicates the relevance of the research topic and the lack of its study. …

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