Question of Mobility Pilot Study: Students' Competency, Capacity and Reality

By Galijasevic, Semira; Hadzibegovic, Zalkida | International Journal of Education, January 1, 2012 | Go to article overview

Question of Mobility Pilot Study: Students' Competency, Capacity and Reality


Galijasevic, Semira, Hadzibegovic, Zalkida, International Journal of Education


Abstract

Globalization as a worldwide process has significant implications in the area of education. In relation to this trend, the main challenge is to prepare students for the role of competent global citizens. Thus, we tested selected group of students of chemistry in attempt to measure their understanding of global trends in education. Results show positive attitudes towards student mobility, but no vision to develop competence and capacity that will make them quality applicants for international mobility programs. Scarce examples of students engagement in global educational trends only magnifies the need for well researched and organized approach in this area.

Keywords: International education, Mobility, Competency, Science

1. Introduction

Living in a global society requires trained individuals who will have capacity to understand different individuals and societies as a whole (Brodin, 2010) based on collected information. For European countries that are on their road to European integration, it is of crucial importance to have educated individuals with international experience capable of leading the process not only for economical and political purposes but also for cultural, educational and scientific purposes.

Brux and Blake in 2010 legitimately raised question why there are no more participants in exchange programs, at this time of the current globalization process, which characterize this modern civilization. According to Tarrant (2009) the most important factor in a new worldview (global citizenship) are studies outside someone own country, giving priority to different standards of behavior towards the environment in which global citizen works through a system of "sustainable transformative learning." Offering a possible answer to difficulties that multicultural students might have (Brux, & Fry, 2010), categories identified by Washington (1998) are still valid today (Salisbury et al., 2009). Some of those categories that may characterize students from Bosnia and Herzegovina are the attitudes of individuals towards mobility as a way of participation in programs of multicultural exchanges, expectations, financial framework, the historical background and relevance of the curriculum for their own professional development or the perspective of the institution they come from (Brux & Fry, 2010).

If these categories are briefly analyzed, we find arguments that are more affirming than limiting. BiH students participate, but not in large or significant numbers in mobility programs (mostly one-way student exchange program organized by the European Commission and US State Department). What are the attitudes towards this global trend in education of those students who do not participate or do not apply is not known, but positive opinion towards mobility in education and science has been observed generally at the institutions of higher education in BiH. When it comes to professional expectations of our students, before the current global economic crisis, 60% of BiH students had seen their future outside of BiH, while today, that number is somewhat different. It is not known whether current worldwide economical conditions or some other reasons are causing this shift.

BiH students rarely participate in scientific research projects during their education except during a degree program for master's and doctoral theses, due to the lack of funds for research projects. That is the main reason why they need to be involved in research, in a manner that promotes Erichsen & Goldstein (2011), pointing to the necessity of participation of students in interdisciplinary research, the necessity "for elevating practice in the field of education and for solving broader problems in society ". According to Erichsen & Goldstein (2011), particularly important is encouraging potential fund donors, to promote interdisciplinary research. Having the possibility to experience challenges in a new environment in the field of science and research, would help them to quickly engage "into new spaces of innovation". …

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