Volume 7, No 2.

Copyright @2009 Australian and New Zealand Journal of European Studies

Vol 7(2) NZ ISSN 1837-2147 & AUS ISSN 1836-1803

Editorial

Gabriel Weibl (National Centre for Research on Europe, University of Canterbury and Lars Klein (Georg-August-Universität Göttingen)

Contents

Lars Klein' (Georg-August-University Göttingen) "Why not call it a generation? Between ‘superfluousness’ and ‘arbitrariness’"Georg-August-University Göttingen) "Why not call it a generation? Between ‘superfluousness’ and ‘arbitrariness’"  (Pg 5.)

In the wake of the so-called ‘economic and financial crisis’ of 2008, new forms of protests have emerged. The debate on how to best describe and analyze these movements is in its infancy. This article discusses whether the concept of ‘generation’ is useful to this new phenomenon. In doing so, it tracks the development of the concept of generation since the early 1990s. It was either used to track societal change as inspired by small elites, or in order to grasp the way of life of a certain age group of a population. Recent protest movements do not conform to the aforementioned approaches: their basis is too broad and too diverse to be pinpointed; at the same time they are anything but unpolitical. They stand for new forms of politics and new forms of agency.

Anastasiya Belolutskaya (Moscow City University.) ans Aleksander Veraksa (M.V. Lomonosov Moscow State University) "The relationship between multidimensionality and flexibility of thinking among high school students with different levels of academic achievement" (Pg 15.)

Modern society sees the capacity for creative non-standard solutions and transformation of problematic contradictory situations as a key requirement for an individual who desires to thrive in the labor market. The study is devoted to the possibilities of such skills measurement. Authors suggest the concept of the multidimensionality of thinking as a characteristic that describes the variability of qualitative transformations on a theoretical level of generalization. 17 teachers and 185 students (winners of the subject area conquests of different levels) took part in the research. Using Diagnostics for the Multidimensionality of Thinking (Belolutskaya, 2015), Torrance Tests of Creative Thinking (verbal battery)."A Problem Detection Task" (Arlin, 1995) it was shown that multidimensionality and the flexibility of thinking possess direct connection. The group of teachers significantly differs from that of the high school student in the favor of the teachers. This suggests that such a parameter as thinking multidimensionality is significantly related, first, to the level of formal intelligence, and, second, to the whole set of cognitive competencies associated with the ability to solve highly complex problems. It is assumed that methods, based on the material from “adult” life of business practice, have a greater environmental validity and make it possible to solve a number of practical issues associated, among other things, with the vocational guidance of young people in the labor market of European countries.

Monika Oberle (Georg-August-University Göttingen.) "Learning about the European Union at school – theoretical considerations and empirical evidence"Georg-August-University Göttingen.) "Learning about the European Union at school – theoretical considerations and empirical evidence" (Pg 26.)

The article provides insights into the scientific discourse on teaching the European Union (EU) in civic education in Germany and underlines the potential of EU civics education at secondary school referring to exemplary results of two empirical studies recently conducted at the University of Göttingen. In doing so, it draws on core concepts and fundamental discourses of Didactics of Politics (Politikdidaktik) which in Germany is a scientific discipline of its own. Part one of the paper discusses, firstly, both the relevance of EU-related political competencies for young people today as well as different dimensions of these competencies. Secondly, it introduces different approaches to and salient problems of conveying the EU at school, also looking into possibilities of meeting these difficulties. Building on this background, part two presents results of two quantitative studies on the effects of a) everyday EU civics lessons and b) short EU simulation games on EU-related political competencies of secondary school pupils.

Supaporn Chalapati (I-Shou University), Nakarin Chalapati (Swinburne University of Technology) and Gabrile Weibl (University of Canterbury) " European Influence on Vietnamese Higher Education: Internationalised curriculum and cultural Challenges" (Pg 45.)

This paper discusses impacts of globalisation and European influence on the internationalisation of Vietnamese education. The process of Internationalisation of Higher Education (IoHE) in this country has also been stimulated by the introduction of Doi Moi, modernisation economic reforms, which, for example, resulted in the establishment of foreign branch campuses and English-medium programmes. The IoHE in Europe is most visible through the European Union’s (EU) support of student mobility, recognition of qualifications and development of credit transfer systems. The EU’s influence on Vietnamese education follows this path, in addition to the growing number of bilateral agreements between European and Vietnamese institutions. One of the most sought after outcomes of the cross continental cooperation is to raise internationally employable workers with both generic and managerial skills and English communication skills. While a growing number of Vietnamese students enrol in English-medium business programmes, there is still a mismatch of skills, resulting in a shortage of well-equipped graduates. For this reason Vietnam is internationalising and opening up; at the same time the EU is steering the IoHE at a global level and/by modernising universities and reforming its mobility programmes. Observing such trends, this article argues that in order to produce better prepared students with sought after skills, country specific cultural nuances and practices should be integrated with the Western/European style of education. In line with the concept of Internationalisation at Home, such curricula should pay attention to the role of teacher and advocate self-reflection in order to enhance teaching and learning.

Gabriel Weibl ( University of Canterbury) "Perceptions on the European Union’s role in the Internationalisation of Higher Education and support of International Student Mobility"Perceptions on the European Union’s role in the Internationalisation of Higher Education and support of International Student Mobility" (Pg 58.)

The Internationalisation of Higher Education (IoHE) is a popular phenomenon engaging universities, national governments and the European Union (EU). International Student Mobility (ISM) is one of the most visible manifestations of the IoHE in an increasingly globalised world. The EU’s support of ISM, most noticeably through Erasmus type exchange programmes, has various hierarchical and interdependent rationales. This article examines the EU’s rationales for its support of ISM and the IoHE, followed by the views of stakeholders active in the IoHE on the EU’s role in ISM and on the challenges of the IoHE. It then assesses the perceptions of international students on the part ISM plays in society and the outcomes of the IoHE. The findings are based on the case studies of New Zealand universities,1 the University of Oxford in the UK and the Charles University in the Czech Republic. The findings revealed that adequate intercultural education is believed to determine the success of economic rationales, which are currently the main drivers of the EU’s support of ISM and the IoHE. The stakeholders’ views on the EU are predominantly positive, albeit not without challenges. Similarly, student perceptions of ISM in wider society were positive with a great variety of desired outcomes for the IoHE.

Will Shannon (Australian National University) Australian and New Zealand Students in Europe: The Impact of Unfamiliarity" (Pg 76.)

The findings reported here are the result of a study that examined the experiences of a group of Australian and New Zealand students who went on a university exchange to Europe. This paper focusses specifically on the challenges that these students experienced as a result of being in an unfamiliar environment. It does so by utilising Kim’s stress-adaptation-growth model, which considers the challenges that people experience in a new environment to be an important source of intercultural growth. However, the findings cast doubt on the applicability of this model to the study abroad context, certainly in terms of mobility from Australia and New Zealand to Europe, but also beyond. This paper concludes that many opportunities for growth still exist, but that academic intervention is important if these are to be maximised.

Tarmo Tuisk (Tallinn University of Technology), Natalja Nekrassova (Tallinn University of Technology) and Leon Miller (Tallinn University of Technology) "Digitization and Student Communication Patterns in Higher Education"Digitization and Student Communication Patterns in Higher Education" (Pg 87.)

The internationalisation of European higher education — resulting in multifaceted systems of interactions — has an impact on the ‘what’ and ‘how’ of learning environments. Western communication specialists anticipated that internationalisation and the impact of information communication technology would create new opportunities and challenges. Europe responded with its 2020 Vision and Bologna Accord. This article argues that the impact of internationalisation and ICT warrants research on ICT’s contribution to intercultural interactions in cross-cultural learning environments. This study measures the role of ICT in facilitating communication between the various segments of the university population.
ICT offers communication options for students but raises questions concerning how much it facilitates intercultural adaptation and accommodation. There is a need for the analysis of ICT’s role in facilitating interactions (at various levels). This article analyzes the extent to which ICT’s contribution to communication processes in an internationalised learning context accommodates communication between locals, internationals, and with teachers and administrators.

Book Reviews

Importing EU Norms: Conceptual Framework and Empirical Findings