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Exploring the intercultural development of first year UK and non-UK psychology students

Lantz, Caprice (2014) Exploring the intercultural development of first year UK and non-UK psychology students. PhD thesis, University of York.

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Understanding students’ intercultural development has become increasingly important with the recognition that graduates require knowledge, skills, and attitudes that will allow them to contribute effectively in a global context. Although universities policies often suggest that students who study on culturally diverse campuses will mix and develop interculturally little research actually explores the extent to which this occurs. This study examined the intercultural development of a cohort of first year UK and non-UK psychology students studying at one UK university. The Intercultural Development Inventory was used to assess students’ stages of development upon entry and seven months on. Questionnaires and interviews further explored students’ intercultural experiences prior to and during university. Students entered university at a range of developmental stages. There was no statistically significant difference between the mean scores of UK and non-UK students. Although the majority of students reported relatively high levels of intercultural contact during university, particularly non-UK students, neither group experienced a significant change. Time lived abroad best predicted initial development for all students. Having friends from other cultures was also a predictor for UK students and growing up in cities was a predictor for non-UK students. No variables predicted changes in students’ scores. However, ‘feelings of not fitting in’ had a small negative relationship with UK students’ change scores and ‘being increasingly active in clubs and societies’ had a small negative relationship with non-UK students’ change scores. Thematic analysis suggests that students’ development may have been hindered by the intercultural challenges they experienced at university. UK students with limited prior intercultural experiences in particular reported challenges although some non-UK students with extensive intercultural experience also experienced challenges. Cultural clustering and administrative segregation may have also limited contact opportunities.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Keywords: Intercultural competence, ICC, intercultural education
Academic Units: The University of York > Department of Education (York)
Identification Number/EthosID: uk.bl.ethos.605482
Depositing User: Ms Caprice Lantz
Date Deposited: 27 May 2014 12:42
Last Modified: 08 Sep 2016 13:30
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/6194

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