From Multiculturalism to Global Citizenship: Changing Institutional Strategy and Culture in a UK University

Colleagues – please note this event for MMU colleagues on Wednesday 5th November

Date: Wednesday 5th November 2014

Time: 14.00-15.00

Place: Birley 2.28

Alicia Prowse, Manchester Metropolitan University, Manchester, UK.

Lynne Parmenter, Nazarbayev University, Astana, Kazakhstan.


We examine the perceptions and views of senior leaders at one higher education institution regarding the process of crossing the bridge from aspirational vision statements to implementation, as global citizenship as a concept at various levels of policy and practice was being developed. This initiative included professional development for faculty and staff and the introduction of a global citizenship award for students. While the project involved data collection from a wide range of stakeholders within the University, this paper focuses on the perspectives of senior leaders in the University, exploring their understandings of global citizenship in the local context, and their views about strategies to implement global citizenship and the requirements in terms of changes in institutional culture. In particular, we ask how certain discourses in a University manage to get onto the agenda? How do Universities perceive and adopt strategies and why do certain discourses become powerful and not others? We used twelve semi-structured interviews conducted with senior managers of the University, including members of the University’s central leadership team, heads of major administrative departments, and Deans of faculties. Here, analysis concentrates on senior staff concepts of global citizenship, and plans for implementation via strategic activity. Interviews were transcribed and coded using qualitative analysis methods and categories were elicited from the data. Themes appearing across the interviews were then identified and integrated with theory to analyze the ways in which senior leaders perceive global citizenship and their views of translating this from aspirational vision to reality through implementation.

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