Skip to main navigation menu Skip to main content Skip to site footer
University of the Arts London

Global Citizenship: Empowering international students by encouraging the use of cultural capital and allowing them to make up their own rules


This paper presents a curriculum initiative that aims to encourage the ‘internationalisation’ of international student experience. This initiative, entitled the ‘Global Citizenship Project’ is used on the Cert HE. International Preparation for Fashion (IPF) course at London College of Fashion. By describing the sources and approach used by tutors on the course, the paper explores the Global Citizenship Project brief given to students in the autumn term, and how it encourages student engagement with the immediate environment and one another. It explores how the curriculum should aim towards accepting and understanding the needs of multicultural learning, empowering learners to share their own cultural capital (Bourdieu and Passeron, 1994).



Inclusivity, Cultural Capital, Empowerment, Engagement, Internationalisation, Multiple Perspectives


Author Biography

Suzanne Rankin-Dia

Suzanne Rankin-Dia has been working with International students at UAL since 2001 and currently leads the Academic Language and Communication pathway on the International Preparation for Fashion at LCF. She has a particular interest in implementing innovative and creative approaches into an EAP classroom and to empower International students to reach their full potential.


  1. Ballard, B. and Clanchy, J. (1997) Teaching students from overseas: a brief guide for lecturers and supervisors. Melbourne: Longman Cheshire
  2. Andreotti, V., Barker, L. and Newell-Jones, K. (eds.) (2006). Open spaces for dialogue and enquiry methodology: critical literacy in global citizenship education, professional development resource pack. Derby: Centre for the Study of Social and Global Justice and Global Education Derby.
  3. Bloom, B., Englehart, M., Furst, E., Hill, W. and Krathwohl, D.R. (1956). Taxonomy of educational objectives: the classification of educational goals. Handbook I: cognitive domain. New York; Toronto: Longmans, Green and Co.
  4. Bourdieu, P. and Passeron, J. (1994) ‘Introduction: language and relationship to language in the teaching situation’ in Bourdieu, P., Passeron, J., Martin, M. et al, Academic discourse: linguistic misunderstanding and professorial power. Translated by R. Teese. Cambridge: Polity.
  5. Bourdieu, P. (1984) Distinction: a social critique of judgment of taste. Translated by R. Nice. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press.
  6. Clarke, M. (2007) Verbalising the visual: translating art and design into words. Lausanne, Switz.: AVA Academia.
  7. Cranton, P. (1994) Understanding and promoting transformative learning: a guide for educators of adults. San Francisco, Calif.: Jossey-Bass.
  8. Erard, M. (2012) Babel no more: the search for the world's most extraordinary language learners. New York: Free Press.
  9. Fanghanel, J. and Cousin, G. (2012) ‘ ‘Worldly’ pedagogy: a way of conceptualising teaching towards global citizenship’, Teaching in Higher Education, 17(1), pp. 39-50,
  10. Fox, C. (1997) “The Authenticity of intercultural communication”, International Journal of Intercultural Relations, 21(1), pp. 85-103 http://doi:10.1016/s0147-17679(96)00012-0
  11. Higher Education Academy (2016) Framework for internationalising higher education. Available at: (Accessed: 22 June 2016).
  12. Lillis, T. and Scott, M. (2007) ‘Defining academic literacies research: issues of epistemology, ideology and strategy’, Journal of Applied Linguistics, 4(1) pp. 5-32,
  13. Mezirow, J. (1997) ‘Transformative learning: theory to practice’,
  14. New Directions for Adult and Continuing Education, Issue 74, pp. 5-12,
  15. Oxfam (2016) Oxfam education: global citizenship. Available at: (Accessed: 22 June 2016).
  16. Ryan, J. and Hellmundt, S. (2005) ‘Maximising international students’ ‘cultural capital’ ’, in Carroll, J. and Ryan, J. (eds.) Teaching international students: improving learning for all. London; New York: Routledge.
  17. Reason, P. (1994) ‘Three approaches to participative enquiry’ in Denzin, N.K. and Lincoln, Y.S. (eds.) Handbook of qualitative research. London: Sage. pp. 324-339.
  18. Sabri, D. (2014) Becoming students at UAL: signing up to the intellectual project that is the course. London: University of the Arts London.
  19. Sovic, S. (2008) Lost in transition? The international students’ experience project. London: Creative Learning in Practice, Centre for Excellence in Teaching and Learning.
  20. Zepke, N. and Leach, L. (2010) ‘Improving student engagement: ten proposals for action’, Active Learning in Higher Education, 11(3), pp. 167-177,
  21. Zhou, Y., Jindal-Snape, D., Topping, K. and Todman, J. (2008) ‘Theoretical models of culture shock and adaptation in international students in higher education’, Studies in Higher Education, 33(1), pp. 63-75,