Cultural Insight 2018-19 project won an award!

The Cultural Insight team’s 18-19 project is highly commended for Paul Webley Award for Innovation in International Education!

Led by Dr Crystal Tsay, Dr Yang Yang, and Dr Jing Luo, and supported by two PhD students Jingwen Qu and Sen Wang, the Cultural Insight project team designed and delivered five bespoke workshops to develop Chinese Direct Entry (CDE) students’ psychological and social capital, enabling them to use personal and social resources to cope with cross-cultural learning challenges, such as learning the UK Higher Education (HE) system, homesickness, isolation, and social integration.

The review panel commented:

“I’d also like to give a highly recommended to the Greenwich project which I think for me was probably the best read but also had some brilliant outcomes and realisations. It challenges sector, and indeed their own, assumptions that Chinese students need ‘different’ support and actually transitioning to HE is difficult for many students, including those from the UK “In retrospect, what the project team offered to CDEs was actually support for learners who attend the UKHE for the first time without sufficient skills and confidence to develop resources to become independent and resilient learners.”

The project funder, UK Council for International Student Affairs said the project and the issues it dealt with is currently extremely relevant in the sector with the OfS, rightly, examining attainment and participation gaps between POLAR/IMD, BAME, disabled students and the importance of transition into HE. They were also delighted to see that the immediate impact of this project. That is, University of Greenwich supported the team this year to continue the bespoke workshop provision to a wider range of students, including students from all cultural backgrounds and at all HE levels.

The final report can be accessed from the UKCISA website.

Author: Dr Crystal Tsay

The Cultural Insight Workshop Event 25th October 2019.

The cultural insight workshop includes a range of fun and interactive activities for all students to engage with. Students can meet others from different backgrounds and countries, spanning from Germany to China!

Whether it is expanding your knowledge of different cultures, making friends, learning how to advance your interpersonal and intrapersonal skills, or developing your LinkedIn account, the lecture slides and teamwork activities are incredibly useful in providing the tools to expand your social development and knowledge of oneself.

Wesley – “I found the workshop very helpful in meeting new friends.”

Over the course of the workshop students can participate in various activities including:

  • Minion Hugging – wherein a number is called out and the students must quickly make a team of that amount.
  • Speed Friending – wherein students talk to three separate partners and get to know each other within five minutes.
  •  A competition to find the most commonalities with your peers in as short a time as possible.

Sisi said: “I loved it! My favourite activity was definitely the speed friending, where you can speak to others one-to-one. It was amazing to meet so many people from different cultures!”

Overall, the workshop is a welcoming experience, helpful and supportive, building confidence in students both socially and in their own abilities.  All these activities help to improve confidence and social skills, as well as being fun!

Author:

Leanne Pitt  (BA English Literature, Year 2)