The new landscape of Korean higher education: institutional and personal factors influencing intercultural competence.

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The new landscape of Korean higher education: institutional and personal factors influencing intercultural competence.

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This dissertation research examines the impact of institutional and personal factors on the development of Korean university students' intercultural competence in Korean higher education. It is based on the context of significant change in demographics within Korean higher education from a rapidly increasing influx of international students, as well as emergent diversity within Korean society. For these purposes, this research employed a two-phase mixed-methods design, in which the quantitative and qualitative data were collected and analyzed. The quantitative results from correlation, regression, and path analyses demonstrate that an institutional factor--participation in intervention programs that bring Korean and international students together in a structured and supportive environment --plays an important role in promoting Korean students' intercultural interactions with international students, as well as developing their intercultural competence. One personal factor in particular-- intercultural interaction--has a direct influence on higher levels of intercultural competence. On the other hand, the institutional factor and another personal factor--prior international experience-- contribute indirectly to intercultural competence by influencing intercultural interaction itself. The qualitative findings from in-depth interviewing describe the nature of intercultural interactions between Korean and international students in terms of: the experience of developing intercultural friendship; the importance of reciprocity in these relationships; and the value of having a shared experience among students. Not only do these findings provide empirical support for the theoretical orientation in this research--the contact hypothesis--but they also provide empirical evidence for the concept of "Internationalization at Home" (Wächter, 2003) by demonstrating the benefits of internationalization for domestic students who remain in their home countries. It particularly emphasizes understanding and promoting mutually beneficial relationships between mobile and non-mobile students in relation to the internationalization of higher education. Furthermore, this research carries important implications for Korean society in educating college students to live and work with culturally diverse people in its emergent multicultural milieu. Lastly, this research presents suggestions for policy and practice for higher education institutions to implement in developing intervention programs for student intercultural interaction and intercultural competence development.


University of Minnesota Ph.D. dissertation. August 2009. Major: Educational Policy and Administration. Advisor: Michael R. Paige. 1 computer file (PDF); xv, 280 pages, appendices A-J. Ill. (some col.)

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Jon, Jae-Eun. (2009). The new landscape of Korean higher education: institutional and personal factors influencing intercultural competence.. Retrieved from the University Digital Conservancy,

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