Journal of Intercultural Communication, issue 9, June 2005

Simon U. Kragh and Sven Bislev

Universities and student values across nations


Over the past decade universities have become increasingly global. International contacts, cooperation, exchange and communication is used for benchmarking research and teaching. English-speaking universities,in particular, are actively recruiting huge numbers of foreign students to increase the pool of paying and qualified students. At Copenhagen Business School, a significant number of students (5-10%) are on exchange - in and out -every year.
Many foreign students find that they encounter a different world when signing up for classes at CBS - a world of different values and norms, expressed in discourses and practices in and around the university. This study investigates, through focus groups and a survey of 800 students, the character of this experience of contrast. What values do foreigners from different nations arrive with, how do they experience the difference and what do they feel about it? We relate our findings to broader notions of nationally different values in order to discuss both a general value problematic and issues of comparative and intercultural higher education.

Keywords: University and business school cultures. educational values, students' preferences, cross-cultural experience.

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