‘Global citizen’ is arguably the buzzphrase
to end all buzzphrases. You can’t get much
bigger than a worldwide entity. So how
are modern educators helping shape these
mythical beings? Julian Hall investigates.
AS A RESOURCE, global citizens are prized
by employers ever-conscious of the transna-tional
nature of business. And many educators
around the world are doing their bit to try and ensure they
can shape students in this fashion. Global citizenship has be-come
an area of great interest across universities, language
schools and specialist tour operators.
While the concept of global citizenship means slightly dif-ferent
things to different people and organisations, perhaps
a good starting point is the one given by Rebecca McGuire-
Snieckus, chair of the Global Citizenship program at Bath
Spa University in the UK. She cites the statement made by
Greek philosopher Diogenes the Cynic: “I am not an Atheni-an
or a Greek, but a citizen of the world.” The translation of
‘Citizen of the world’ is where we get ‘cosmopolitan’ from.
What is global citizenship?
“At heart, global citizenship is about broadening the bounds
of citizenship, our respect for rights and responsibilities and
identification with humanity,” McGuire-Snieckus explains.
Bath Spa’s global citizenship course is available to all its
undergraduate students and delivered in-house. Like a num-ber
of university courses in this area, it is extra-curricular
and non-credit bearing, though, unlike many, there is an
assessment and subsequent certification awarded. A series
of speaker events, group debates and an international
placement (with eligibility for a bursary of up to £1,000)
linked to each student’s degree program comprise the
course content over a three-year period.
Debate themes have ranged from issues such as
populism and democracy; free speech; privacy in the digital
age, and responsibility for fake news. Meanwhile, speakers
have included Debs Gerrard, creative director at Lego, and
future guests include professor of English and Creative
Writing, Nick Jose from Adelaide University and professor
of Psychology, Joseba Achotegui from Barcelona University,
who will both talk about forced migration.
ISSUE #21 | THE PIE REVIEW | 9
In the highlands of Flores island
in Indonesia, Dragons’ students
participate in the coffee harvest
with their homestay families.