Credit points


Campus offering

No unit offerings are currently available for this unit



Teaching organisation

This unit is designed as an elective unit for undergraduate courses to provide a strong internationalisation element to Education courses. Internationalisation is an important element of higher education in response to issues of globalisation and democracy, including migration, refugees, colonisation, human rights, self-determination, justice, poverty, and environmental issues and technological change.

Unit rationale, description and aim

Education graduates need to be equipped with cultural skills and competencies relevant to these issues to be effective contributors to 21st century society. These skills and competencies include respect and understanding of cultural and linguistic diversity, specific cultural knowledge, communication literacies and critical thinking.

The unit will support students to extend knowledge about how social, historical and religious contexts of culture may impact upon the education systems, and on educational opportunity. Within any of these learning opportunities students will compare and contrast international perspectives on education with their own experiences of education in schooling systems in Australia, leading to critical reflection on influences that shape educational decision-making and on outcomes for learners.

Learning outcomes

To successfully complete this unit you will be able to demonstrate you have achieved the learning outcomes (LO) detailed in the below table.

Each outcome is informed by a number of graduate capabilities (GC) to ensure your work in this, and every unit, is part of a larger goal of graduating from ACU with the attributes of insight, empathy, imagination and impact.

Explore the graduate capabilities.

On successful completion of this unit, students should be able to:

LO1 - identify and explain diverse social, historical, linguistic, cultural and religious influences on education including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures, and articulate the impact of these influences upon education systems (GA1, GA4)

LO2 - critically reflect on the impact of globalisation for education systems (GA4)

LO3 - apply cultural and communication skills and competencies within internationalisation projects (GA1, GA6, GA10) 

LO4 - describe and analyse an international educational system and compare and contrast it with understanding of education systems in Australia (GA8)

Graduate attributes

GA1 - demonstrate respect for the dignity of each individual and for human diversity 

GA4 - think critically and reflectively 

GA6 - solve problems in a variety of settings taking local and international perspectives into account

GA8 - locate, organise, analyse, synthesise and evaluate information 

GA10 - utilise information and communication and other relevant technologies effectively.


Topics may include: 

  • Globalisation issues including migration, refugees, colonisation, environmental, human rights, poverty, and Indigenous rights 
  • Democracy including self-determination, opportunity, equity, justice, rights and the common good 
  • Comparative studies of at least one international education context of contrast with Australia 
  • Indigenous knowledges, including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures, New Zealand Māori and other Indigenous cultures and peoples 
  • Australia’s engagement with the curriculum priority Asia, and significant relationships within the Pacific 
  • Social, historical, religious and linguistic influences on education systems 
  • UNESCO World Report Investing in Cultural Diversity and Intercultural Dialogue (2009) and other significant education policy 
  • OECD statistics and other databases 
  • PISA and other comparative international education assessment projects 
  • International collaborations in education – innovative opportunities and outcomes 
  • Cultural skills and competencies including respect for diversity  
  • Communication skills including language use, statistical interpretation, cultural nuances and digital communication.

Learning and teaching strategy and rationale

The learning outcomes and tasks may be applied in flexible ways, including study tours (eg the ACU Rome campus), online collaborations, partnership with internationalisation initiatives from partner universities, cross-cultural comparative reviews of literature and policy, and/or interrogation of international databases such as within UNESCO reports, OECD statistics, or PISA results. The education systems may include such systems as early childhood sector, primary, higher education, Indigenous education, special education, gifted education, home schooling, international schools, distance education, or government policy. 

The unit may be delivered across a semester or in block mode according to specific circumstances.

Assessment strategy and rationale

A range of assessment procedures will be used to meet the unit learning outcomes and develop graduate attributes consistent with University assessment requirements. Such procedures may include, but are not limited to: essays, reports, student presentations or case studies.  

The total assessment tasks will amount to the equivalent of 4,000 words.

Overview of assessments

Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment TasksWeightingLearning OutcomesGraduate Attributes

Common Assessment Task 

Research Report 

A research report describing an aspect of education (for example, early childhood, primary, secondary, higher education, policy or other education system) in an international context and critically compare it with Australia. Include consideration of issues of globalisation and democracy including  social, historical, linguistic, religious and cultural , influences(such as colonisation, mobility, self-determination, refugees and other issues)  


1 and 2

GA1, GA4, GA8

Assessment Task 2 

Visual Presentation and Report 

Visual Presentation (film, digital, photographic, or print publication) documenting an internationalisation project in education. Include critical reflection on the impact of globalisation and democracy within this project, and application of cultural and communication skills and competencies, including Indigenous knowledges. Analyse the project aspirations with reference to international literature. 


2, 3 and 4

GA1, GA4, GA6, GA10

Representative texts and references

Cole. D. R., & Woodrow, C. (2016). Super dimensions in globalisation and education. Singapore: Springer Singapore. 

Cullingford, C, & Gunn, S. (2005). Globalisation, education and culture shock. Aldershot, Hants, England; Burlingston, Vt: Ashgate.  

Curriculum Center for Teachers (Ed.), Internationalisation of teacher education in Europe. Tokyo: Tokyo Gakugei University. 

Dobinson, T. (2015). Teaching and learning through the eyes of culturally and linguistically diverse postgraduates and their lecturers in Australia and Vietnam: Implications for the internationalisation of education in Australian universities. Education Research and Perspectives, 42, 363-396 

Hajisoteriou, C., & Angelides, P. (2016). The globalisation of intercultural education: The politics of macro-micro integration. London: Palgrave Macmillan UK. 

Jacob, W. J., Cheng, S. Y., & Porter, M. (Eds.). (2015). Indigenous education: Language, culture and identify. Dordrecht, Netherlands: Springer.. 

Ness, D., & Lin, C. (2015). International education: An encyclopedia of contemporary issues and systems. 2. Armonk: M. E. Sharp. 

United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation [UNESCO]. (2009). Investing in cultural diversity and intercultural dialogue. Paris: UNESCO.  

Zajda, J. (2015). Second international handbook on globalisation, education and policy research. Dordrecht, Netherlands: Springer. 

Zajda, J., Davies, L., Majhanovich, S. (2008). Comparative and global pedagogies: Equity access and democracy in education. Dordrecht, Netherlands: Springer. 

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