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The Humanities Conference 2003

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Globalisation and Cultural Diversity: Challenges for Higher Education

Stefan Bucher.

In the process of globalisation two conflicting tendencies have appeared: one towards cultural homogenisation and another towards growing awareness of the diversity of cultures.
Cultural diversity shows that no cultural paradigm can explain all of reality. Each culture is a view of reality, which in its perspective is conditioned by its social and linguistic context and its history. Hence the need for a pluralist attitude to cultural diversity, recognising the importance of a spirit of tolerance and the role of dialogue as a means of reaching understanding, has become an important contemporary imperative, necessary to facilitate peaceful solutions to conflicting differences in worldviews, interests and ideologies.
Cultural pluralism and intercultural dialogue should help us to overcome both the homogenisation that is resulting from the present globalisation model on the one hand and the cultural fundamentalisms on the other hand.

As well as transmitting knowledge of reality, each educational system also is a vehicle for the values, beliefs and behaviours of the society in which it is developed. The intercultural challenge is to not only to transmit the own culture, but also to make understandable the values and world views of other cultures. This paper suggests universally applicable minimum standards to globalize education while maintaining local perspectives and cultural pluralism. Further opportunities to foster intercultural knowledge, skills and attitudes in foreign language pedagogy, intercultural/global learning, content and language integrated learning (CLIL), and student exchange programmes are examined.


Stefan Bucher  ( Taiwan )
Asst. Prof. of German
Dept. of German
Tamkang University

Stefan Bucher is currently Asst. Prof. at Tamkang University, teaching German and Intercultural Communication. He received his PhD 1989 from the University of M√ľnster, Germany. He taught 1990-1996 at Kyungbuk National University, Korea and
1997-1999 at Chinese University of Hong Kong. His most recent publications are concerned with intercultural learning.

  • Culture
  • Globalisation
  • Diversity
  • Pluralism
  • Interculturality
  • Tolerance
  • Education

(30 min Conference Paper, English)