With the ASEAN integration in full swing, Baliuag University (BU) students reported not only high awareness of the multinational cooperation plan the region is venturing on but also revealed a positive attitude towards its expected outcomes.
In the study titled “Baliuag University Students’ Attitude and Perception on Internationalization in the Midst of ASEAN Integration” BU Center for Research Associate Publication Director Ma. Nina I. Adriano and co-author Myra P. Gonzales surveyed 388 students from the university’s six colleges.
Results revealed that students strongly agreed with statements that brand learning about people from different cultures as a very important part of education and that internationalization programs are important elements of higher education institutions’ educational process.
“Internationalization needs to adjust to teachings, research and service functions in order to meet intended internationalization outcomes such as the students’ familiarization with international activities, knowledge of importance of intercultural competence, confidence in their ability to work in the global economy, and readiness in future involvement in international activities,” Adriano said during the 2nd International Graduate Students Multidisciplinary Research Conference organized by the Association of Southeast Asian Institutions of Higher Learning- National Council of the Philippines.
In the other part of the study where questions are phrased negatively, the students still answered in favor of positive perception towards internationalization. Learning foreign languages as part of an undergraduate program is deemed necessary by the respondents as well as knowing people of different backgrounds.
Quoting from their related literature, Adriano said “students who know the importance of learning about other people’s culture and who are open to learning about other culture can easily embrace internationalization.”
She added: “Internationalization is defined as incorporating international, intercultural and global dimensions into the goals, functions and delivery of higher education. So as you can see all these statements are about intercultural, international, global aspects of education to which the students agree.”
When it came to student awareness on internationalization activities of the campus, 259 out of 388 or 66% of those who answered the survey claimed they were aware of the programs.
Adriano also related the results showing positive perception and awareness of the students on internationalization to their experience in travelling abroad for education or their willingness to travel for practicum and internship purposes.
“Students should be encouraged to join internationalization activities on or off campus to increase their understanding of other cultures thereby preparing them to become global workers,” Adriano said.
The authors recommended for more internationalization activities in the campus to increase student awareness as well as to encourage students to join off campus programs that will give them more information on the benefits of internationalization and multicultural knowledge that will enhance their skill sets.