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Fostering global citizenship through language

JasonLewis25 July 2017

Dr Eszter Tarsoly (UCL School of Slavonic and East European Studies) is a course leader on UCL’s Global Citizenship Programme (GCP).

She leads The Danube module, which SSEES delivers as one of the GCP Grand Challenges strands, addressing Intercultural Interaction.

The module boasts an innovative and intensive language programme, which aims to provide students with a thorough insight into how Danubian societies work and the historical, cultural and social influences on the development of the language.

In this short introduction to the module, Dr Tarsoly highlights the ties between language learning through a cultural lens and global citizenship.

She also points out the basic skills that students felt they developed by participating in the bespoke language module during the GCP and how this equips them for global lives.

Filmed and edited by UCL graduate Jason Lewis

UCL students who participated in the GCP this year said they viewed language learning as central to cultivating a global outlook and to building new bonds with other students from across UCL.

Aditi Mathur (BSc Social Sciences), who completed this year’s module, said: “While learning a new language, I also found that this was one part of the programme where the entire group was at par. We were all completely new to Bulgarian. This brought us closer together as a unit. We found ourselves working better as a group over the span of ten days, and forged very important bonds with every member of the group”.

“When I think of global citizenship, three words come to mind: diversity, culture and respect. This programme has taught me to respect every culture I am exposed to. While making a judgement of every person and their background, we learnt how to not react extremely upon these judgements. This, in turn, is pivotal when it comes to developing a global perspective that involves respecting and accepting differences across different cultures.”

UCL academics supporting developing countries to tackle corruption

SophieVinter19 February 2016

UCL academics helping developing countries to combat corruption have secured British Academy funding to support their research.

Professor Alena Ledeneva (School of Slavonic and East European Studies) and Dr Christian Schuster (Department of Political Science) are part of teams that recently secured grants from the Academy’s £4 million global anti-corruption research scheme.

Run in partnership with the Department for International Development (DFID), the scheme funds projects that will identify new initiatives that can help developing countries tackle corruption and the negative impact it has on millions of people’s lives.

Professor Ledeneva is working with academics at the Basel Institute on Governance (Switzerland) and SOAS on a project proposing to emphasise the role that informality plays in fuelling corruption and stifling anti-corruption policies in East Africa.

Drawing on a global network of scholars, Dr Schuster is co-investigator on a project researching civil service reform and anti-corruption in developing countries. The initiative will obtain tools and evidence from eight countries across Africa, Asia, Latin America and Eastern Europe, investigating the impact of civil service practices in key areas such as recruitment, dismissal and integrity management.

Their research will provide new evidence for use by DFID and its partners.

Lord Stern, President of the British Academy said: “Endemic corruption is an enormous international challenge that blights far too many countries and research such as this is one of the most worthwhile ways that the UK can offer practical support.”