An inclusive, international learning environment?
Other conference contribution, 2020

One of the Chalmers’ prioritized strategies for 2019-2021 is to reflect the diversity of society in an inclusive international learning environment.  This should include developing activities that contribute to greater inclusion between international and national students and enabling global perspectives by drawing up learning objectives and activities for intercultural standards, attitudes and values. These strategies connect to national requirements for the engineering programs where students should demonstrate the capacity for teamwork and collaboration with various constellations.

However, results from the International Student Barometer (2019) that show that although international students rank Chalmers highest in Europe when it comes to teaching and learning, they also rank Chalmers near the bottom when it comes to integration between home and international students.

At Master’s level, approximately 35% of the students are labelled international i.e. from outside Sweden though this percentage varies quite dramatically from program to program. The main groups represented are India and China but we have students from at least 80 countries. According to the Chalmers mission statement, we should raise our level of internationalization in education to secure intellectual exchange and new stimuli. But how can this exchange take place if home and international students are not integrating with each other?

This session will consist of three 10-minute presentations from three different Master programs at Chalmers. Each program has different challenges, for example in terms of the ratio between home and international students and pre knowledge required to follow courses. The presenters will provide a brief description of their individual situation in terms of their student groups. They will then describe how they have worked proactively to encourage greater inclusion, including work with both the formal and the informal curriculum (Leask, 2015). The formal curriculum is defined as the syllabus in terms of the program goals and the courses within the program. The informal curriculum covers any additional unassessed activities, for example, social activities. Finally, they will provide a future vision to work with these questions, in terms of future priorities and actions.

The presentations will be followed by a panel discussion led by the session chair where questions will be taken from the audience. This session will be of particular interest to anyone who is working in an international learning environment, particularly those involved at Master program level. An inclusive environment will not only benefit all students, but has been shown to have a positive effect on results as well (De Vita, 2010).  


De Vita, G. (2002). Does assessed multicultural group work really pull UK students' average down?. Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education, 27(2), 153-161.

Leask, B. (2015). Internationalizing the curriculum. Routledge.


Becky Bergman

Chalmers, Communication and Learning in Science, Language and Communication

Lena Peterson

Chalmers, Computer Science and Engineering (Chalmers), Computer Engineering (Chalmers)

Jonas Sjöblom

Chalmers, Mechanics and Maritime Sciences (M2), Combustion and Propulsion Systems

Johan Malmqvist

Chalmers, Industrial and Materials Science, Product Development

KUL Chalmers pedagogical conference
Gothenburg, ,

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