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In 2011, a random, self-elected group of professional staff members across Deakin University was interviewed to identify their strengths, weaknesses, aspirations and expectations on professional development in intercultural competence. It resulted in a number of suggestions about how to offer such training.
The most salient aspect of this research was the recognition that there is a gap in the provision of professional development in intercultural competence to staff. The literature and the results of the staff interviews concurred that effective intercultural communication is critical as the world becomes more globalised and universities continue to expand their international populations. The provision of an intercultural program for staff would be important to enhance their ability to work in an international environment by developing:
The research identified that while there are resources available, more specific professional development would be very helpful for staff to equip them with these skills, or to assess if and where it is required.
With the support of the Faculty General Manager, and as part of the Faculty's Access and Equity plan for 2013, a series of informal seminars to raise cross cultural awareness among staff in the Faculty has been planned . The objective of the sessions will be to: