About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 242-252
Publication year: 2011
ISBN: 978-84-614-7423-3
ISSN: 2340-1079

Conference name: 5th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 7-9 March, 2011
Location: Valencia, Spain


J. Osma1, E. Crespo1, E. Fermoselle1, C. Lázaro1, R. Perea2

1Universitat Jaume I (SPAIN)
2Excm. Ajuntament de Castelló (SPAIN)
The European Higher Education Area (EHEA) provides a suitable framework to explore which is the baseline of some basic social competences in students and to highlight new disciplines, forgotten so far, which are the ones to direct future efforts to improve important students skills, as the Intercultural Competence.

Intercultural Competence is a recent construct coined by Chen and Starosta (1993, 2000). It has been considered as a professional action competence and is being approached from different disciplines as Education-Training, Communication, Management and Psychology (De Santos, 2004).

This construct appears as a necessity and a requirement to address international competitiveness both in the professional sphere, as in the academic and social ones (Bikson, 1994, 1995).

In addition, it is essential to carry out specific measures because of student’s mobility, the social dimension and lifelong learning promoted by the Bologna Process Guidelines. First of all, because it is necessary to diagnose all the dimensions of intercultural competence in students. And second, to allow researchers planning and designing interventions to acquire and improve such important skills in students, in order to follow the EHEA principle of encouraging the learning of students and future workers as global citizens.

So far the most Intercultural Competence dimension studied is “Intercultural Sensitivity”. This concept refers to "the desire that motivates people to know, understand, appreciate and accept differences among cultures" (Chen & Starosta, 1996).
The initial goal of our research is to analyze the psychological aspects and the Intercultural Sensitivity observed in an university sample; furthermore, we study the relationship between different psychological aspects (affectiveness, cognitive sphere, communicative skills and personality), Intercultural Sensitivity and Intercultural Experience Profile. Finally, we investigate the predictive value of psychological aspects related to the Intercultural Sensitivity phenomenon.
Our sample consists of 107 Bachelor and Master students of the Universitat Jaume I from Castellón (Spain), 41 female and 66 male. The mean age is 24,26 years old (DT: 4,95). The 52,3% of the sample enrolle their careers in the Human and Social Sciences Faculty, 20,6% in the Juridical and Economic Facultty and the 26,2% Studies in the High Technology Experimental Sciences Faculty.

Our results indicate the existence of statistically significant differences depending on the type of faculty where the students are pursuing their careers, which shows that targeted interventions to promote the Intercultural Competence in university students should take into account their careers branch of knowledge.
About psychological measures, we have observed that personality variables have demonstrated to have the best predictive value related to Intercultural Sensitivity level and Intercultural Profile Experience. This is a fact that emphasizes the importance of training children and high-school students to work skills on social and citizen competencies such as differences acceptance, tolerance and respect to each others, interest towards difference, travelling and mobility, etc. All of these, are factors that would help students to develop the openness as a way to feel more qualified and live with higher success level in both personal and work spheres.
author = {Osma, J. and Crespo, E. and Fermoselle, E. and L{\'{a}}zaro, C. and Perea, R.},
series = {5th International Technology, Education and Development Conference},
booktitle = {INTED2011 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-614-7423-3},
issn = {2340-1079},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Valencia, Spain},
month = {7-9 March, 2011},
year = {2011},
pages = {242-252}}
AU - J. Osma AU - E. Crespo AU - E. Fermoselle AU - C. Lázaro AU - R. Perea
SN - 978-84-614-7423-3/2340-1079
PY - 2011
Y1 - 7-9 March, 2011
CI - Valencia, Spain
JO - 5th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
JA - INTED2011 Proceedings
SP - 242
EP - 252
ER -
J. Osma, E. Crespo, E. Fermoselle, C. Lázaro, R. Perea (2011) EUROPEAN HIGHER EDUCATION AREA: INTERCULTURAL SENSITIVITY DIFFERENCES IN STUDENTS, INTED2011 Proceedings, pp. 242-252.