Defining intercultural competence

Intercultural competence is part of a family of concepts including global competence, graduate attributes, employability skills, global citizenship, education for sustainable development and global employability. Core to all these concepts is recognition of globalisation as a force for change in all aspects of the contemporary world, and the importance for graduates to be able to engage and act globally.

In the process model of intercultural competence, attitudes (respect, openness, curiosity and discovery) are the starting point, and the outcome is effective and appropriate communication and behaviour in an intercultural situation. The degree of intercultural competence depends on the degree of attitudes, knowledge and comprehension and skills achieved.[3]

Deardorff (2004) Process model of intercultural competence


[1]Global People Project http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/fac/cross_fac/globalpeople/ ; OECD (2012) Report: Approaches to Internationalisation and their Implications for Strategic Management and Institutional Practice – A Guide for Higher Education Institutions; Skrbis, Z (2014) Coming to Terms with Cosmopolitanism, Global Citizenship and Global Competence, International Education Association of Australia; Lilley, K (2014)  Educating Global Citizens: Translating the ‘Idea’ into University Organisational Practice; International Education Association of Australia; Hudzik, JK (2011) : Comprehensive Internationalisation: from Concept to Action; Jones, E and D Killick (2013) Graduate Attributes and the Internationalised Curriculum: Embedding a Global Outlook in Disciplinary Learning Outcomes,  Journal of Studies in International Education, 17 (2), pp 165–182.

[2] UNESCO (2013) Intercultural Competences: Conceptual and Operational Framework; British Council (2013) Culture at Work: The value of intercultural skills in the workplace; Diamond, A et al (2011) Global Graduates into Global Leaders, AGR/CIHE/CFE.