Coming to Terms with Cosmopolitanism, Global Citizenship & Global Competence

Changes induced by new technologies, and the unprecedented mobility of people, goods and capital across the globe, are creating a world that contains a set of characteristics without parallel in human history. A whole new vocabulary is needed to explain this different world.

Terms such as ‘cosmopolitanism’, ‘global citizenship’ and ‘global competence’ are often used in this context to explain this new reality. Similarly, it is also often argued that the new globalised conditions require our future generations to possess different skills in order to successfully negotiate the opportunities and challenges brought about by globalisation.

Fostering Global Citizenship and Global Competence


The concepts of ‘global citizenship’ and ‘global competence’ have gained increasing currency over the past 20 years. The term global citizenship, especially, is now routinely used in a wide range of political, social, cultural, economic, diplomatic and educational contexts.

There is also significant government interest in deepening Australia’s global engagement – particularly in the Asian region – through the business, industry, science, education and research sectors.

This outward focus is increasingly reflected in national policy and Australia’s political and public diplomacy. However, it is not altogether clear how best to express and embed global citizenship in various national enterprises – including education.

This one-day national symposium brought focus to the discussion and critically examined what we mean by global citizenship and global competence for Australian higher education students.

This project was supported by the Australian Government Department of Education, the Victorian Department of State Development, Business and Innovation and the Office for Learning and Teaching.

Published: August 2014