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Multi­discipli­nary & Innovative Courses


Interculturality in a New Global World: China’s One Belt, One Road as an Example


Faculty of Educational Sciences, TENSION research group (diversities and interculturality in education), University of Helsinki

Related Degree Programmes

Master’s Programme in Intercultural Encounters





900-1490 EUR Learn more




Dr Fred Dervin, University of Helsinki

Doctoral candidate Yongjian Li, University of Helsinki

Doctoral candiate Haiqin Liu, University of Helsinki

Target students

Bachelor’s and Master’s levels. Students who have an interest in intercultural studies, intercultural / multicultural education and social justice, but also sociology and anthropology. No background in intercultural studies or Chinese language needed.


The world is changing dramatically, and we need new ways of explaining and understanding what is happening when people meet across borders (national, regional, cultural, linguistic borders, etc.).

In the first part of this exciting course, new critical perspectives from the fields of multicultural / intercultural communication and education are proposed. Basic concepts such as culture, globalisation, identity and diversity are introduced and critically reviewed.

The originality comes from using China to illustrate the second part of the course. The One Belt, One Road Initiative, which promotes connectivity and cooperation between different continents, is a great example of today’s new global world. The initiative aims to support infrastructure networks, as well as cultural and educational collaboration. This example is best suited to work on today’s interculturality.

Working together and with the lecturers, the participants will analyse different documents about the initiative and discuss what interculturality is and what it entails. The participants will learn to transfer the acquired knowledge and methods related to interculturality to other contexts.

Learning objectives

The students learn to analyse situations of interculturality from reflexive and critical perspectives; they have a good understanding of intercultural encounters in different contexts of communication and in education; they are able to critique basic concepts related to interculturality; they have acquired knowledge about how to discuss and examine China’s One Road, One Belt Initiative; they are able to transfer this knowledge to other contexts.

Means and criteria of assessment

Assessment is based on:
• Participation during lectures and in-class assignments (20%)
• Group exercise (30%)
• Final project (50%)

Course format and teaching methods

Lectures, workshops and discussions with world specialists on issues of interculturality. Group tasks will help to prepare for the final project.

Course Schedule

Location: City Centre Campus

Monday 6.8.2018 Registration begins
Tuesday 7.8.2018 Registration continues, HSS Opening Ceremony
Wednesday 8.8.2018 course begins

Preliminary Course Schedule (pdf)