Conceptualising Global Citizenship: Analysing Intended Curriculum in Australian Universities

Macquarie University, Australia

Macquarie University, Australia

Macquarie University, Australia


This paper emerges from a research study that analyses graduate attributes statements from 39 Australian universities over a 20 year period. Graduate attributes articulate an institution's vision of students they seek to develop and the knowledge, values and dispositions they wish to impart. Specifically, this paper examines graduate attributes from 2011-2014 related to the complex notion of global citizenship, which is now included in some form at 95% of Australian universities. This paper defines and analyses institutional engagement using the framework of passive, active and critical global citizenship education. Two types of analysis are undertaken: a thematic analysis of graduate attribute statements and a word frequency analysis of the high level categories identified in the statements. Key findings include a substantial increase in the categories global (graduate attribute statements referring to global or international perspectives only), citizen (in which citizenship alone is mentioned) and global citizen (wherein the terms are used in conjunction with one another). Of particular interest are the differing foci and responsibilities evident in these categories and the location and level of engagement of attributes such as ethics and leadership.

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