Negotiating the complexities and polysemy of the notion of interculturality in higher education : Views from students at a minority - serving institution

Mei Yuan, Fred Dervin, Junkui Mi, Ning Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


The notion of interculturality is complex and polysemous in global research and education . Considering the turbulent times that the world has experienced in recent years , it is increasingly important to confront and enrich this significant scientific notion to make it more inclusive and epistemologically diverse . This paper has two main objectives . First it reviews the current state of the global literature on the notion of interculturality in education published in English , observing how different ideologies occupy the field - from dominating voices to ' minor ' ones which are more glocalised ( global + local ). On the basis of this review calling for more ' minor ' voices to be heard , the core of the paper is based on the analysis of discussions between Chinese students at a specific institution of higher education ( a ' minority - serving institution ' or Minzu University) in China, where students from the 56 different Minzu groups of China live , study and cooperate together . The glocal ideology of Minzu ( often mistranslated as ' ethnic ' in English ), a form of interculturality , is specific to this context and has not been systematically researched . Three groups of students with different ' Minzu / ethnic ', linguistic and study profiles were paired together to discuss what interculturality could mean and entail . Three interrelating layers of discourses were identified through a dialogical discourse analysis of what the students co - constructed together : glocality , politics and philosophy of life for all . In general , the students demonstrated a nuanced understanding of interculturality that intersected partly with global academic discourses of interculturality . Their insights contributed advanced reflections and critical thoughts on the notion , highlighting the need for a collaborative and innovative approach to its understanding and utilization .
Original languageEnglish
JournalThe Asia-Pacific Education Researcher
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2024
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

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