Towards harmonious East-West educational partnerships: a study of cultural differences between Taiwanese and Norwegian engineering students
The collaboration activities between educational institutions in the East and the West are on the increase as an increasingly globalized economy requires graduates to have the skills to work across cultural divides. Such collaborations are difficult and require patience. One challenge is that students or teachers may have misconceptions about aspects of the other culture that may cause problems. This study sets out to identify what values students in typical Eastern and Western societies associate with a good student, good student behavior, good teachers and good lectures with the purpose to identify discrepancies. This study is based on the results of a pair-wise ranking questionnaire completed by 233 Taiwanese and Norwegian students of both engineering and non-technical subjects. The results confirm some established beliefs regarding culturally related differences. However, several issues were found to be culturally neutral, and cultural differences were identified for several issues that were predicted to be culturally neutral. The results of this study may be useful to educators involved in East–West internationalization.
Sandnes, Frode Eika