Skip menu

The Shape of Citizenship in Aotearoa New Zealand Higher Education

Friday 5 July: Conference day three, 11:00am – 11:30am parallel session



Room 1 – 302-G20, Case Room  



Linda M. Rowan
Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand



A challenge universities and academics have is meeting the political and social expectations of producing graduates with the skills, attributes and capabilities expected of them. The push for social and economic global sustainability means higher education providers must demonstrate their commitment to developing knowledge and graduates capable of addressing current and future environmental, social and economic issues (Klemenčič, 2018; UNESCO World Conference on Education, 1998). Internationalisation, massification, competition for work and changes in employment contexts mean student cohorts are more diverse. Learners have wide life-work experiences and expectations. Academics must prepare them to graduate with the knowledge, skills and attitudes allowing them to be responsible, responsive and adaptable to the challenges of citizenship and employment in an unknown future. This presentation looks at students’ learning within a globalised learning context and their development as graduate citizens to participate in the wider spaces and places of society, work and life.

In 2017, one Aotearoa New Zealand university introduced three core citizenship courses into the BA to prepare individuals for their social responsibilities of personal, national and global citizenship.  Located within a bicultural context, core concepts set to explore, challenge and affirm existing constructs, and to develop critical thinking, active engagement, collaboration and research skills. My research looked into the experiences and perceptions of students taking these courses to understand more about how open they are to the ideas, values and cultures of globalised citizenship. I investigated the students’ perceptions of their agency to become active, responsible citizens in light of what they have learned on these courses.

This qualitative longitudinal research considers learners’ perceptions of their change in citizenship through their reflexive deliberations. Framework analysis (Lewis, 2007) was used to analyse semi-structured interviews and course work to discern students’ values and priorities, perceptions of citizenship and opportunities for agency.



Klemenčič, M. (2018). Higher education in Europe in 2017 and open questions for 2018. The European Journal of Higher Education, 8(1), 1-4.
Lewis, J. (2007). Analysing Qualitative Longitudinal Research in Evaluations. Social Policy and Society, 6(4), 545-556. doi:10.1017/S1474746407003880
UNESCO World Conference on Education. (1998). World declaration on higher education for the twenty-first century: Vision and action. Retrieved from


Presentation topic

Students – Learning

Print Friendly, PDF & Email