ARQUS online lecture: Developing intercultural competences, by Silvia Didier, iaelyon

Published on July 1, 2021 Updated on July 7, 2021

"Developing intercultural competences: From structural internationalization to the implementation of an agenda of integration", organized by The Arqus European University Alliance, with Silvia Didier, associate professor at iaelyon School of Management.

Today one of the challenges of business schools and universities is to get away from internationalization that is purely based on structural measures. Usually, these structural measures use a simple bi-polar distinction between home and international students and staff. Spencer-Oatey / Dauber (2015) [see reference 1 below] identified three flawed assumptions about these parameters of internationalization:

Structural internationalization (automatically) improves students’ satisfaction.
  • Structural internationalization (automatically) yields an integrated student community.
  • Structural internationalization (automatically) leads to global skills.
The latest research shows that these three assumptions are questionable. Spencer-Oatey and Dauber (2015, P.1) defend the idea that “a truly internationalized university of the future will have to measure its success not only in terms of structural factors like the number/proportion of international students but also by its ability to implement an agenda of integration that will facilitate the development of the ‘global skills’ that employers are seeking in their new employees.”

Developing intercultural and global skills is not simply an end at itself. Several recent reports [see reference 2 below] draw attention to the fact that employers are now seeking, demanding and expecting these global skills when hiring graduates from business schools or universities.

One of the key goals of the iaelyon is to teach and experience openness to multiple worlds. This includes the transfer of international, cross-cultural, professional and cross-disciplinary skills and competencies to students.

The case of iaelyon School of Management

In this talk, Silvia Didier will illustrate this approach by sharing and critically discussing 2 projects that have been put in place and tested at the iaelyon.
Learn more about the lecture
► Replay on the Arqus YouTube channel

Silvia Didier is an experienced intercultural trainer, consultant, expatriate coach and author of several books, working in a multi-national business setting. She has more than 20 years of work experience in the fields of marketing and communication, strategic consulting, intercultural training and executive coaching. Since 2013 she is working as a senior lecturer at the iaelyon School of Management – Jean Moulin University. She was codirecting the Master in International Management, was head of the Master 2 program International Business Realities and the International MBA. In 2020 she was nominated associate professor at iaelyon.


The Arqus European University Alliance brings together the universities of Bergen, Granada, Graz, Leipzig, Lyon, Padua and Vilnius, seven longstanding comprehensive research universities with deep regional engagement in medium-sized cities.
Arqus is a multilateral alliance of internationalized institutions who share academic, scientific and cultural objectives, a common vision of the role of higher education and research and mutual fields of interest.

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