What is intercultural competence?

What is intercultural competence, and why is it important?

lntercultural competence is the ability to function effectively across cultures, to think and act appropriately, and to communicate and work with people from different cultural backgrounds – at home or abroad.[1] Intercultural competence is a valuable asset in an increasingly globalised world where we are more likely to interact with people from different cultures and countries who have been shaped by different values, beliefs and experiences.

Intercultural competence is part of a family of concepts including global competence, graduate attributes, employability skills, global citizenship, education for sustainable development and global employability. Core to all these concepts is recognition of globalisation as a force for change in all aspects of the contemporary world, and the importance for graduates to be able to engage and act globally.

[1] Adapted from Leung, K., Ang, S. and Tan, M.L. (2014), 'Intercultural Competence', Annual Review of Organizational Psychology and Organizational Behaviour, 1:4889-519.

See also