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What is Global Competence?

Global Competence is a multi-dimensional construct that requires a combination of knowledge, skills, attitudes and values successfully applied to global issues or intercultural situations. Global issues refer to those that affect all people, and have deep implications for current and future generations. Intercultural situations refer to face-to-face, virtual or mediated encounters with people who are perceived to be from a different cultural background.

Developing global competence is a life-long process, but it is one that education can shape. PISA 2018 assesses where 15-year-old students are situated in this process, and whether their schools effectively address the development of global competence. 

Why is it important for students to develop Global Competence?

Global competence can help young people:

  • develop cultural awareness and respectful interactions in increasingly diverse societies;

  • recognise and challenge cultural biases and stereotypes, and facilitate harmonious living in multicultural communities;

  • prepare for the world of work, which increasingly demands individuals who are effective communicators, are open to people from different cultural backgrounds, can build trust in diverse teams and can demonstrate respect for others, especially as technology continues to make it easier to connect on a global scale;

  • capitalise on inherently interconnected digital spaces, question biased media representations, and express their voice responsibly online;

  • care about global issues and engage in tackling social, political, economic and environmental challenges.

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Global Competence Is a 21st Century Imperative

"The 21st century isn’t coming; it’s already here. And our students have the opportunity and challenge of living and working in a diverse and rapidly changing world. Public schools must prepare our young people to understand and address global issues, and educators must re-examine their teaching strategies and curriculum so that all students can thrive in this global and interdependent society."—NEA President Dennis Van Roekel

The following global competencies comprise OECD’s four domains. Globally competent individuals:

  • Can examine local, global and intercultural issues

  • Understand and appreciate different perspectives and worldviews

  • Interact successfully and respectfully with others

  • Take responsible action toward sustainability and collective well-being.

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