University of Oulu

Uematsu‑Ervasti, K., Kawachi, K. How intercultural experience affects university students’ gender views: potential for transforming higher education in Japan. Asia Pacific Educ. Rev. 23, 625–637 (2022).

How intercultural experience affects university students’ gender views : potential for transforming higher education in Japan

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Author: Uematsu‑Ervasti, Kiyoko1; Kawachi, Kumiko2
Organizations: 1Extension School, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
2International Strategy Organization, Yokohama National University, Yokohama, Japan
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.9 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Springer Nature, 2022
Publish Date: 2022-12-08


Reducing gender disparities in Japan is an urgent issue that requires the attention of multilevel stakeholders, including higher education institutions. Under Sustainable Development Goal 4, target 4.7 calls for educational institutions, including universities, to explore innovative approaches to tackle issues such as gender inequality. The transition from student life to adulthood is a crucial time for university students as they face and become aware of gender inequalities in society. This study examines various opportunities in higher education, such as short study-abroad programs and globalization-related coursework, that positively influence university students’ understanding of others and potentially broaden their gender perspectives. Historically, the impacts of studying abroad and intercultural experiences have only been subjectively assessed based on participants’ self-evaluation. However, by using the Beliefs, Events, and Values Inventory, quantified data can be used to evaluate the nature and form of depth-based growth and compare three cases for potential changes before, after, or during educational programs. The study’s findings shed light on opportunities and barriers to transforming students’ views especially on gender issues. The study reveals (1) signs of improvement in students’ gender perspectives after participating in a short study-abroad program, (2) that international students with diverse experiences tend to demonstrate lower gender traditionalism, and (3) that freshmen and sophomores have relatively moderate views on gender norms, indicating that further intervention could improve their gender perspectives. The results showcase the possibility of developing meaningful study-abroad programs and other coursework to drive the positive change in students’ perspectives, especially regarding gender.

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Series: Asia Pacific education review
ISSN: 1598-1037
ISSN-E: 1876-407X
ISSN-L: 1598-1037
Volume: 23
Issue: 4
Pages: 625 - 637
DOI: 10.1007/s12564-022-09801-5
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 516 Educational sciences
Funding: Open Access funding provided by University of Oulu including Oulu University Hospital.
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