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Hanwei Li and Pirkko Pitkänen

Abstract

This study examines the integration experiences of mainland Chinese tertiary-level students in Finland, a non-Anglophone country. The article identifies four conceptual domains of integration – academic, social, economic and cultural – as central to the students’ integration processes. Data for analysing the Chinese students’ integration experiences were collected through semi-structured interviews (n = 30), and the research findings showed that both English and the host language Finnish mediated the Chinese students’ integration into the host academic and social environments. Although the students initially faced challenges in their studies and daily lives, many of them managed to establish meaningful cross-cultural social contact and overcame cultural differences and language barriers to integrate into the new academic environment. The findings suggest that the maintenance of transnational ties and co-national networks can facilitate Chinese international student integration abroad, through promotion of meaningful cross-cultural contacts that contribute to the host society.

Open access

Mahmood Messkoub

Abstract

Declining fertility and rising life expectancy combined with migration are changing the demographic landscape of the MENA. Earlier high fertility will ensure a growing population in the next 20-30 years. Family structure is also changing: families are becoming smaller and increasingly nuclear, rather than extended. The region has to manage a young age structure and a gradual ageing of the population but with a potential weakening of the traditional inter-generational support based on family, it also faces a widely varying and heterogeneous resource base and socio-economic structure across the different countries. To maintain and improve inter-generational support within family and society in the MENA countries with large populations (such as Iran and Egypt) the most important challenges are poverty and vulnerability, unemployment, and development of long-term plans for an ageing population. These are inter-connected objectives since reducing poverty and increasing current employment could provide individuals and families with some resources to save and accumulate for old age. States in the region should put redistributive social policies in the areas of health, education and housing at the heart of a strategy of supporting family budgets and resources to assist them in their inter-generational care, but should also set up care and pension schemes to provide societal inter- generational support.

Open access

Paul Morris

Abstract

Is religion simply a part of culture? Can religious diversity be managed as a subset of intercultural diversity? This article explores intercultural dialogue and its relationship to “religion’ in the policies, documents and debates of the European Community. The argument is advanced that religious realities and concerns are misconstrued when religion is subsumed into culture. Religion needs to be historically and conceptually rethought and that for cultural and religious diversities to be skillfully managed in the interests of social solidarity and positive intercommunal relations both need to be addressed discretely and in tandem.

Open access

Gary D Bouma AM

Abstract

The use of intercultural dialogue (ICD) to promote intergroup understanding and respect is considered as a key to reduce tensions and the likelihood of conflict. This paper argues that understanding the differences among religions – those between packaged and lived religion – enhances the chances of success and makes the effort more challenging. Religions contained and packaged are found in formally organised expressions of religion – churches, denominations, synagogues, mosques, temples and so on. For packaged religions, religious identity is singular and adherents are expected to identify with only one religion and are assumed to accept the whole package of that religion. ICD in this context involves communicating with religious groups such as organisations and encouraging different leaders to speak with each other resulting in platforms filled with ‘heads of faith’ – bishops muftis, ayatollahs, chief rabbis, swamis and so on. In contrast, lived religions involve ritual practices engaged in by individuals and small groups, creation of shrines and sacred spaces, discussing the nature of life, sharing ethical concerns, going on pilgrimages and taking actions to celebrate and sustain hope.There is some evidence that, although packaged religions are declining, lived religions continue at persistent levels. Violent extremism is more likely to be associated with lived rather than packaged forms of religion, making a more balanced intercultural competences approach to ICD critical to countering conflict.

Open access

Geoffrey Brahm Levey

Abstract

In recent years, an international debate has erupted over whether and how interculturalism differs from multiculturalism as a response to cultural diversity. An influential argument in this debate is that multiculturalism itself militates against intercultural dialogue. This article scrutinises this argument and challenge its applicability in the Australian context. I examine two case studies of fraught intercultural dialogue: the 2006 clash between the Howard government and the Ethnic Communities’ Council of Victoria over the proposed introduction of a citizenship test; and the Abbott government’s proposed reform of the anti-vilification provisions of the Racial Discrimination Act 1975 (Cth) during 2013–14. The cases suggest that far from undermining intercultural dialogue, respecting the terms of Australian multiculturalism would help to make it possible. Moreover, the cases suggest that if pursued genuinely, intercultural dialogue could contribute improved policy outcomes.

Open access

Mohammed Chekour, Mohamed Laafou and Rachid Janati-Idrissi

Abstract

Different teaching approaches have revealed that teaching is a complex process, a profession that must adapt to the specific needs of the learners, the nature of the subject taught and the general context of the training. However, the act of learning is a common activity. In the educational sciences there is no one-sided approach to the didactics of physical sciences. Therefore, teachers of the physical sciences are invited to choose the appropriate pedagogical approaches based on the performance and limitations of each approach. In this article, we will review the literature of the main pedagogical approaches used to facilitate the acquisition of physical phenomena. On the basis of this study, we will highlight the added value of the combination of a relatively recent approach, based on historical investigation and simulation of physical phenomena.

Open access

Deinibiteim Monimah Harry

Abstract

The study examined the value addition in the Nigeria’s export processing zones, comparing it with the experiences from Asian economies. Upon the recommendation of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), Nigeria adopted the EPZ scheme via Decree No 63 of 1992 to accelerate industrialization through increasing manufacturing for exports, among others. The Calabar Free Trade Zone was established as the pioneer zone in the country. The objective of this research work is to determine the extent of Value Addition at the zones in Nigeria. As at 2008, 25 zones have registered with NEPZA, the regulatory authority in the country. Out of the 25 registered zones, 11are operational, 9 under construction and 5 merely declared. Four (4) zones, namely, Calabar, Oil and Gas and Snake Island Integrated Free Trade Zones and Alscon Export Processing zone, were systematically selected from the 11 operational zones for the study. Two hundred and ninety copies of questionnaire were administered on 290 respondents drawn from 54 firms and 4 zonal management boards. Out of the 290 copies of questionnaire 242 copies were properly filled and returned. The 242 copies of questionnaire returned served as the primary source of data, while textbooks, journals, fasimiles, etc served as the secondary sources of data. The paper argued that for EPZs to help in the industrialization of a nation value addition and production segmentation must be made central to the manufacturing/ production processes; because the higher the level of value addition the greater the impact/contribution of EPZs to socio-economic development. The study revealed that the level of value addition in the Nigerian zones is very low, only labour element of value addition is visible, technology and material elements were absent. Hence, the paper recommends that value addition should be made compulsory in the production processes at the zones and emphasis should be on the technology and material elements. This, it is believed would enhance backward linkages with the domestic economy.

Open access

Abdirashid A. Ismail

Abstract

This article has two main goals. First, it describes the processes and practices of Somali marriages in Finland, in order to help fill the gap in the literature on Somali marriage practices. Particular attention is paid to three major aspects of the marriage process: finding a spouse, organising the marriage arrangements and the celebrations. The second goal is to contribute to the current debate on migration and arranged marriages. In doing so, particular attention is paid to the role of the family in these three aspects of marriage. This article draws from 35 individual interviews, participant observations in five marriage ceremonies, as well as five focus group discussions. I argue that, despite the deep involvement of family members in the marriage process, unlike in forced and (common) arranged marriages, Somali couples take a leading role and make major decisions, although they are expected to seek their parents’ consent.

Open access

Dian Anita Nuswantara, Dewi Prastiwi and Aisyaturahmi

Abstract

Tax is one of the main sources of government revenue in Indonesia. Unfortunately the enormous population has not been able to make tax revenues so great. The cost to issue a new policy package should be accompanied by increased taxpayer compliance, as indicated by tax revenue. But until now the increase in tax revenue is due to the higher the value of money. Based on the above, it needs to be studied and analysed on how the critical analysis of income tax policy for individual taxpayers of small and medium enterprises (SMEs).

A qualitative approach using phenomenological studies is designed to gain an explanation of the above phenomena in terms of the taxpayer's perspective. Survey technique is the main data collection technique used in this study. The final process of the research is expected to find the right formulation of the current policy and find the policy formulation that can be used as input for policy makers in the field of taxation.

Open access

Youcef J-T. Zidane, Bjørn Otto Elvenes, Knut F. Samset and Bassam A. Hussein

Abstract

Ex-post evaluation is starting to be recognized in the Algerian different government institutions (e.g., ministries); and evaluation is becoming part of any program or project for two main reasons, justify the legitimacy of the programs and projects, and collect lessons learned for the next similar programs and projects. On the other hand, academicians believe that programs and projects can be improved by conducting proper evaluations and extracting lessons learned. Program/Project evaluation is comprehensive evaluation, which mainly applies to ex-post evaluation. This paper will look closer at an ex-post evaluation of an Algerian highway megaproject based on PESTOL model, this evaluation is already conducted in the period of 2014 – 2016. Considering ex-post evaluation of projects has many purposes and among them is linked to learning and knowledge sharing and transfer. In this regard, the paper describes very briefly the approach used to the post project evaluation. In addition, link it to learning and to other types of evaluations – i.e., ex-ante, monitoring, midterm, terminal evaluations, and using system-thinking approach, and proposes a framework for learning in projects by evaluations. This paper is based on qualitative case study approach.