• Nem Talált Eredményt

Conclusions and New Scientific Results

In document Óbuda University Ph.D. Dissertation (Pldal 101-105)

“The survival of mankind will depend to a large extent on the ability of people who think differently to act together.” – Prof. Geert Hofstede

This chapter concludes the main scientific results and provides a summary on the most important effects of international mobility related to perceived conflicts, peace and security. The implications show that the youth empowerment with international mobility is the best interest of Europe and its states in a modern society. Therefore, recommendations are made based on additional (primary) research to foster the participation in international mobility programmes such as Erasmus+, as well as to improve its implementation and impacts in the future. The different points are considered on both policy and more practical – local level in order to support all actors and participants of mobility.

To reflect on the Hofstede quote, based on the research results, it can be concluded that international student mobility develops the skills and abilities of participants who come from different cultural backgrounds to act together. However, the level of this development is dependent on the participants’ national culture, as well as on their destination – host country of their mobility where they gain international experience.

Based on quantitative primary research, the seven hypotheses have been tested and research objectives achieved. Out of the seven postulated hypotheses, six alternate hypotheses were accepted as a result of the significant differences that mobility experience made. Accordingly, the following statements are made.

Thesis 1: The participation in international student mobility contributes to the reduction of perceived conflicts and cultural clashes.

Published in: Holicza, 2018a; Holicza, Pásztor, 2018; Lazányi, Holicza, 2019

Thesis 2: International student mobility makes participants eager to learn more about different cultures and participate in international programs again.

Published in: Holicza, 2018a; Holicza, 2018b; Holicza, Pásztor, 2018; Holicza, Kadena, 2018; Holicza, Pásztor, 2019

Thesis 3: The extent of the intercultural skills development after mobility is most influenced by the participants national culture.

Published in: Lazányi, Holicza, Baimakova, 2017; Lazányi, Holicza, 2019


Thesis 4: International student mobility significantly facilitates youth employment.

Published in: Holicza, Stone, 2016; Holicza, 2018a; Holicza, Tóth, 2018; Holicza, Pásztor, 2018; Holicza, Chircop, 2018; Holicza, Pásztor, 2019

Thesis 5: The participation in international mobility has positive effect on active citizenship: it engages young people to participate in the social and political life of their community.

Published in: Holicza, Fehér-Polgár, 2017; Holicza, 2018a; Holicza, Pásztor, 2018;

Holicza, Kadena, 2018

Thesis 6: International student mobility does not significantly affect cultural skills and attitudes across Huntington’s civilizational fault lines.

Published in: Lazányi, Holicza, Baimakova, 2017; Lazányi, Holicza, 2019; Holicza, Yaroson, Muminovic, 2019

Thesis 7: The participation in international student mobility does not contribute to youth emigration from the home country, it rather effects it negatively.

Published in: Holicza, 2018a; Holicza, Pásztor, 2018

These experiences facilitated participants in dealing with the challenges and demands of a modern, multicultural society, being opened to learn more and improve intercultural skills, without leaving their home country permanently. This invariably implies that mobility enabled students possess the capacity to adapt to new situations, more tolerant towards as well as cooperative with people from different countries and cultures. They perceive less threat and frustration which leads to less conflict situations.

Further, mobility develops critical thinking and interest in European topics, engages young people to participate in the social and political life of their community, which are key conditions of democracy. According to Farahani (2014), most of today’s crises that are challenging the peace and security of the world – such as war, environmental pollution, terrorism etc. – are solvable through citizenship education. In his views, especially the higher education has the potential to educate individuals and allow them to go beyond geographical boarders to participate actively in solving international problems.

Considering the issue of the current youth unemployment rates in Europe as well as its general link to criminal activities, international mobility significantly improves the


situation. According to the participants, more developed skills and the mobility experience in their CV help the employment and integration in the labour market. After mobility, they tend to imagine their future in their home country, much more than before.

The illusions of an easier and more favourable foreign life seemed to be changed for motivations to take advantage of mobility experience and the extra knowledge gained on the domestic labour market.

Apart from the proven generally positive and developing effects of mobility, it has to be noted, that the country and civilization-specific analyses have measured significant differences in effect size. Most of the cultural variables show significant positive links with participation only in case of intra-EU mobility: among EU nationals who went abroad, but stayed within the bond of EU Members States, the Western-Christian civilization. Namely, the Hungarian-Maltese-Portuguese group members are more affected by mobility experience than their peers from Albania and Russia. The Albanian and Russian participants completed cross-civilizational mobility since their home county and culture belong to the Muslim and/or Orthodox-Christian civilizations, but their host country was an EU Member State/Erasmus+ Programme Country – in the Western-Christian civilization.

According to Huntington (1993; 1997), different civilizations and civilizational fault lines will always remain potential sources of conflicts, that seem to be confirmed by the research results, as no significant improvement occurred on tolerance level and other cultural variables after mobility experience. On the other hand, Fukuyama’s views (1992) provide some hope when professional and economic interests are taken into account. In this case, independently from origin and culture, the intention to learn more about different cultures and gain intercultural skills for future career successes – significantly increased after mobility. The two groups had the same (no) reaction on the variable “I feel European”. In fact, the common European identity building is one of the main missions of the Erasmus Programme, but it does not seem to work – as none of the groups passed the significance test on increasing values after mobility. Participants are generally more interested and even start to follow European news and happenings, but they don’t consider themselves more European than the ones without mobility experience.

Even if the current global and European events support Huntington’s thesis, the question whether his culture clash or Fukuyama’s pax liberal democratica is the world’s most plausible future, still cannot be answered with full confidence (Kurtz, 2002). Economic


interests and motives seem to make different people more flexible and cooperative than international mobility does. However, the former is just a temporary solution, highly dependent on actual global or regional political agenda and financial situation. Even though it is evident in history that economic crisis is a propellant of nationalism (Augoustinos, Reynolds, 2001) which leads back to bottom-line group conflict theory:

competition for access to limited resources.

Contributing to the long-term solution – international mobility including cultural and civic education is proved to improve one’s perception and tolerance level towards others with different background and improve skills to cooperate effectively. It opposes discrimination, raise the questions of cultural pluralism and equal access to resources that are key conditions to decrease group conflicts according to fundamental conflict theories and practices (Fedyunina, Slepukhin, 2013).

Even though there is no doubt about the positive effects of mobility and that more intra-European contact lead to less exclusive nationalism, there is an issue to be addressed.

Theresa Kuhn (2012) suggests that mobility programmes, particularly Erasmus, should approach and involve people with lower levels of education. Previously discussed studies based on empirical evidence, as well as examples from the US (Schuman et al., 1997) show that highly educated people are more likely to reject negative racial stereotypes, and endorse principles of equal treatment. Lower educated people tend to lack the opportunity or the interest to participate in mobility and interact with people who are “not like them”.

Unlike the managers, and other white-collar workers, the service and blue-collar workers are less able to afford international experiences which would develop curiosity and understanding of different cultures. This group is less likely to learn other languages and follow news from different sources, or to change the favourable (political) views of their neighbourhood (Fligstein, 2008). Therefore, beside “preaching to the converted” (Kuhn, 2012), different European mobility programmes should aim to reach the less privileged layers of society – which would have even greater effects than on the ones with originally higher level of European identity and acceptance of cultural diversity (Sigalas, 2006).


In document Óbuda University Ph.D. Dissertation (Pldal 101-105)