Anya Lim

Masters of Communication for Social Change
Summer Research Program

Project: Building intercultural competencies: Curriculum development for journalism and communication programs

This research is part of the Cultural Inclusivity project, which aims to equip journalism and communications students with competencies, and skills that will prepare them to better perform in culturally diverse and indigenous cultural context by increasing cultural sensitivity and raising cultural awareness. To fulfil the project’s short-term goals, the topic for this particular research opportunity will delve on evaluating the current curriculum of the School and further developing the program to address the objectives of the project. The particular task requires the researcher to do a literature review on international education and intercultural communication and conduct data analysis based on survey results.

It helps a lot that my supervisor is very organised so my tasks are plotted out efficiently within the given time frame. We work on having weekly deliverables. A typical day would be spent gathering a valuable amount of resources or journal articles, preparing an annotated bibliography or organising specific methodologies employed in each research in a condensed format for a more convenient one-file reference. The project tackles intercultural competencies and curriculum development making work exciting every week as I get to learn and do something new. This week I have been tasked to review and evaluate all the course profiles under the School of Journalism and Communications.

One of the aims of this project is to be able to integrate cultural diversity and indigenous knowledge in the curriculum among the courses being offered in the School of Journalism and Communication. I hope that this will be achieved and the faculty would take into consideration the findings and recommendations of this research when they design future curriculums and prepare their course profiles. This will benefit and cater to the increasing and highly diverse population of international students in UQ, Aboriginal students and broaden the worldview of local students.

The research topic was within my scope of interest. The program allows you to have hand on research experience and directly learn from the expertise of a mentor. It is also a preparatory exercise that will teach you practical skills for future research work. To top it all, it provides a financial scholarship while you maximise and make productive use of your summer holidays.

I love Brisbane. It’s very similar and different to home in a lot of way. But, I love how you can explore the city in many different and creative ways. I personally love riding ferryboats and walking endlessly. From places, people, food, culture and entertainment, everyday is a discovery! UQ is very different from where I studied my undergraduate degree. UQ has many creative and inclusive spaces conducive for learning. From a corner nook at the library to the grounds of the Great Court, one can always find a study spot one can call your own.

I hope to go back to the Philippines, my home country, and continue running our social and cultural enterprise that works on preservation and the promotion of weaving culture among indigenous communities. I hope to apply the skills and lessons I’ve learned in this program in evaluating and improving the existing curriculum among the School of Living Traditions to further strengthen and encourage cultural continuity among the younger generation.

It makes the research journey more exciting when the topic is of your interest or relevant to you. Inject creativity in the research process by exploring innovative ways of doing better. Maximise the mentorship and ask questions. Learn how to ask questions. Be open to a potential of many possibilities but absorb as much as you can.