Date of Award

Summer 5-2024

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

Meghan E. Cosier

Second Advisor

Douglas D. Havard

Third Advisor

Ryan M. Allen


The purpose of the study was to explore global competence-based pedagogy in higher education. Under the umbrella of cultural capital theory and internationalization framework, a systematic literature review analyzed and synthesized 26 empirical studies pertaining to global competence education in postsecondary education from 2013 to 2022. The review revealed a research gap highlighting the lack of exploration into global competence pedagogy among students in higher vocational education. To address this gap, the present study focused on a sample of 1,504 participants recruited from a Chinese vocational university situated on the eastern coast of China, encompassing both 3-year college students and 4-year undergraduates. Employing hierarchical linear regression, the study examined the relationship between participants’ attainment of global competence and 19 influencing factors identified through the systematic review. Consistent with cultural capital theory, the findings indicated that higher vocational students with favorable family and educational backgrounds tended to access more educational opportunities and achieve higher levels of global competence. However, limited opportunities for international mobility among higher vocational education students constrained the impact of overseas experiences on their global competence attainment. The study also revealed that internationalization framework played a significant role in fostering globally competent students in China’s higher vocational system. Specifically, faculty international mobility positively influenced the growth of global competence. The internationalization curriculum, cocurricular viii activities, and extracurricular engagements significantly enhanced global competence achievement. Furthermore, the results underscored the importance of off-campus intergroup contact in supplementing the limited on-campus interactions. Both in-person and online contact with foreign individuals outside of campus were found to facilitate the development of global competence. Notably, mediated contact made a unique contribution to global competence development among Chinese higher vocational students, suggesting that such mediums offer invaluable opportunities for students to acquire global resources, particularly for those lacking social connections with foreign individuals in their daily lives. In conclusion, the findings of this study contribute novel insights to the literature on global competence-based education, suggesting that students in higher vocational education, regardless of their socio–economic background or opportunities for international mobility, can benefit from the adoption of internationalization pedagogies in achieving global competence.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.



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