Globalization means movement. People, images, symbols, information, capital, goods and so on increasingly move from one corner of the world to another and people communicate with other people many miles away. As a consequence, individual people are increasingly facing different influences and ideas from other parts of the world. People with a Catholic or Calvinist inspiration speaking Italian or Dutch meet with other people with a Hindu or Candomblè background speaking Hindi or Portuguese and feel challenged or inspired by each other. Global communication media like the internet and means of rapid transportation facilitate such encounters. The same holds true for multinational organizations that expand globally and thus incorporate people with all kinds of cultural orientations in their workforce. Organizations and societal fields such as the labour market, education, health care and arts and culture are increasingly made up of employees and citizens with different identities and have to deal with customers and citizens with diverse orientations and world views.
Thus, globalization and cultural diversity turn societal fields and organizations into very dynamic places and render individual experiences very exciting but perhaps also menacing to some extent. Societal fields, organizations and individual people are challenged by people speaking different languages, having different norms and values and adhering to different religions, which leads to new encounters and exchanges but also to confrontations and tensions. In many countries this new cultural diversity triggered by globalizations comes on top of already existing diversity in terms of languages, religions, ethnicities and racial groups, like in India, Spain, The Netherlands, South Africa, Mexico and Turkey. Numerous questions are raised in this framework, such as:
Cultural diversity entails both risks and opportunities. Risks: think of miscommunication, conflict and exclusion. Opportunities: think of innovating ideas, creativity and renewal of production and service delivery. Consequently, there is need for management, policy and intervention to deal with these risks and opportunities, i.e. to neutralize the risks and take advantage of the opportunities presented by cultural diversity. There are no standard management and policy solutions available so far. New answers need to be developed in each specific case, place, organization or field based on a sound understanding of the issues involved at that moment and in that particular context.
The aim of our Master's programme in Management of Cultural Diversity is, first, to equip students with the necessary expertise, tools and skills to analyze cases of cultural diversity in organizations and societal fields like education, health care, labour market and arts and culture. Second, based on such an analysis they will be able to design management interventions to neutralize the risks and to take advantage of the opportunities stemming from cultural diversity. Tilburg University is well positioned to offer such a programme. It disposes of high-level and internationally oriented expertise in the various relevant academic fields, embodied by teaching staff firmly embedded in and intellectually nourished by relevant research programmes.
Management of Cultural Diversity (MCD) curriculum starts with a full-time intro course in which the basic concepts and theories regarding the field of management of cultural diversity will be discussed. The intro course will be provided in daily meetings of lectures and workshops during the first two weeks. In the third week, students will be visiting an organization to have a first encounter with and study cultural diversity in practice. The course finalizes with a personal paper and two group assignments.
The second course is the full-time intensive Cultural Identity and Diversity course in which the key concepts of culture, identity, diversity, ethnicity, language, religion etc., will be discussed in details. The course will be provided in four lectures over a period of three weeks.
The lecturers and students will basically draw on the main disciplines focusing on these concepts: anthropology, language studies, religion studies, culture studies, sociology, etc. It finalizes with a pair paper about one of the subjects introduced in the course and exemplified in an issue that was in the media recently.
Parallel to these two courses, there is a small research methods module on Research Interview. The students learn to carry out research by interviewing people individually and in focus groups. In this way students acquire knowledge and experience in techniques of questioning, prompting and evaluation in a face-to-face context and online. Moreover, they are introduced in qualitative means for the analysis of answers, and in presenting results.
In the second unit the focus is on the intervention side of cultural diversity in two parallel courses. First, Cultural Diversity Policies in which lecturers will focus on experiences of cultural diversity in de sectors of health care, education and arts and culture and on the options available for policy development regarding these issues in these sectors. Second, Cultural Diversity Management, which focuses on cultural diversity in the labor force of individual organizations and its challenges for management, employees and management options available.
Both courses include an exam plus a research /site visit based on which students write a group assignment. It also includes a wider focus on cultural diversity and the labor market as a whole. The second unit also has a course on Ethnographic Research or Analysis of Variance.
Ethnographic Research starts with positioning the empirical interpretive or qualitative research paradigm, and more specifically the field of school ethnography, from a historical, epistemological and content perspective. After that attention is paid to three methods of data collection (conducting observations, conducting interviews and collecting documents) leading to an ethnographic corpus of (transcribed) texts, and to possible methods of data analysis, such as key incident analysis and (international) triangulation of observations and a socio-culturally oriented discourse analysis of interviews. In doing so existing ethnographic corpora are used. Finally attention is paid to the recent incorporation of ethnographic methods in the study of multilingualism in the field of sociolinguistic ethnography.
Analysis of Variance concentrates on regression analysis and analysis of variance. After completing this course, students should be able to choose and carry out appropriate statistical analysis for a variety of research questions involving continuous data. Moreover, they should be able to provide sound interpretation of such analyses and report their results accurately and accessibly.
Already in the last week of September, students register for a thesis circle of four students plus a supervisor. In this circle the students develop an individual problem statement for their thesis research. On the basis of this problem statement we have our Research Practicum in the third and fourth week of January and first week of February allowing students in their circle to develop this statement into a full-blown research proposal. After approval of this research proposal, students can start carrying out their research plan.
We very much encourage students to do their thesis project abroad to experience themselves what it means to operate in a culturally diverse environment. There or elsewhere they are also enabled to do an elective course that supports their thesis subject. That can be done in Tilburg University or in some other university of the student's choice.
Meanwhile we continue to have our circle meetings in real-life or virtually. At the end of June or the August 15th, students are able to hand in their thesis so they can finalize their program within one year.
In our view, students are participants when it comes to the exchange of knowledge that occurs every day at Tilburg University!
The Masters programme Management of Cultural Diversity (MCD) provides you (1) with the tools knowledge, skills and critical analytical ways of thinking to analyze, interpret and approach issues of cultural diversity, and (2) with the means to design strategies and interventions to deal with these issues based on this analysis and understanding, taking into account social and societal responsibility. These tools will enable you to perform your future profession in an independent way and on an academic level.
You develop into an academically trained expert in management of cultural diversity with the following qualifications:
Tilburg University offers scholarships for both prospective and current students. At Tilburg University we are committed in supporting financially talented and motivated students to study in our graduate programs. Below you will find a short description and a link to various types of scholarships which can help you finance your study at Tilburg University.
Please note that the number of scholarships are limited and mainly targeted at students with excellent study results. We therefore recommend you to carefully read the requirements and deadlines.
Scholarships sponsored by Tilburg University
Scholarships and Loan Programs in cooperation with Tilburg University
More information on grants can be found at Grantfinder
Excellence Scholarship for TiU students
Excellent students with a Bachelor degree of Tilburg University, can apply for an Excellence Scholarship. The scholarship must be used for a Master's abroad or a Research Master at Tilburg University.
On April 3, 2013, the NVAO (Accreditation Organisation of the Netherlands and Flanders) decided to award Tilburg University the education quality assurance label. This label "expresses that the internal quality care and the efforts of an institution for higher education to improve its performance in relation to the quality of its programs has been positively assessed by the accreditation organization."
The NVAO assessment panel has tested Tilburg University's policy on five standards: quality vision, education policy, results, improvement policy, and organization and decision structure. In addition, the panel explored three "critical themes" :
The assessment panel concluded that Tilburg University is home to a vibrant and stimulating quality culture and has a relevant and widely supported vision on educational quality. The panel expressed its appreciation for the consistency of Tilburg University's quality policy, for example, in the development of research-based learning at the Tilburg School of Economics and Management.
The result of the Institutional Quality Assurance Assessment remains valid for six years. This label means that individual programs will be subject to a much lighter accreditation regime than if the university had not passed the assessment.