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Prev Med. 2014 Jul;64:126-8. doi: 10.1016/j.ypmed.2014.05.006. Epub 2014 May 13.

Global citizenship is key to securing global health: the role of higher education.

Author information

  • 1School of Sport and Exercise, College of Health, Massey University, Wellington, New Zealand. Electronic address: l.stoner@massey.ac.nz.
  • 2Center for Service Learning & Department of Human Services, Western Carolina University, Cullowhee, USA. Electronic address: laneperry@email.wcu.edu.
  • 3Institute of Food Nutrition and Human Health, College of Health, Massey University, Wellington, New Zealand. Electronic address: D.P.Wadsworth@massey.ac.nz.
  • 4Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources, University of Georgia Athens, USA. Electronic address: kstoner@uga.edu.
  • 5Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources, University of Georgia Athens, USA. Electronic address: tarrant@uga.edu.

Abstract

Despite growing public awareness, health systems are struggling under the escalating burden of non-communicable diseases. While personal responsibility is crucial, alone it is insufficient. We argue that one must place themselves within the broader/global context to begin to truly understand the health implications of personal choices. Global citizenship competency has become an integral part of the higher education discourse; this discourse can and should be extended to include global health. A global citizen is someone who is (1) aware of global issues, (2) socially responsible, and (3) civically engaged. From this perspective, personal health is not solely an individual, self-serving act; rather, the consequences of our lifestyle choices and behaviors have far-reaching implications. This paper will argue that, through consciously identifying global health within the constructs of global citizenship, institutions of higher education can play an instrumental role in fostering civically engaged students capable of driving social change.

Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

KEYWORDS:

Awareness; Citizenship; Education; Global; Globalization; Internationality; Non-communicable diseases; Obesity; Pedagogy; Public health

PMID:
24836370
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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