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Intercultural Education of Nurses

Intercultural Education of Nurses in Europe

The Intercultural Education of Nurses in Europe (IENE1 & IENE2) project aimed to address the need for multi-cultural awareness and understanding within health and social care provision.


The ability to interact effectively with people of different cultures and socio-economic backgrounds – 'transcultural competence' – is an imperative in health and social care. This is especially urgent in the 21st century, with the level of migration of both nurses and populations now so common. It is vital to provide vocational education and training for nurses and other healthcare professionals focusing on the development of their cultural competence.

The Lisbon Strategy (EU 2000) emphasised the importance of European education and training systems. This is facilitated by the Leonardo da Vinci programme, which supports a range of projects to promote collaboration, exchange of ideas and transfer of innovation.

Addressing the need: researching new ways of teaching healthcare practitioners

It is with funding from the Leonardo da Vinci programme that IENE1 (2008-2010) was able to survey the learning and teaching needs of healthcare students and practitioners, in relation to their preparation for working in another European country and/or a multi-cultural environment. Partners from five European countries developed a model for intercultural education (the PTT/IENE model) based on the Papadopoulos, Tilki and Taylor (PTT) model, which originated at Middlesex University. A bespoke multi-lingual, online learning platform was then created.

IENE2 (2010-2012) adopted and integrated the PTT/IENE model following a survey of teachers' needs in four European partner countries. IENE2 aimed to promote the cultural competence of teachers and trainers involved in vocational training, as well as education for nurses and other healthcare teachers in Europe. This was achieved through developing and delivering a Training of Trainers (ToT) course. The ToT model is available online for use by teachers and trainers across Europe.

Partners and funding

The IENE programme was led by Professor Papadopoulos of Middlesex University and involved a partnership of five other organisations with complementary expertise and a vast experience in European cooperation: Middlesex University (UK); EDUNET Association (Romania); KATHO (Belgium); AWO (Germany); SOFOE (France) and Eurocenter Training And Partnership 21 Century (Bulgaria).

European Union Leonardo da Vinci Partnerships and Transfer of Innovations programmes

Middlesex University programme (IENE1 & 2) co-ordinator and lead investigator
Professor Iena Papadopoulos