In recent years, there has been an increasing number of international students engaged in Doctoral studies in the fields of Hospitality and Tourism at Australian universities. In particular, many students come' from our near neighbours in Asia such as Malaysia and Thailand, which coincidentally reflects the growing number of major international hotel chains establishing or growing their property portfolios across the Asian Pacific region. Whilst the increase in student postgraduate by-research numbers is a welcome and a valuable development for Australian universities, it nevertheless has proved to be somewhat problematic for both the postgraduate student and their supervisors with respect to the pragmatic outcomes of the studies. For example, there is still some uncertainty about the precise nature of the benefits to the student and their home institution, to the hosting university, and to the respective countries, that accrue from these intensive studies. We suggest that, in order to advance our own contributions and impact in this area, there is more work that we need to do in further enhancing or capitalising on the research findings of the studies and the experiences which have attended the students' candidature. We are, therefore, proposing that we need to spend some time reconceptualising the meta meaning of this kind of international research experience at the postgraduate level. In the light of the degree and significance of cultural differences which regularly emerge during the supervision process, and given the paucity of fundamental and applied research into crosscultural hospitality provision, we believe that we need to re-examine the question of how our programs and procedures which are required for postgraduate level studies should be structured to provide both a quality scholarly developmental experience for students in the discipline while simultaneously generating practical benefits for relevant stakeholders, particularly those in the Hospitality industry. Consequently, what we have set ourselves the task of doing here is to focus on the link between the formal intellectual requirements of the doctoral process and the pragmatic interests of the students and all their supporting institutions in order to make more use of the three plus years of engagement with tightly focussed research problems which underpin a postgraduate by-research qualification. Our aims, in terms of the outcomes of this reflection, are to: (i) better understand differences in the nuances of cultural meanings of hospitality and help embed these meanings in future scholarly studies, (ii) contribute to an enhancement of the quality of the Hospitality practices of students' sponsoring institutions as a result of the student's doctoral experience, (iii) make closer ties between the hosting university and relevant authorities who oversee the hospitality standards of neighbouring countries in respect of international visitors, and (iv) develop closer institutional ties with hospitality training organisations, both educational and professional, in these neighbouring countries. Specific issues that will command attention in this reflection will include: the development of theoretical models of hospitality procedures which explicitly involve crosscultural dimensions; clearer definitions of critical processes of hospitality practice which involve cross-cultural understandings such as loyalty, respect, and trust; the development of perspectives on internationalisation in the hospitality industry that can be built into our own practices; and to capitalise upon the areas of difference between Western and Eastern notions of hospitality that can be shared with hospitality providers who seek to develop or enhance cross cultural training programs for their staff.
This thesis investigated how the process of internationalisation of the curriculum (IoC) was perceived as taking place at a non-western university, namely Foreign Trade University (FTU) in Vietnam, through the development and offering of a number of jointly run programs, labelled Foreign Undergraduate Programs (FUPs). Two specific programs were examined, both of which were developed in partnership with two western universities – Colorado State University (FTU-CSU program) and London Metropolitan University (FTU-LMET program). These programs provide a range of opportunities for Vietnamese university students to experience an education that aims to reflect an international and therefore ‘broader’ context. The relationship between globalisation and internationalisation is explored and linked with the development of curriculum in higher education and internationalisation trends and strategies. Internationalisation of the curriculum, which is one of the internationalisation strategies employed by educational institutions, is investigated in terms of its interrelationship with student learning, the disciplines and academics. Engeström’s (2001) third generation Activity Theory was used as the theoretical lens for analysis of the data, which was collected via a mainly qualitative case study. Two cohorts of participants provided data through 24 interviews (seven including a joint one with program leaders/course coordinators, and 17 with academics) and 34 surveys completed by academics. The interviews/survey investigated participants’ perceptions about internationalisation and particularly IoC in relation to the two programs. Part of the significance of this study lies in the use of a number of conceptual and theoretical frameworks to extend the current body of literature beyond the main context of western higher education. An innovation in this study was the evaluation of the level of curriculum internationalisation at FTU, which was conducted using the model of curriculum internationalisation proposed by Huang (2017). Findings suggested that program managers and course coordinators worked collaboratively with their western partners to provide programs that they perceived as worthwhile in meeting the needs of the institution and the Vietnamese government agenda for internationalisation. However, academics were not generally well informed about the broader goals relating to IoC and found it challenging to accommodate the expectations with limited resources and lack of appropriate training.