Tensions of transformation: Teaching postgraduate business students on an Australian international campus

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Research and Development in Higher Education: Enhancing Higher Education, Theory and Scholarship Vol. 30

July, 2007, 651 pages
Published by
Geoffrey Crisp & Margaret Hicks
ISBN
0 908557 72 8
Abstract 

The onshore international campus populated by full fee international students who have little or no day-to-day interaction with domestic students is a phenomenon of Australian east coast universities. A private or private/public owned corporation generally manages the international campus with academics contracted to those corporations rather than by the university concerned.

The academic and cultural background of international students and their isolation from the mainstream domestic students at their university is likely to result in learning and teaching tensions. The learning skills of these students and the Socratic expectations of their Australian university teachers are in many instances incongruent.

This paper presents a number of learning and teaching hypotheses that seek to address the potential for transformation of the anchored academic approach of both international students and Australian academics. A core hypothesis is that whilst many students are anchored to ‘high-context’ learning strategies, some academics are anchored to ‘sink-or-swim’ teaching approaches. This mutual anchoring will produce tensions within the academy.

The paper postulates that transformation of these tensions might be assisted by the commitment to a client centred approach by universities, including commitment to –

  1. Provision of Socratic orientation and cultural literacy seminars for international students and cultural awareness seminars for academics
  2. Total quality management (TQM) in course design and delivery
  3. TQM in assessment design and review processes

Keywords: International students; cultural literacy; anchoring; total quality management

Tensions of transformation: Teaching postgraduate business students on an Australian international campus

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Rollo, F.