A TALE OF TWO CITIES: A MODEL FOR EFFECTIVE TRANSNATIONAL TEACHING TEAMS

C. Hall-van den Elsen1, C. Scholz2

1RMIT University, College of Business (AUSTRALIA)
2RMIT University (VIETNAM)
International education is an important export industry in Australia, having grown 94% from 2004 to 2010 (Phillimore & Koshy, 2010). In 2008, one third of the total 295,000 international students studying in Australian higher education institutions were enrolled in transnational programs (Australian Education International, 2010). While all Australian public universities have some involvement in transnational education (Dunn and Wallace 2008, cited in Chapman and Pyvis, 2012, p 71) and enthusiasm for transnational partnerships in Australian higher education institutions continues to grow, studies by Debowski, 2003, Dobos, 2011, Chapman and Pyvis, 2012 and Sanderson, 2013 among others have identified operational-level challenges for teachers, teaching teams and students. Student outcomes are profoundly affected by these challenges, which may stem from power relations, communication practices, differences in expectations of academic and assessment practice and quality standards.

The case study reported here is based on data obtained in the course of an ongoing Australian Office for Learning and Teaching priority project which focuses on the professional development needs of transnational teaching teams. A consortium of Australian universities is undertaking research into transnational teaching with the aim of defining and establishing development opportunities which will facilitate a shared understanding of the transnational teaching team, and to inform stakeholders involved in transnational education. This paper provides an overview of data obtained through interviews with faculty in two campuses of an Australian university, one in Australia and the second in Vietnam. The research aims to provide a better understanding of issues affecting faculty across multiple campuses, including relationship management; the identification of issues for pre-semester, in-semester and post-semester discussion and the establishment of practices to support academic equivalence, contextualisation and customisation.