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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1959.3/77105
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- Sustainability of offshore business programs: the key to success in Vietnam
- Vinen, Denis G.
- The internationalisation of higher education in Australia over the past two decades has brought about significant growth of overseas enrolments in Australian universities. In particular, growing numbers of international students have enrolled in offshore education programs delivered by Australian universities. The collaboration with an overseas partner to provide offshore education programs has offered many Australian universities an opportunity to achieve growth in student numbers and at the same time, provide international students with a convenient and relatively cost effective education. While considerable research attention in offshore or transnational education programs has been focussed on issues ranging from quality assurance, intercultural learning, models of delivery and relationships between partner universities, there is relatively little published research on factors influencing the sustainability of offshore programs. The aim of this research project was to investigate the factors that contribute to the sustainability of an offshore business education program in Vietnam. The offshore business education program analysed was the Masters in International Accounting (MIntA) program jointly delivered in Vietnam by a partnership of the Australian based Swinburne University of Technology and the Vietnamese based National Economics University. The research conducted was in the form of a qualitative case study using systems theory (and its subset, stakeholder theory) as the theoretical framework. The study involved in-depth interviews and focus group discussions with program stakeholders comprising students, employers of students and both academic and administration staff from the partner universities. The research question posed was: What factors contribute to the sustainability of an offshore business education program in Vietnam? In addressing the research question, it was apparent that the expectations, needs and perceptions of stakeholders were central to examining the factors influencing the sustainability of the offshore education program. Thus, two related questions were also posed What are the expectations, needs and perceptions of students, employers and staff who are involved in an offshore business education program in Vietnam? and Are the expectations, needs and perceptions of students, staff and employers met and does this impact on the sustainability of the offshore business education program? Stakeholder experiences were evaluated which enabled the researcher to determine whether these experiences were critical success factors linked to sustainability of the offshore business education program. The findings indicated there were five critical success factors common to all stakeholder groups which contributed to the sustainability of the offshore program. These factors were: reputation of the Australian university; professional accreditation of the program; effective partnership between the providing universities; flexibility in program delivery, and; the opportunity to study in Australia. Based on the research findings, a framework to establish a sustainable offshore education program was devised. The thesis concluded that although many Australian universities offer offshore education programs from which there are many benefits to various stakeholders, the programs require continual and careful monitoring and active involvement of all stakeholders if the programs are to remain sustainable.
- Publication type
- Thesis (DBA)
- Research centre
- Swinburne University of Technology. Faculty of Business and Enterprise. Australian Graduate School of Entrepreneurship
- Publication year
- Copyright © by Denis Vinen, 2007.