Research Output

Exporting hospitality & tourism education abroad and its influence on the home programme internationalisation

  HEIs have, over the recent decade, been involved in internationalisation of their academic programmes and in the delivery of their degrees in international locations. Internationalisation is associated with the incorporation of international facets into the composition of curriculum, faculty, and students through a combination of activities and policies. One such activity associated with internationalisation is transnational education, in which the degree students are located in a different country than where the institution delivering the education is based.

Transnational education is often categorised in many forms: franchise, twinning, articulations, double degree programme, partnership, distance education, and international branch campus. Hospitality and tourism programmes have been identified as having been involved not only in internationalising their degree programmes, but also in delivering their degrees internationally in branch campus locations. However, even though the narrative has been on the start-up, operations, and management of these IBCs, less is known about the impacts the international branch campus has on the exporting hospitality and tourism programme.
This research, based in management, tourism, and international education, and viewed through a post positivism and critical realist perspective, presents an understanding of the effects that exist between hospitality and tourism programmes in HEIs and their IBCs. This is achieved through developing a typology of the influences that overseas expansion has on the exporting hospitality and tourism programme. To address the objective of this research, a case strategy approach was used to support the exploratory and descriptive nature of this topic of study. The methodological design consisted of a mixed-methods approach, exploring three hospitality-tourism programmes in the United States delivering their degrees at international branches campuses. A conceptual framework based on elements associated with overseas expansion of both firms and HEIs and the theoretical foundations regarding internationalisation, guided data collection and analysis.
The significance of this study is twofold. First, it contributes to greater understanding of IBCs from the perspective of the home campus. Much of the literature surrounding exporting education through IBCs broadly focuses on three themes: market entry, risks and benefits, and quality control issues. Understanding these influences back at the home campus programme contributes to an underdeveloped area in the transnational literature. Secondly, the research contributes to the topic of internationalisation specific to the academic field of hospitality and tourism management. Although there is much consensus that academic programmes should prepare students for an international industry and a global marketplace, it is unclear the role that exporting hospitality and tourism degrees on IBCs has in internationalising the exporting degree programme specific to students, faculty, and curriculum.
Greater insight was gained regarding IBCs and internationalisation by assessing the influences of IBCs through the experiences of home campus faculty and staff. Additionally, findings may also prove useful to organisations, both academic and commercial, seeking to expand internationally. Findings of this research demonstrate that delivering a degree internationally is motivated by both internal and external factors, but home programme leadership combined with pull factors from the international location may be the catalyst in the decision to expand internationally. Additionally, the justification for international expansion and the outcome of this activity appears to be most associated with expanding the programme’s brand and credibility in the area of international education.
Impacts on faculty, students, and curriculum diverge somewhat when considering the mobility between both the home campus and international branch campus. Students at the home campus experience internationalising influences based on two factors. The first is their study abroad experiences at the branch campus, and the second is their interactions with foreign students who transfer to the home campus. Similarly, faculty who engage with the branch campus onsite in the international location are in some cases gaining international exposure that allows them to internationalise their perspective on the industry and their students. Faculty and staff at the home campus identify the challenges of supporting both the necessary resources of the international branch campus, and the requirements to serve the changes associated with the home campus environments.

  • Type:


  • Date:

    31 January 2016

  • Publication Status:


  • Library of Congress:

    LB2300 Higher Education


Lagiewski, R. M. (2016). Exporting hospitality & tourism education abroad and its influence on the home programme internationalisation. (Thesis). Edinburgh Napier University. Retrieved from



Internationalisation, transnational education, IBCs, hospitality and tourism programmes, study abroad

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