THE-ICE 4th IPoE Forum 2009

THE-ICE 4th IPoE Forum 2009

‘Developing Excellence in Tourism, Hospitality and Events Education’

Held 12th – 13th October 2009, proudly hosted by The Hotel School Sydney, in Sydney, Australia.

The 4th International Panel of Experts Forum was held at The Hotel School Sydney, Australia from the 12th – 13th October 2009. Educators & researchers in the areas of Vocational, Private and University Higher Education were invited to attend. Some 75 delegates and panelists from Canada, Italy, New Zealand, Fiji, UK, Thailand, Singapore as well as Australia attended the 2-day Forum and actively engaged in six panel sessions addressing the needs, issues and value surrounding THE Accreditation, Benchmarking and the Development of Best Practice.

Panel Session 1: Accreditation and QA
Panel Session 2: International Issues Facing TH&E Education
Panel Session 3 – Developing Teaching & Learning (T&L) Excellence
Panel Session 4: Contribution of International Students to Tourism
Panel Session 5: Building Stronger Links Between Education and Industry
i-Graduate Benchmarking and Best Practice Workshop

Educators & researchers in the areas of Vocational, Private and University Higher Education were invited to attend the 2009 Panel of Experts Forum. This year’s Panel of Experts Forum included some 75 delegates and panellists from Canada, Italy, New Zealand, Fiji, UK, Thailand, Singapore as well as Australia. Over the course of the 2-day Forum, six panel sessions focused on a number of important topics.

The conference theme “Developing Excellence in Tourism, Hospitality and Events Education” addressed the needs, issues and value surrounding THE Accreditation, Benchmarking and the Development of Best Practice.

THE-ICE – Past Present and Future Presentation – Dr Perry Hobson

Dr Perry Hobson, Managing Director of THE-ICE, kicked off this year’s Forum with a presentation entitled “THE-ICE: Past, Present and Future” which gave an overview of the history and development of THE-ICE and its transition over the last 18 months.

Panel Session 1: Accreditation and QA

As THE-ICE is focusing on accreditation plus marketing, George Brown (Think Education, Australia) began this first panel session by trying to de-mystify some of the terms about accreditation, he also spoke about the growing importance of international accreditation and also about the problem of fake accreditation agencies. Roger March (UNSW, Australia) looked at the motivations behind accreditation particularly within the context of Business Schools, and the cost vs benefits completing such accreditations. Finally, Stephen Craig-Smith (UQ, Australia) spoke about the challenges facing institutions entering the higher education market and also gave some further background to the development THE-ICE accreditation.

THE-ICE – Dr George Brown – Presentation
THE-ICE – Professor Roger March – Presentation
THE-ICE – Associate Professor Stephen Craig-Smith – Presentation

Panel Session 2: International Issues Facing TH&E Education

Given the enormous changes in international education this panel started off with Professor Oswin Maurer (Bolzano,Italy) identifying that the Bologna Process was still very much a work in progress for most of the education systems within Europe, and pointed out that many issues still remained unresolved. Nigel Hemmington (AUT, NZ) spoke of the challenges facing fields of study such as ‘hospitality’ within a traditional university setting, while Ted Wykes (Royal Roads, Canada) reflected on the problems facing hospitality and tourism programmes within ‘University Colleges’ institutions in Canada – in so much as that they were neither seen as universities or vocational colleges. Dominic Szambowski (Blue Mtns, Australia) then looked at the rapid expansion of large corporate private providers (such as Laureate, Cengage and Kaplan) now entering the tourism and hospitality related education. Finally, Russell Arthur Smith (CNI, Singapore) commented on the challenges facing Asian based institutions in terms of how they met the demand for TH&E education in the region particularly given the shortages of faculty.

THE-ICE – Professor Oswin Maurer – Presentation
THE-ICE – Dr Nigel Hemmington – Presentation
THE-ICE – Dr Ted Wykes – Presentation
THE-ICE – Mr Dominic Szambowski – Presentation
THE-ICE – Dr Russell Arthur Smith – Presentation

Panel Session 3 – Developing T&L Excellence

Dianne Dredge (SCU, Australia) spoke about her recently funded ATLC project, and questioned the structure and lack of flexibility seen in many tourism undergraduate programmes. Pierre Benckendorff (JCU, Australia) reflected on their recent project on the student experience at JCU and how inter-connected so many of the factors were. Alison Owens (CQU-Sydney, Australia) discussed that their research had shown that many international students were failing not because of problems with their actual academic studies, but about adjusting to life in a foreign country. Finally, Janet Elms-Smith (NSI-TAFE, Australia) reflected on the many challenges facing vocational education in Australia.

THE-ICE – Dr Dianne Dredge – Presentation
THE-ICE – Dr Pierre Benckendorff – Presentation
THE-ICE – Dr Alison Owens – Presentation

Panel Session 4: Contribution of International Students to Tourism

This was the first panel session that brought both industry and educators together. It follows on from initiatives of THE-ICE to recognise the overlap, importance and connections between international students and tourism. The panel opened with John King (Chair, Australian Tourism Export Council) reflecting on the recent government reports that are looking at this topic. Meanwhile, Professor Mike Davidson (GU, Australia) spoke about the initial focus group findings of his STCRC funded project. They seemed to indicate that there were many ‘barriers to travel’ facing international students. Kate Payne (AUT, NZ) reported on her quantitative research findings of international student travel patters in New Zealand, which showed considerable travel to regional areas in NZ. Finally, Euan Robertson (Tourism and Transport Forum) spoke about the inter-connected issues of local transport, housing, and access to tourism areas for international students and their visiting friends and families.

THE-ICE – Mr John King – Presentation
THE-ICE – Professor Mike Davidson – Presentation
THE-ICE – Ms Kate Payne – Presentation
THE-ICE – Mr Euan Robertson

Panel Session 5: Building Stronger Links Between Education and Industry

Following on from a similar panel at the previous Panel of Experts Forum held in Perth, this session was focusing on looking at what could be done to build up the linkages. This panel session drew on views from both practitioners and educators – and opened with a short presentation from Dr Asad Mohsin (Univ of Waikato, NZ). Following comments from Rachel Argaman (CEO, Toga Hospitality), Guy Bentley (Blue Mtns, Australia), Matt Hingety (CEO, Australian Tourism Export Council), Catherine Ng, (William Angliss Institute, Australia), Peter Lewis (The Hotel School Sydney) and David Bierman (UTS, Australia) a wide-ranging discussion involving all delegates at the Forum then occurred. John King (Chair of the SCU Industry Advisory Board) must be congratulated for his ability to Chair such a session. A number of areas for better linkages came out of the discussion, but in particular one thing was identified – that was the need for us to collectively create a professional body which can be supported by the various industry sectors and all education institutions.

THE-ICE – Dr Asad Mohsin – Presentation

i-Graduate Benchmarking and Best Practice Workshop

On the second day of the International Panel of Experts Forum, William Archer, the Managing Director of i-Graduate Research, led a workshop on the use of the THE-ICE’s version of the International Student Barometer (ISB). The ISB is now a well-recognised benchmarking tool, and is now used by some 300+ institutions around the world.

A specific ICE-ISB was developed for THE-ICE in 2007. The ISB analyses the international student experience over the four dimensions. In order to enable institutions/programmes to see how they perform within THE-ICE and against a wider group of institutions, i-Graduate Research has developed both an ICE-Index and also a Global THE-Index. THE-ICE Index is made up of responses from students who are studying at institutions who are members of THE-ICE, while the Global THE-ISB Index is drawn from responses of students studying hospitality, tourism and/or events at non-ICE member institutions.

The ICE-ISB allows for members to confidentially benchmark their institution/programme against THE-ICE Index, and also against one another. At this year’s Forum, the workshop was kicked off by a number of presentations. Peter Lewis (The Hotel School Sydney) spoke about how he had used it to build a business case to move to new premises. Dr Michael Milgate (AIHS, Canberra) reflected on how they had changed their administration processes, and Alan Williams (ASTHM, Perth) spoke about how he had used his ISB survey results to completely revisit their student services. Following their presentations, a number of groups were formed that focused on specific issues (such as the living environment, internationalisation etc.) that had come out of the ISB. A report back session then identified the many areas for action, and some 25 specific action-steps were identified and committed to by various delegates.

William Archer from i-Graduate noted that he was really pleased to see the action orientated nature of the attendees at the Forum pointing out that “many institutions only focus on what they do well. It was very encouraging to see the focus here being on what needed to be done to improve the experience for international students, rather than just resting on their laurels”.