2018 Keynote Speaker
Dr. Thanh Pham has been working in higher education for more than 10 years. Her main research areas are intercultural education, globalisation, internationalisation. She has been conducting substantial research on internationalisation of the curriculum and higher education in Vietnam and other Asian countries in response to globalisation. Her main research interest is to bring various cultural and intellectual resources together to develop so-called ‘global effective pedagogies’. Pham has done research on bringing student-centred pedagogies to Asian classrooms and embedding intellectual qualities of non-Western cultures in Western curricula and pedagogies. Pham’s contributions to the research field of international education have been recognised through various awards including two Australian government scholarships, The University of Queensland’s postdoctoral fellowship, Carolyn D. Baker Memorial scholarship, the International Education Association of Australia (IEAA)’s international education project, NV Varghese prize for comparative education. Pham has actively presented her research at conferences in Australia, Vietnam, Singapore and Germany.
Pham has produced 70 publications (published or in press) in a wide range of outlets including books, edited research books, book chapters, refereed articles, magazines and conference papers. Pham has also acted as a reviewer of book proposals and various journals like Australian Journal of Teacher Education and Pedagogies: An international journal.
Pham’s current research focuses on employability of international students. She’s conducting research on studying and working experiences of Australian and Japanese returnees, the demands of the labour markets and requirements of employers in Asia and Australia.
Graduate employability has become a concern of higher education worldwide. In English-speaking and ‘Western’ countries like US, UK, Australia, New Zealand, enhancing employability of international students has been raised as an urgent matter in strategic development plans. One of the reasons contributing to this phenomenon is the growth of Asian education in terms of both quantitative and qualitative aspects. Such a rapid development is putting great pressures on Western education and enhancing employability of international students has been taken as an effective tool to keep them competitive in the international education market. To achieve this goal, curricula and pedagogies are being called to embed graduate attributes that are designed to match employability skills. The graduate attribute agenda has therefore become a predominant theme in teaching and learning at higher education in various Western nations.
A question is, however, how much this agenda helps international students because Western higher education is neglecting the fact that international students have their own cultural resources, intellectual qualities, identity and social capitals that have great impacts on the choice of their employment and employability. There is therefore a need for a careful consideration of these factors in the development of Western curricula and pedagogies.
This keynote presentation will analyse and discuss pull and push factors that impact international students’ employability in various contexts. The presentation will be illustrated by empirical data that were collected from various countries about returnees’ employment, industries’ demands and employers’ perspectives towards returnees. Main points to be taken away are:
- How to interpret “employability”, especially in international graduates’ circumstances?
- What are pull and push factors that influence international graduates’ employability in various contexts?
- How to develop curricula and pedagogies to enhance international graduates’ employability?
- What are the roles of various stakeholders in enhancing international graduates’ employability?
- How do Western higher education go beyond the skills agenda to enhance international graduates’ employability?
2018 Keynote Speaker #2
Dr. Karen Miranda-Fernandez is the Vice President for Research and International Affairs and Dean of the College of Hotel, Restaurant and, Tourism Management of Imus Institute of Science and Technology, Philippines. She is also the Vice President for Education and Accreditation of Asia Pacific Institute for Events Management (APIEM), United Kingdom.
She has been appointed as Visiting Professor in Management and Science University and Olympia College in Malaysia; Sahid Tourism Institute of Surakarta and Bandung Institute of Tourism both in Indonesia; four universities in Thailand namely, Maha Sarakham University, Naresuan University, North Bangkok University, and Burapha University; and Ming Chuan University in Taipei, Taiwan.