|General programme, activity sheet|
||Thursday 24 October, 2013 11:50 to 12:10
Curriculum Development with practical requirementsSpeaker: Knut Scherhag, University of Applied Sciences
Authors: Knut Scherhag, Andrea Menn, Gila Altmann
Tourism Business as an international Business needs education with international influence. But the university rules and education skills are usually influenced from the national education policy/laws. To make the education practical, it is important that close contact is maintained to the tourism industry and the requirements of the company can be incorporated into the curriculum.
For international cooperation it is needful to know about the different requirements in the participation countries. So we have initialised two projects for curriculum development in an international context.
One project wants to identify the differences in affords addressed to education on bachelor level in Germany and China. The idea was to find differences and similarities for a double degree in tourism management. So we start a discussion about curriculum structure and relevant qualification topics for bachelor students in the field of tourism management. The most difficult step was to realise research with a questionnaire for companies in the tourism sector in both countries. The main goal was to extract differences between affords from German and Chinese managers towards their new employers coming as freshmen from a University. In fact we realise about 350 interviews in each country.
Despite many similarities in the evaluation of course content and skills of undergraduate students and young professionals with a bachelor's degree a common curriculum will have significant differences in both countries. Due to these differences it is difficult to design a joint degree program, the needs and requirements of the tourism industry in both countries are different in some points. In Germany, the economics curricula are rated significantly higher, while the tourism specific skills are more prominent in China.
As a possible solution, it is advisable to develop joint modules, in particular, the intercultural skills and "social skills" to promote the students and allow a preparation for a German-Chinese environment.
Since the language skills are considered important by the company in both countries - even if the knowledge of the mother tongues is particularly important - it offers itself to increasingly rely on joint projects and exchange programs. This would lead to an improvement in the medium term business relationships between companies in both countries, as mentioned problems complicate the cooperation between Germany and China can be degraded.
Given the mobility and the mobility of teachers should be encouraged in addition to the mobility of students, since such valuable experience to be gained, in the courses at the home university to improve the curriculum.
The second project (Tempus project) is named “Development of new modules for international bachelor and master programmes in sustainable tourism management”.
This multi-country (Germany, Ireland, Latvia, Azerbaijan, Armenia and Georgia) project is designed to modernize the curricula with respect to the Bologna Process in selected institutes of higher education (HEI) in the three participating Caucasian states Azerbaijan, Armenia and Georgia. It addresses courses in the field tourism which is a regional priority for the Caucasus region. New modules for international bachelor and master programmes in sustainable tourism management (STM) are developed, implemented and accredited with the ECTS.
To enhance the future employability of the graduates, a greater practical relevance is integrated into the curricula by practical placements in small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) and by doing practical research projects. Stronger cooperation between HEI and SMEs will be achieved by establishing contacts to the tourism business sector and enterprises.
The interdisciplinary approach to sustainable tourism development is enhanced by involving universities from different academic fields such as agricultural, tourism and business studies which will include the new modules into their own curricula.
The project is divided into three parts: now we are working in the first phase –developing the curricula structure and material for different lessons. The discussion about the different understanding of the main topics in the curricula should bring results and a coordinated understanding. The following steps are teacher and tutor training; practical placement for students in the tourism sector as well as the implementation of a quality assurance system will be developed.
Both projects pointed out that the needed first step for working together is the definition of the main items and definitions and clarify the different understanding. A main topic is the different working culture and discipline in the partner countries. All partners have to change their “business as usual” for getting good results.
Session 1 – Tourism education- curriculum
Place: Room SB04