The Experiences of Chinese Tourism and Hospitality
Postgraduate Students in Australia
MICHAEL DAVIDSON, BRIAN KING and YING WANG
Australia has attracted substantial Chinese enrolments into tourism and hospitality programmes. This
qualitative study examines the experiences of Chinese postgraduate students undertaking a masterís degree in
tourism and hospitality within Australia. Chinese students enrolled in programmes at two major providers of
tourism higher education participated in a series of focus groups and interviews. Respondents indicated that their
unfamiliarity with the cultural and learning environment impacted on many aspects of their life generally and study
particularly. It is clear that a significant gap exists between prevailing approaches within Australia towards tourism
and hospitality education and the perceptions of Chinese students about their learning specifically and experience in
general. Some of the discrepancies include the process of selection into a programme, the role of exams and assessment,
styles of teaching and learning, engagement with industry, and approaches to knowledge. In addressing and
subsequently overcoming these challenges, respondents felt that they had acquired considerable cross-cultural,
academic, and practical benefits.
Keywords: Keywords: purchasing experiences; Chinese students; tourism and hospitality education; Australia.