Notions of value and care in transnational education: Contextualizing theory to practice with Fashion Media students in Hong Kong.

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date



Transnational education, Fashion media, Value and care, Tutor immediacy, Ego support, Tutor confirmation, Hong Kong


This paper draws on the experience of teaching a Top-Up degree programme in Hong Kong. The course, with a focus on fashion media, contextualised practice within a framework of cultural studies theory. Taught by staff from both London and Hong Kong, it sought to develop practitioners who could confidently operate in the fast-paced, global fashion industry. Perhaps unsurprisingly, however, it became evident that the cultural theory, assessed through an 8,000-Dissertation written in English, would prove especially challenging for some of the students. The one-to-one tutorial scenario, the teaching format for the delivery, appeared to compound this challenge, as it seemed to leave some students feeling exposed. It was important that the staff team addressed this issue promptly, as students were at risk of not attending due to lack of confidence and a subsequent lack of motivation. Through an action research project, staff considered verbal immediacy, ego support and tutor confirmation as strategies to support students with these challenges. This paper reports on findings that demonstrate that these methods (which specifically consider the emotional needs of students) were effective in motivating and facilitating confidence in the students who were struggling with the demands of the course. Furthermore, it discusses student perceptions of value and care and how these differ and are dependent on the needs of the student. It goes further, to report on interviews with alumni who discuss the value of critical thinking and of contextualising practice, and how these attributes can facilitate students as life-long learners who are to able live and work successfully upon graduation. It identifies further opportunities for research, which consider additional cycles in the reflective and intervention cycles of the action research process.

Source Publication

The 20th Annual Conference for the IFFTI, Shanghai, China

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