Reflections from an international visitor

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In February this year, Ms. Mehrunishah (Nishah) Begum, a lecturer from the Faculty of Business, Accounting and Management at SEGi University in Malaysia  visited Abertay University for two weeks to strengthen links between the two institutions and to share practice in teaching and supporting learning. Nishah met a number of colleagues at Abertay, observed their teaching and supported delivery of several Enterprise-related modules to enrich her exchange experience. We asked Nishah if she would share some of her reflections on her visit with us which she kindly agreed to do:

“My visit to Abertay University was both informative and exciting. Besides having an intensive teaching programme in Dundee Business School, I had meetings with key academics in the other three Schools at the University i.e. Arts, Media and Computer Games, Science Engineering and Technology, and Social and Health Sciences. This ensured that I was exposed to different pedagogic approaches and creative teaching techniques and I will bring this knowledge back to SEGi University. Furthermore, potential research collaboration between Abertay and SEGi University has emerged as another theme, not pre-planned, but evolved organically because of my involvement in doctoral research in my home institution.

The teaching experience at Abertay I observed was splendid as there were great interactions between lecturers and their students, including sharing of knowledge and expertise, which contributed significantly towards students’ deep learning. Interactions with students from the second and fourth year were guided by the differences in scope of learning and were tailored to cater to the immediate and potential interests of these students. The lectures and practical sessions for the second year business students I was involved in teaching were mainly focused on developing an entrepreneurial mindset and creating ideas whereas implementation e.g. business start-ups were the focus for the fourth year students. Additionally, I have shadowed Alex (Avramenko) in his dissertation and extracurricular enterprise classes, students’ consultations and meetings with local companies. Altogether, my exposure to such a variety of different educational activities at Abertay provided me with a fresh perspective of what University teaching in Scotland is really like. Now I understand why Scottish Universities are praised internationally for the quality of their teaching.

Another area which struck me was the diversity of assessment methods used in Abertay. In many cases the traditional lectures have been replaced by lectorials, encompassing a mixture of teaching and learning activities aiming at providing a rich learning experience for students. These lectorials also contain elements of formative assessment and self-testing for students to pinpoint their own progress towards learning objectives. I was also impressed by video assessment and its potential. Grading the video content is apparently easier and more rigorous than I previously thought. It was an eye-opener in terms of possibilities of using video as a replacement for presentations and other academic writings. It was so insightful that I will propose certain changes for SEGi with respect of incorporation of video assessment.

My research interest has received an unexpected boost by realising that in Dundee Business School there are two academics (Professor Branine and Dr Alex) who have been researching Islamic culture and religion and its impact on functional areas of business, for instance Human Resource Management. That gave me some ideas I could use in my research while pursuing PhD in International Human Resource Management. Furthermore, the discussions with Professor Reid, Head of Dundee Business School, illustrated for me how research can guide teaching at any level (undergraduate or postgraduate).

On the whole, I found my visit both informative and inspiring and I left with a feeling that it had a powerful impact on my professional development and teaching experience.”

Mehrunishah (Nishah) Begum


Ms. Mehrunishah is pictured below with colleagues from Dundee Business School: Professor Gavin Reid (Head of School), Dr Alex Avramenko (Lecturer) and Claire MacEachen (Academic Curriculum Manager).



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