Head of the Division of Business Enterprise and Management


Tel: 0131 474 0000

Professor Monika Foster is the Head of the Division of Business, Enterprise and Management (BEAM) at QMU.

  • Overview
  • Research Interests
  • Research Publications
  • Other Grants
  • Teaching and Learning

Professor Monika Foster has worked in Higher Education for over 25 years. Her previous role for 15 years was at Edinburgh Napier University where she was Associate Professor and Director of Learning and Teaching at Edinburgh Napier Business School. As part of the School Executive Team, she was responsible for the School’s academic portfolio across nine subject areas including International Business, HRM, Marketing, Tourism, Languages, Financial Services, Accounting, Law, and Entrepreneurship. Monika was championing innovation on programmes of study and in staff development in order to enhance the student experience. Monika was responsible for learning, teaching and assessment strategy, including international partnerships (Hong Kong, China, Malaysia, Singapore) and quality assurance.

Monika’s external profile includes the award of Principal Fellow of the Higher Education Academy in 2014. She also received a title of Visiting Professor from Shandong University of Finance, China in 2007. Monika has published her research internationally and in the UK. She is an Editor for a selection of academic journals. She has served on a number of national committees and advisory bodies, including an Advisory Board to HEA Internationalisation Framework. Her most recent appointments include an Invited Member of the Chartered Association of Business Schools’ Learning, Teaching and Student Experience Committee, advising on national HE policy, including TEF; and an HEA Consultancy role for the HEA programme ‘Leading Transformation in Learning and Teaching’.

Prior to working at Edinburgh Napier University, Monika had industry experience of working in an international shipping company, VShips. Her experience includes setting up business and management of international training centres across the world, including centres in Burma, Thailand, Brazil, Croatia and Poland. Monika’s PhD, completed in 1999, was in Education and Applied Linguistics. It involved a comparative study of foreign language teacher education in the UK, Poland and the Czech Republic. Her PhD involved work at Stirling, Strathclyde and Edinburgh University.

Monika has led a number of international research projects focused on enhancing the transition and academic support for international students. She is currently leading a Scoping Study for QAA Enhancement Theme Transitions: an exploration of support mechanisms for international students. Her recent research includes leading a cross-university qualitative research study on tools, strategies and guidelines in Internationalisation of the Curriculum; and a Santander funded research project on the motivations of South American students to study in the UK.

Monika’s research interests lie in international student mobility and transitions, internationalisation of the curriculum and the linguistic, academic and cultural challenges faced by international students in cross-border education. She has led a number of cross-institutional and interdisciplinary projects to scope and design mechanisms for assisting students with the transitions. Her recent work includes a scoping study of international student transitions as part of the QAA Enhancement Theme Student Transitions and a study exploring student perspectives on the internationalised curriculum.

Active research interests:

Intercultural and international aspects of international business

Leadership and organization change

International student mobility

Interdisciplinary research in internationalization of the higher education

Internationalisation of the curriculum


Research Methods:

Qualitative research

Tab 2c: Research Publications (please note in line with the UK Open Access Policy all publications will be linked via your eresearch link. Please provide it below.)


·         Foster, M. (2017) Exploring the impact of international student mobility on cross-cultural learning adaptation. Empowering 21st Century Learners Through Holistic and Enterprising Learning. Springer ISBN 978-981-10-4241-6

·         Foster, M. (2017) Designing a student-led framework for pre-and post-mobility intercultural skills’ development as part of the curriculum. Matheson, R., Tangney, S., Sutcliffe, M. and Poole, N. Transition: in, through and out of higher education.  Routledge. (in press, due in June 17)

·         Foster, M. (2017) Aiding active learning through a pre-arrival resource for international students. Matheson, R., Tangney, S., Sutcliffe, M. and Poole, N. Transition: in, through and out of higher education.  Routledge (in press, due in June 17)

·         Foster, M. Garavan, T. (2017) Study Abroad Programmes: An Investigation of Pre-Departure Expectations, Cultural Adaption Processes and Cross-Cultural Learning Outcomes of Inbound and Outbound Students. Studies in Higher Education (accepted, in press)

·         Foster, M. McKinnon, S. Hammond, A. (2017) Reflecting on the Value of Resources for Internationalising the Curriculum: Exploring Academic Perspectives. Teaching in Higher Education. (accepted, in press)

·         Penman, C., Foster, M. (eds.) (2016) Innovations in Learning and Teaching (book and e-book). Edinburgh Napier University Publishing. ISBN: 978-0-9576882-8-5

·         Foster, M. (2016) Exploring the role of developing intercultural awareness in international student mobility in China and the UK through a non-essentialist lens. In: Vellaris, D. 2016. Handbook of Research on Study Abroad Programs and Outbound Mobility. IGI Global. (in press). ISBN: 978-1-522-50169-5

·         Foster, M and Anderson, L. (Eds.) (2015) Exploring Internationalisation of the Curriculum to Enhance the Student Experience, Journal of Perspectives in Applied Academic Practice, Vol 3 No 3 2015 http://jpaap.napier.ac.uk/index.php/JPAAP/issue/current

  • Foster, M. (2014) Student destination choices: Brazilian students’ attitudes to study in the UK. Journal of Research in International Education Vol 13(2) 149-162
  • Foster, M (2013) Student destination choices in higher education: Exploring Brazilian students’ attitudes to study abroad, Practice and Evidence of the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning in HE (PESTLHE), 8, 3.
  • Foster, M. (2012) Engaging students in academic transitions: A case of two projects using student voice and technology to personalise the experience. In: Ryan, J. (ed) 2012 Cross cultural teaching and learning for home and international students: Internationalisation of pedagogy and curriculum in higher education. London: Routledge
  • Foster, M. (ed) (2011) SEDA Special 28: Working with Cultural Diversity in HE.
  • Foster, M. (2011) Engaging Students in Academic Transitions. In: Foster, M. (ed) SEDA Special 28: Working with Cultural Diversity in HE. London: SEDA
  • Foster, M. (2011) Engaging students in enhanced academic transitions - a case on online study skills resource SPICE. In: Journal of Learning Development in Higher Education, Issue 3. 
  • Foster, M. (2010) Online study skills resource SPICE. HEA Case study. Published online: http://www.heacademy.ac.uk/ourwork/teachingandlearning/internationalisation/alldisplay?type=resources&newid=ourwork/internationalisation/case_story_induction_monika_SPICE&site=york
  • Foster, M. Yufeng, M. (2010) The use of Critical thinking by Chinese students in Higher Education. Language and Culture Research, Beijing China (in press).
  • Foster, M. Wei M. (2010) Metacognitive knowledge, the stepping stone towards learner autonomy in Chinese College English teaching. Journal of Comparative Education, Beijing China.
  • Foster, M (ed) (2008) SEDA Special 23: Enhancing the experience of Chinese students in UK Higher Education - Lessons from the collaborative project. London: SEDA
  • Foster, M. (2008) The challenge of different ways of learning for Chinese students in UK HE. SEDA Special 23. London: SEDA
  • Foster, M. (2007) Through the eyes of the students: An empirical study of Chinese students' approaches to learning prior to and during study abroad. Shandong Foreign Language Teaching Journal, 2007 Special Edition.
  • Foster, M. (2007) How can we get our students to speak in a class? Paper based on the results of the collaborative study of Chinese students' learning strategies in China and in the UK. Proceedings of the 3rd International Conference on East Asian learners.
  • Foster, M. (2006) 'From a risk to a comfort zone. Developing digital materials to enhance students experience'. Conference proceedings: 'New approaches to Materials Development for Language Learning' Heriot-Watt University Edinburgh. Peter Lang Publishing.
  • Foster, M. (2005) 'Bridging the gap: Helping Chinese students embrace the intercultural experience'. Conference proceedings: 'The Chinese and South East Asian Learner: the transition to UK Higher Education', Southampton Institute.
  • Foster, M and Graham, J. (2005) Personal and Professional Development Planning HE Academy for Hospitality, Leisure, Sport and Tourism http://www.hlst.ltsn.ac.uk/resources/cases/pdp.html
  • Logie, C and Foster M. for International Maritime Organisation (IMO UN) 2002 'Maritime English International Teacher Training Course'.



External grants and funding received


‘Scoping Study of support mechanisms for international students.

Quality Assurance Agency, Principal Investigator, £5,000 (part of QAA Scotland Enhancement Theme)

Output: intended outcome a map of all support offered to international students, identifying gaps where support needed but not offered and recommendations on suitable support; 1 high quality journal paper (3* ABS rated) and 2 peer reviewed conference papers; contribution to the University’s Strategy 2020 to create personalised student experience.


‘Tools, strategies and guidelines: Exploring staff perceptions of Internationalisation of the Curriculum’ Higher Education Academy, Co-investigator, £3,500 for a Cross-University qualitative research study (with University of Herefordshire and Glasgow Caledonian University)

Output: two peer reviewed conference papers, one journal article to Teaching in Higher Education (submitted), two staff workshops to disseminate findings; contribution to the university’s Internationalisation strategy and Strategy 2020 to grow our academic reputation.

 2010 –2012                  

‘Exploring student destination choices: student motivations to study in the UK’

Santander, Principal Investigator, £7,000 for cross-cultural research project with colleagues from three universities in Brazil.

Output: one high quality journal article, 3 conference presentations, disseminated the results to colleagues in international office. Contribution to the Internationalisation strategy.


‘Asian Learner Experience Project (ALEP)’

HEA and Sheffield Hallam University, £7,500 (Edinburgh Napier University received £3,500), Co- investigator, a joint project with colleagues from Sheffield Hallam on Indian students’ engagement with existing support mechanisms and gaps.

Output: 1 book chapter, 4 peer reviewed conference presentations, recommendations for effective and culturally appropriate student support for ENU and Sheffield Hallam.

 2005 – 2007                 

‘Learning and Teaching Cultures’ A collaborative research and staff development project in language teaching and learning methods between Edinburgh Napier University and partner universities in China. Principal Investigator, Secured funding from Stephen Riady’s Foundation,


Ouput: 2 edited books, 1 peer reviewed journal article, 1 case study, 3 conference presentations, a significant impact on ENU’s internationalisation, contribution to the University’s academic reputation.


External grants applied for


Door-opener into labour markets’? Development of research informed teaching materials to target Employability skills of Business School graduates to maximise the value added of Erasmus Exchange Programmes.   Erasmus+ Jean Monnet Funding, Principal Investigator (£60,000)


‘Transformative value of internationalisation of the curriculum – international student views’ (£5,000)

UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA)


‘A longitudinal tracking study of the effects of widening access interventions on undergraduates from disadvantaged areas.’ Nuffield Foundation, Co-investigator, application submitted (£89,405). The output from this research project will be in high quality 3* ABS rated journal articles and peer reviewed conference papers.

Internal funding (peer reviewed)


Interdisciplinary Approach to Enhancing Student Learning through "Internationalisation at Home", a research project with Sheffield Hallam University (£800)


Internationalisation of the Curriculum at Edinburgh Napier University: Principles and Toolkits

Principal Investigator, Department of Learning and Teaching Enhancement strategic funding (£7,944) and Teaching Fellow Funding (£3,000)


Re-constructing “culture of learning” – international student experiences in China and the UK, Co-Investigator, Teaching Fellow (TF) funding (£4,310 and £1,585)


Identifying good practice in feedback to develop provision in the School of Marketing, Tourism and Languages, Principal Investigator, TF funding (£2,034) and giving students a choice in assessment (project team member) TF Funding (£10,000)


Developing a comprehensive pre-arrival skills training tool, Principal Investigator, TF funding (£4,471)


Peer mentoring project with direct entry Indian students, Principal Investigator, TF funding (£3,488) and a study of impact of socio-cultural awareness on academic performance TF funding (£6,000)




Work based learning in Tourism, Hospitality, Festival and Events, Marketing

Research Methods

Intercultural organisation management