Head of Queen Margaret Business School

Business School

Tel: 0131 474 0000

Professor Monika Foster is the Head of the Queen Margaret Business School.

  • 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

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