La Trobe Business School

Tag: China

La Trobe is getting employability right

LBS researcher Dr Jasvir Kaur Nachatar Singh examined the experience of graduates from China who returned to China to seek employment after completing tertiary education at La Trobe University. Her research found that students from China felt that having studied at La Trobe University made them more employable in China.

The first study

Jasvir conducted in-depth interviews with 19 Chinese alumni from La Trobe University who had returned to China to work. About 70 to 80% of Chinese international students studying in Australia return to their home country to seek employment opportunities (ICEF Monitor, 2016) and previous research has suggested that Chinese employers prefer local graduates. However, Jasvir’s study found that when it comes to having necessary work-ready skills such as leadership, communications and influencing skills, those who have spent some time studying in Australia have the upper hand.

Jasvir mentioned that the Chinese graduates she interviewed were “impressed with the level of investment Australian universities like La Trobe are making into developing international students’ employability skills through part-time work experiences at La Trobe or outside the campus, volunteering opportunities and internships.”

“Programs such as La Trobe’s Career Ready Advantage, designed with Australia’s leading employers to help develop more employable graduates, are clearly working”

Dr Jasvir Kaur Nachatar Singh

The interviewed graduates also said that having an overseas Masters’ degree was particularly beneficial when it came to getting jobs in China, and some had studied further to obtain chartered certification such as Chartered Professional Accounting.

The second study

Jasvir conducted a second study looking at the experience of international students studying in China, with a special focus on development of employability skills. Jasvir interviewed 30 international students, largely from Africa and Malaysia, who had studied at the highly-ranked Wuhan and Tsinghua universities in China. “While these two prestigious Chinese universities score high in terms of academic results, the students I interviewed recognised that content knowledge is not enough”, said Jasvir. Students were expected to find their own work placements and were given little support by the university support services. Thus, in contrast to Australian universities, the second study found that Chinese universities do not place much emphasis on developing employability skills of international students.

Producing employable graduates

Both of Jasvir’s studies have shown that Chinese universities need to increase their focus on helping domestic and international students develop the necessary skills required for entering the competitive and rapidly changing world of work. The good news is that La Trobe University is getting it right when it comes to producing employable graduates!

Dr Jasvir Kaur Nachatar Singh is an award-winning lecturer at the LBS’ Department of Management, Sport and Tourism. Jasvir has been researching on academic success, teaching and learning as well as employability issues relating to international students from Malaysia, Australia and China. Jasvir has received several top La Trobe University grants and has published in quality higher education journals as well as presented her work worldwide.

This blog was originally published by LTU News.

Health and Aged Care Industries in China: Change and Opportunities


The China Studies Research Centre, the Building Healthy Communities RFA’s Healthy Ageing Research Group (HARG) and La Trobe Business School jointly invite you to attend this seminar.

Dr Chuyang Liu will share her reflections and provide insights into the changing landscape of the Chinese health and aged care industry which has created significant opportunities for Australian companies.

China’s demand for health and aged care services is expected to grow significantly over the next decade, driven by the needs of a rapidly growing population, an ageing demographic, new health challenges and government policy reforms.

In 2020, China’s population is expected to reach 1.4 billion, of which 248 million will be aged 60 years and above. These elderly citizens will require accommodation in facilities that support their medical needs and lifestyle, and a qualified workforce to care for them – both of which are in short supply.

The Chinese Government has embarked on an ambitious program to transform the country’s health and aged care industry. It is accelerating reform across the industry, including integrating healthcare and aged care services; introducing policies to attract private capital from domestic and overseas investors; and encouraging the adoption of smart healthcare. The changing landscape of the Chinese health and aged care industry has created significant opportunities for Australian companies.

About the Speaker

Dr Chuyang LIU, China Adviser, International Operations, Austrade. Dr Chuyang Liu has recently returned to Australia from her previous role as Trade Commissioner/Counsellor Commercial in the Australian Embassy in Beijing, China. Chuyang is now China Adviser based in Austrade’s Melbourne office. Prior to joining Austrade in July 2012, Chuyang worked at the Department of Business and Innovation in the Victorian State Government of Australia.

Chuyang is a specialist in international law and WTO law, with extensive experiences in Australia, Europe (mainly Switzerland and the UK), and Asian countries (China, Malaysia, Japan and Korea) during her 24 years’ career.

Chuyang has a PhD of International Economic Law from University of Bern (Switzerland), Master of Business Administration (MBA) from Victoria University (Australia), Master of Maritime Law from Dalian Maritime University, Bachelor of British & American Literature from Dalian Foreign Language University, China.

Event Details

Date:    Monday 21 November 2016

Time:   2:00-3:30pm

Venue: Room 203, Health Sciences 1, La Trobe University

Register: To register, please visit the corresponding La Trobe University event page.



Bellamy’s baby formula. What would you do?

Buly Cardak La Trobe Business School
By Buly Cardak

Imagine you run a business where your product is so hot it doesn’t even touch the store shelves. It flies out the door faster than you can ship it to the retailer. What a great problem to have. This is the problem facing Bellamy’s Organic, Tasmanian based maker of Bellamy’s Organic Infant Formula. Their infant formula is in such great demand in Australia and overseas that they cannot keep up. How does a business respond to these circumstances?

Bellamy’s is watching its product fly out the door. Lots of this product is finding its way overseas to China. Chances are it’s being onsold at a large markup, with profit going to middlepersons, rather than Bellamy’s and its shareholders. This is a classic example of excess demand for the product. There are clearly people who are willing to pay more than the current supermarket price for the product. In introductory economics courses taught around the world, the concepts of demand and supply are used to illustrate who benefits from a transaction. There is consumer surplus and producer surplus. Somewhere in the recent past, Bellamy’s Organic Infant Formula became so hot that the demand for the product increased dramatically. Bellamy’s thinks there’s a lot of consumer surplus in this product at current prices. Their response is to increase the market price. They are punting that even at a new higher price, everything they’ve got to sell is going to continue to fly off the shelves. In raising price they are hoping to turn some consumer surplus into producer surplus, increasing their own profits.

It’s a fine line they have to tread. Infant formula would be a sensitive product to try to increase prices and profits on, it’s easy to criticise. But it’s a far cry from profiteering, where for example, suppliers raise the price of petrol or bottled water after a natural disaster like a hurricane or flood. Under Australia’s Competition and Consumer Act 2010, businesses are free to set prices for their products as they choose, as long as they do not collude and fix prices. They cannot impose minimum prices on resellers, nor can they sell at below cost in order to harm competitors, known as predatory pricing. This is where Coles comes in. Once the baby formula is delivered to them, they are free to choose the price they sell it at, just like Bellamy’s determines the price they sell it to Coles for. It is not public what the profit margins on this product are and I am not aware of how the supermarket price has evolved over the past year. But just like Bellamy’s, Coles would have an incentive to raise prices too. We can think of at least two reasons they might not have raised price. First, competition between supermarkets might be so strong that if they do raise price, they might lose a lot of business. Given the shortages, I suspect this is not the case. The second is that they were afraid of a public relations disaster. Raising the price of baby formula is not a good look, it’s trying to turn a bigger profit off consumers who cannot fend for themselves, babies.

According to a story in The Age (“Coles strategy to shame suppliers”, 19 December 2015), Coles has turned the tables on Bellamy’s, making it very clear that they are simply passing on price rises from the manufacturer. In doing so, they are putting pressure back on the producer and have turned consumer advocate. A clever public relations move given they were penalised $10 million by the ACCC for their dealings with suppliers in the past.

What about the babies? In a market based economy stuff is allocated by price, to those that can pay. Infant formula is no different. Higher prices mean people will look for a substitute. Whether it’s the local or international consumers who need to substitute, only time will tell. The massive demand for the trusted Australian product will entice more producers into the market. On 30 November 2015, Bellamy’s announced a strategic manufacturing arrangement with Fonterra Australia to ramp up production, showing that in this case market forces do work, though production is not a tap that can simply be turned on when demand increases. These things will take time. In the meantime, desperate parents will struggle to get their hands on their favoured organic infant formula and people will call for restrictions on per customer sales and on overseas trade of the product. The good news is babies grow up and won’t be drinking formula for ever, their parents’ woes will be a distant memory, eventually.

Public Administration in a globalised world: La Trobe Business School’s Zahirul Hoque takes leading role at 2015 Greater China Australia Dialogue

La Trobe Business School Zahirul Hoque

Zahirul Hoque (far right) at the 2015 Greater China Australia Dialogue Conference.

On 14, 15 and 16 November 2015, leading Australian academics were invited to attend the 2015 Greater China Australia Dialogue Conference, to share their knowledge with Chinese and Taiwanese scholars and practitioners working in public sector administration.

Why from Australia?

The public administration sector is changing rapidly in a globalised world. Creating structures in the public administration sector to ensure government programs and organisations use their funds efficiently and effectively has been shown to be crucial as a means to nurture good practices within a community. In Australia, the government has developed a highly efficient model that in time has also cultivated government agencies to start generating their own funds. By introducing performance audits along with performance management practices, not unlike companies in the private sector, Australian government agencies are no longer required to fall back fully on government finances.

In rapidly expanding economies such as China or Taiwan, these auditing and management structures are largely still being established. Government agencies are still heavily reliant on government money, often without being assessed thoroughly enough. By initiating the Greater China Australia Dialogue Conference, China and Taiwan want to sharpen ties with eminent Australian academics so as to exchange knowledge on the public sector, thereby equipping Chinese and Taiwanese scholars with the tools they need to engage with public sector reform.

Professor Zahirul Hoque

Professor Zahirul Hoque, who is La Trobe Business School’s Head of Department of Accounting, as well as the Executive Director of the La Trobe University Centre for Public Sector Governance, Accountability and Performance (CPSGAP), has more than twenty years’ experience in the Public Sector. During a workshop themed ‘Value for Money’, he presented two papers on performance auditing, performance management and parliamentary oversight.

In his presentations Professor Hoque highlighted how the use of performance auditing and performance management can create a strong sense of accountability at all levels of a public sector organisation. By introducing this auditing process that independently evaluates the effectiveness and efficiency of government undertakings, parliaments can not only see how much government initiatives are costing them, but also how those initiatives benefit the country’s economy and, in turn, the community.

The positive effect of performative auditing is notable around the world, with performance auditing increasingly become international best practice. As Professor Hoque concluded in his paper, there is a lesson in this for other nations. But the road is long: developing and implementing new practices takes significant work and effort over many years. Having guidance from experts in such a situation is invaluable. For China and Taiwan, sharing knowledge with scholars like LBS’s Professor Zahirul Hoque is an important step in this process.

La Trobe Business School Zahirul Hoque

La Trobe Business School Zahirul Hoque

Lauren Jackson on the significance of sport– Listen to the complete interview!

La Trobe Business School Lauren Jackson Sport in Regional Australia Bendigo Lauren Jackson

Last week, La Trobe Sport and the SER RFA facilitated a 2 day industry conference in Bendigo at the Capital Theatre on Sport in Regional Australia. The event marked the second running of the conference and had over two hundred delegates and speakers over two full days, and more than thirty speakers from industry, government and community groups.

This year’s key note speakers included former CEO of the AFL Andrew Demetriou, Australian basketball player Lauren Jackson and the head of Community Strategy and Netball Development at Netball Australia, AnneMarie Phippard.

“Sport gave me a way to be myself and evolve as a person.”
– Lauren Jackson

The interview with Lauren Jackson, conducted by La Trobe’s Centre for Sport and Social Impact (CSSI) David Lowden, was one of the highlights from this year’s conference. Jackson spoke about her experiences growing up as the daughter of a well-known ‘basketball family’, the culture shock she experienced while playing in countries like China or Russia, and where her career is now.

Jackson burst onto the scene as a member of the Australian Institute of Sport, leading a team of future stars to an unlikely WNBL championship in 1999. A year later she joined the Australian Opals and won silver at the 2000 Sydney Olympics.

Her early success at national and international level positioned her as one of the most sought after prospects in the 2001 WNBA draft class in the US, and she was selected with pick one by the Seattle Storm.

Her commanding play secured two WNBA championships for Seattle, and four WNBL championships for the Canberra Capitals. Jackson won gold at the 2006 FIBA world championships, and continued to shine at Olympic level, with silver medals at the 2004 Athens Olympics and 2008 Beijing Olympic Games.

Catch up on this fascinating interview on Soundcloud.

© 2020 Business Newsroom

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑