PURPOSE: To investigate the teaching and learning experiences of Malaysian nurses on Transnational Higher Education post-registration top-up degree programmes in Malaysia.
DESIGN: Hermeneutic phenomenology and the ethnographic principle of cultural interpretation were used to explore the views of eighteen Malaysian nurses from two UK and one Australian TNHE universities (determined by convenience and snowball sampling methods) to ensure data saturation. Semi-structured interviews were conducted in English and Bahasa Malaysia (Malaysian language) to enable nurses' voices to define, describe and evaluate their TNHE classroom experiences.
DATA ANALYSIS: Data were analysed using thematic analysis.
FINDINGS: The nurses' experiences within the short one or 2 weeks TNHE intercultural teaching and learning environment identified four categories: language and teaching and learning issues; TNHE degree requirements, guidance and support; shock and coping strategies and acclimatisation. They suggest there was a conflict between the assumptions and expectations of the TNHE 'flying faculty' and nurses' about the programme of study. There were also mismatches between Western and Malaysian pedagogical preferences, guidance and support, and professional values.
IMPLICATIONS FOR EDUCATION/PRACTICE: There is a need for TNHE 'flying faculty' to internationalise the theoretical knowledge to reduce cultural incongruities and dissimilarities. Cultural immersion will stimulate intercultural views and knowledge to equip nurses for promotional and/or global opportunities whilst enabling the 'flying faculty' to create new learning environments. The research provides insights to inform TNHE provider institutions to improve teaching and learning to enable nurses to make the theory-practice connection.
AIM: To examine the use of hermeneutic phenomenology and the ethnographic principle of cultural interpretation in a research study conducted with Malaysian nurses on part-time, transnational, post-registration, top-up nursing degree programmes provided by one Australian and two UK universities.
DISCUSSION: To enable the researcher to undertake international cross-cultural research and illuminate Malaysian nurses' views for the reader, cultural aspects need to be considered, as they will influence the information participants provide. Useful strategies that western researchers can adopt to co-create research texts with interviewees are outlined. The paradigm and research designs used in the study revealed the views and experiences of Malaysian nurses.
CONCLUSION: Hermeneutic phenomenology enabled the exploration of participants' experiences, and the ethnographic principle of cultural interpretation enabled the researcher's reflexivity to provide emic and etic views for the reader.
IMPLICATIONS FOR PRACTICE: This paper adds to the discussion of the paradigms and research designs used for international, cross-cultural research in Asia. It identifies the influence participants' cultural values have on their confidence and level of disclosure with western researchers.