Emeritus Professor Prem Ramburuth

My Expertise

My areas of expertise include the challenges of working across cultures and borders in the dynamic world of Global Business. It involves understanding the complexities of culture, their synergies and differences, and developing the cultural intelligence to navigate these complexities in dealing with issues such as value variation, intercultural communication, conflict and conflict resolution, ethics and behaviour in organisations, strategic negotiation and management.

My expertise in education and training has implications for emerging economies and the development of human capital for the future, including the capabilities and contributions of women in the workplace. This expertise involves research in emerging economies, understanding the Higher Education structures and systems across different countries, as well as working with stakeholders in business and the private sector, government and non-government institutions and other networks. It also requires expertise in leadership and innovation, targeting transformative development opportunities, negotiating partnerships, formulating grant applications, and developing program initiatives.

My expertise in Quality Assurance in Higher Education focuses on ensuring that Higher Education programs I am involved in (in Australia and internationally) are of the highest standards and deliver high quality education to students. This expertise has been gained in my roles as President of the UNSW Academic Board, Chair of the NIDA Academic Board, Member of the Lincoln Higher Education Academic Board, External Reviewer of Academic Programs and Academic Boards and, most significantly, as an Expert Member of the Australian Government's Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency (TEQSA).


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Professor Prem Ramburuth

Prem Ramburuth is Emeritus Professor at UNSW. She was Professor in International Business, School of Management and Governance, UNSW Sydney. She has held several leadership positions at UNSW including Immediate Past President of the Academic Board, Associate Dean Education, Associate Dean Undergraduate Programs, Head of School of Management, Foundation Director of the Business School Academic Development Centre, Deputy...view more

Professor Prem Ramburuth

Prem Ramburuth is Emeritus Professor at UNSW. She was Professor in International Business, School of Management and Governance, UNSW Sydney. She has held several leadership positions at UNSW including Immediate Past President of the Academic Board, Associate Dean Education, Associate Dean Undergraduate Programs, Head of School of Management, Foundation Director of the Business School Academic Development Centre, Deputy Director of the UNSW Learning Centre, and Director of Overseas English Language Programs at the UNSW Institute of Languages. She researches and teaches in Cross-Cultural and Diversity Management in Business and Higher Education and is a member of several editorial boards including the Journal for Multicultural Education, International Journal of Emerging Markets and Chinese Management Studies. Her current research interests focus on International Business and Cross-Cultural Management, Emerging Economies, China’s Global Growth in Africa, Gender Equity and the Empowerment of Women in the Workplace, and Higher Education in Africa. 

Professor Ramburuth is the Academic Lead for Africa at the UNSW Institute for Global Development. In this role, she oversees transformative development programs in capacity building and training for academic staff, PhD training, and the establishment of formal Higher Education qualifications for academic staff in Uganda. She is a UNSW PLuS Alliance Fellow and the Academic Lead for PLuS Alliance Africa and is engaged in the establishment of PhD institutes in Africa. She is former Chair of the National Institute of Dramatic Art (NIDA) Academic Board, is on the Panel of Experts for the Australian Tertiary Education Quality Standards Agency (TEQSA), and was a Higher Education Program Assessor for the Fiji National Higher Education Commission. She is Visiting Professor at Gulu University (Uganda), and has been Visiting Professor at VNU Hanoi Business School (Vietnam), University of Colorado (Denver), and University Tunku Abdul Rahman (Malaysia). She is the recipient of four national and international teaching excellence awards, and the Dean’s Distinguished Leadership Award in the UNSW Business School (2019). 

My Grants

  • 2020-2021: Australia-Africa Universities Network (AAUN) ($10,000): "Women Early Career Researchers in Food Systems in Africa"
  • 2019-2020: Australia-Africa Universities Network (AAUN) ($10,000): "Integrating Urban Green Infrastructure and Food Security for Economic Development in Africa" (with A. Thornton)
  • 2019: FABLE Research Collaboration Awards, UWA ($15,000): "Creating Smarter Cities in East Africa" (with R. Vokes et al.)
  • 2018-2019: PLuS Alliance Fellow ($10,000): "Building Research and Education Capacity in Africa"
  • 2018-2019: Australia-Africa Universities Network (AAUN) ($10,000): "Empowerment in the Workplace: Women in Africa"
  • 2018: Institute for Global Development ($52,000): "Creating Global Research and Development Networks for Africa"
  • 2017-2018: Institute for Global Development ($96,000): "Transformative Academic Development in Africa"
  • 2012: UNSW Contestable Funding Scheme ($20,000): "Collaboration with Sun Yat-Sen University" (with P. Sheldon & Y. Wang)
  • 2010: UNSW Social Inclusion Equity Grant ($50,000): "Development of a Business Education Enabling Program"
  • 2010: UNSW Faculty IT Investment Plan ($47,000): "Developing an On-Line Management System for Criterion Based Assessment and AOL"
  • 2009: UNSW SoM Grant ($10,000): "Student Psychological Contract in Business Higher Degree Research Education" (with J. Cogin & S. Restubog)
  • 2008 -2010: Learning and Teaching Performance Funds ($913, 675): "Enhancing Learning and Teaching in the Business School" ($267,352 per year) 
  • 2008 -2010: Learning and Teaching Performance Funds ($166,078): "Enhancing the Quality of Indigenous Education in the Business School" 
  • 2006-2008: Carrick Institute Learning and Teaching Research Grant ($167,000): "Embedding the Development of Intercultural Competence in Business Education" (with Universities of Sydney, QUT & South Australia)
  • 2006-2007: UNSW Cross Faculty Research Grant (FRG) ($24,000): "Comparative Learning Approaches, Motivational Factors, and Career Expectations of Students in Higher Education" (with M. Tani)
  • 2006: AusAID International Seminar Support Scheme Grant ($8,500): "Management Education in Developing Countries (Sub-Sahara Africa)"
  • 2003: UNSW First Year Teaching Grant ($15,000): "Innovations in Information Literacy in the ‘First Year Experience’"
  • 2002: UNSW First Year Teaching Grant ($15,000) : "Developing Critical Thinking, Communication and Intercultural Skills in International Business"
  • 1998: UNSW Teaching Research Grant ($80,000): "Internationalisation and Implications for Learning, Language and Cultural Diversity in the FCE"
  • 1997: UNSW Teaching Development Grant ($50,000): "Internationalisation of Australian HE: Implications for the FCE"

My Qualifications

BA, DipEd (S. Africa), MEd (Sydney), EdD (UNSW), Licentiate (RAM, London), Grad Dip TESOL (S. Australia), GAICD

My Awards

  • UNSW Business Dean’s Distinguished Leadership Award (2019)
  • Nominated for UNSW President’s Award for Values in Action: Engaging in Transformative Development in Africa with Prof. R. Richmond, A/P A. Bartlett, A/P J. Cox (2018)
  • Australian Learning and Teaching Council (ALTC) Citation Awarded for ‘Outstanding Contribution to Student Learning’ (National Award 2009)
  • Outstanding Reviewer Award (Academy of Management Learning and Teaching) (2005) 
  • Inaugural Pearson ANZAM Management Educator of the Year Award (2003)
  • National Finalist Australian Award for University Teaching (AAUT) (2003)
  • UNSW Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Teaching Excellence (2002)

My Research Activities

My research activities span across the areas of Management in International Business, and Management in the Internationalization of Higher Education, and, more recently, in Emerging Economies. The intersection of these dimensions to my research has enabled me to contribute to the literature on managing across cultures in International Business; managing across cultures in emerging economies including in countries across Africa, Asia and other regions; and managing issues of equity, diversity and inclusion in Business. It has served to highlight the importance understanding cultural differences, not only in business, but also in education, to address diversity of thought and actions, variation in culture, and approaches to learning and teaching. The combined research streams have informed my strategic initiatives in focusing on education, training, and capacity building as drivers of economic development in emerging economies. Essentially, my research seeks to translate into practical application in order to have impact in 'real world' contexts. It seeks sustainable solutions to management in International Business and Management in Emerging Economies, and incorporates the UN Sustainability Goals across the 17 strategic targets that aim to transform the world. 

My Research Supervision

Supervision keywords

Areas of supervision

I have supervised the following students to successful completion at the PhD, Masters and Honours level in International Business, including Managing Across Cultures, Knowledge Management, Comparative Management, Value Variation in Global Management, Entrepreneurship and Technology in Global Business:

  • Fatemeh Jafaralijasbi (MPhil Program, 2018-2019): "The Impact of Entrepreneurs’ Individual Values and Attributions on Start-ups’ Performance in Iran" (with Prof Karin Sanders)
  • Jacira Werle Rodrigues (MPhil Program, 2014 – 2016): "Education as a Driver of Economic Development in Brazil, Russia, China and India (BRIC)" 
  • Cindy Qin (PhD Program, 2005 – 2010): "The Impact of National Culture on Knowledge Transfer in MNCs in China" (with Dr Yue Wang)
  • Savanid Vatanasakdakul (PhD Program, 2004 – 2007): "An Investigation of the Appropriateness of Internet Technology for Inter-firm Communication in Thailand" (with A/P John D’Ambra)
  • William Choy (PhD Program, 2002 – 2004): "Comparative Investigation of the Inter- and Intra-Cultural Variations of Individual and Work Values in a Singaporean Multinational Corporation" 
  • Damian Fletcher (Masters’ Research Project, 2003): "Comparative Leadership Styles: A Study of Taiwanese and Western Managers"
  • Paul Robson (Masters’ Research Project, 2003): "Relocating Call Centres to India: Cross Cultural Implications"
  • Natasha Johns (Masters’ Research Project, 2001): "Repatriation in Australian MNEs"
  • Nancy Lan (Honours Program, 2005): "Cross Cultural Ethics: A Study of Gender Perspectives and Differences"
  • Amy Fleischer (Honours Program, 2004): "Networks and Alliances: The Airline Industry"

The PhD candidates I supervised have successfully acquired academic positions in Universities in Australia, the U.K and Singapore, with wide reaching impact through publications, teaching and ongoing research in International Business.
I have mentored researchers and academics at UNSW via the Academic Women in Leadership Program (WIL), in the Business School via its Women in Leadership Program, and in the UNSW Early Career Research Program (ECR). At the international level, I am engaged in the mentoring of women academics and researchers at several universities in Africa including in Uganda, South Africa and Nigeria. I am currently engaged in a research project that involves the mentoring of Women Early Career Researchers (WECRs) in Food Systems in Africa, to ensure leadership roles in the important area of food security in emerging economies.

My Engagement

I have made significant contributions in the Business School at UNSW, nationally and internationally. 

Leadership in Business School and UNSW:

  • Discipline Lead International Business (2017-2020)
  • Member of UNSW Council and Committees (2011-2016)
  • President of the Academic Board and Committees (2011-2016)
  • Associate Dean Education (2007-2011)
  • Associate Dean Undergraduate Programs (2007-2009)
  • Head, School of Management (2006-2007)
  • Associate Head, School of Management (2005)
  • Associate Head, Former School of International Business (2004)
  • Inaugural Director, Business School Education Development Unit (1997-2000)
  • Mentor to senior and junior academic staff and students 

Leadership International: 

  • Academic Lead Africa, UNSW Institute for Global Development (IGD) (2016-ongoing): Overseeing the Transformative Academic Development Programs in Uganda and delivered the "Beginning to Teach" (Early Career Academics); "Foundations of Learning and Teaching" (Mid-Career Academics); "Leadership in Teaching" (Senior Academics); introducing the Graduate Certificate and Graduate Diploma in University Learning and Teaching 
  • Academic Lead Africa, PLuS Alliance and PLuS Alliance Fellow (2019-ongoing): Research and establishment of PhD Institutes in Engineering in Kenya, Uganda, Ghana and Nigeria
  • Visiting Professor, Gulu University, Northern Uganda (2016-ongoing) 
  • Visiting Co-Chair, Gulu University Learning & Teaching Committee, Uganda (2016-ongoing)
  • Visiting Professor, Vietnam National University (2010) 
  • Visiting Scholar, University of Colorado, Denver (2009)

Leadership in the Profession:

  • AAUN (Australia Africa Universities Network): UNSW Representative and Executive Member (2016-ongoing)
  • NIDA (National Institute of Dramatic Art): Chair, Academic Board; Member, NIDA Board of Directors; Member, NIDA Governance, Nominations & Remunerations Comm (2012-2019)
  • TEQSA (Tertiary Education Qualifications & Standards Agency): Expert Panel Member (2014-ongoing) 
  • Lincoln Higher Education Australia: Member, Academic Board (2020-ongoing)
  • PACIBER (Pacific Asian Consortium for International Business Education & Research): UNSW IB Representative (2004-2020)

Editorial Boards and Reviewer (current): 

  • Chinese Management Studies  
  • International Journal of Emerging Markets  
  • Journal of Multicultural Education 
  • Reviewer for over 10 high-ranking IB and HE journals

Professional Memberships (current)

  • Graduate of the Australian Institute for Company Directors (GAICD)
  • Academy of International Business South East Asia Region (AIBSEAR) 
  • Australia New Zealand International Business Academy (ANZIBA) 
  • African Research Universities Alliance (ARUA) 
  • Cross Cultural Research Network (Auckland University of Technology) 
  • Multi-national Teaching Fellows (MNTF) and Institutional Teaching Award (ITA) 
  • University Fellows International Research Consortium, University of Oklahoma, US

Membership of Gender Equity Networks and Engagement:

  • UNSW Business School Senior Academic Women’s Group 
  • UNSW Academic Women in Leadership (AWIL) Program 
  • UNSW Professional Women in Leadership (PWIL) Program 
  • UNSW Senior Women in Leadership Program 
  • UNSW Women in Research Network (WIRN) 
  • UNSW Representative, Asia Pacific Women in Leadership Network (APWIL) 
  • Women in the Academy of International Business (WAIB) IB Network 
  • Women on Boards Australia
  • Women in Research and Gender Equity Group, Uganda 

My Teaching

My teaching interests in the various dimensions of International Business focuses on training students in Cross-Cultural Management, to prepare them for participating in the complexities of the rapidly changing global business environment -as leaders, employers, employees and members of civil society. It highlights the importance of individual, group, socio-cultural and organizational values that influence engagement in International Business and global business environments. It has involved course design, curriculum development, course coordination and teaching delivery in the former School of Management and current School of Management and Governance, and includes:

  • Managing Across Cultures
  • Managing Business Communication
  • Intercultural Business Communication 
  • Geopolitical Risk Management 
  • Fundamentals of Management
  • Business Communication, Ethics and Practice 
  • Research Seminars in IB

I also taught externally, in concurrent courses at other universities, including:

  • Cross Cultural Management (Hanoi Business School, Vietnam National University, MBA Program)
  • Cross Cultural Management (Sydney Business School, University of Sydney)
  • Cross Cultural Management (University of Hawaii, MBA Program (on-line))
  • Cross Cultural Management (University of Colorado at Denver, MBA Program (on-line))


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Room 513, Level 5
School of Management & Governance
UNSW Business School