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The Study of International Business


The influence of international business on governments, economies and societies has been profound and countries have become more integrated and dependent on one other on trade. For instance, in ASEAN, 6 out of 10 countries has the ratio of total trade to GDP exceeded 100% in 2012 (ASEAN, 2013). In the case of small country like Singapore, the ratio is 277% a nation highly dependent on external trade for both exports and imports. On a global scale, world merchandise exports in 2012 was  US$18.3 trillion while that of services increased by 2% to US$4.3 trillion (WTO Annual report, 2013).

With external international environment affecting both national businesses and businesses that has dealing with overseas partners, having sound knowledge and understanding of international business thus becomes a necessity rather than a choice for business. Graduates entering the workforce usually ill-informed of the emerging trends, they find it to difficult to make sense of or even has the ability to analyse emerging trends and impacts on businesses. As such, there is a need for graduates who enter the workforce are equipped with sound knowledge of international business. International Business is part of TMC Higher Diploma in Business elective module under the International Business specialisation.

To instil understanding, interest and to stretch students’ learning capabilities to develop critical thinking and problem-solving skills (Ramsden, 2003)., a combination of lecturers, interactive seminars and case studies will be used. Short quizzes, short answer questions and “Think-Pair Share” will be used in-between lectures to check for understanding and encourage greater students’ participation during lesson. Case studies will be used to promote deep learning, cognitive and social skills (Felder, 2001). Students are grouped into small teams to work collaboratively on case studies with varying level of difficulties and article review.

These various interactive activities serve to develop a pool of graduates with 21st century competencies (Jerald, 2013). Through wide reading of cases, journal articles and current international news, graduates will be well informed and gained greater awareness of current issues.

Raymond Loh Chee Yen Principal Lecturer School of Business and Law TMC Academy

Reference List:

  1. Felder, R. M.; Brent, R. (2001), Effective Strategies for Cooperative Learning. J. Cooperation & Collaboration in College Teaching 2001, 10(2), 69–75.

  2. Jerald, C.R. Defining a 21st Century Education: At a glance, Retrieved from < Century>, viewed 5th March, 2014.

  3. Ramsden, P. (2003), Approaches to learning. In Learning to teach in higher education, 2nd edition, pp. 38 – 61, London, New York, Routledge.

  4. World Trade Organisation Annual Report, 2013.


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