Helping Nepalese boost capacity for qualitative research

Published:07 June 2018

1: Pokhara University International Centre Executive Director Tek Chhetry, Dr Wendy Hillman, United Technical College (U-Tec) College of Engineering Academic Director Professor Keshab Awasthi, Dr Kylie Radel. 2: Mr Chhetry, Dr Wendy Hillman, Boston International College (Chitwan) MBA student Suveksha Bhattarai, and Dr Kylie Radel. 3: Dr Kylie Radel, Boston International College (Chitwan) MBA student Sajisha Poudel, Dr Wendy Hillman. 4: Participants in the master classes.

CQUniversity senior lecturers Dr Wendy Hillman and Dr Kylie Radel are recognised specialists in qualitative research methods who have been focusing on tourism potential in Nepal.

In the spirit of 'giving back', they recently delivered five days of master classes on qualitative research methods in the Chitwan Province of Nepal, in conjunction with Pokhara University.

"We had students and faculty from two partner colleges which are affiliated with Pokhara University - Boston International College and the United Technical College, located in Bharatpur, Chitwan, Nepal," Dr Radel says.

"U-Tech, as a specialist engineering college, are especially interested in growing their qualitative research for engineers to better understand the liveability of their work and the impacts of engineering programs on social and cultural issues for communities in Nepal."

Sociology academic Dr Hillman and Marketing & Tourism academic Dr Radel are co-editors of a recent book on Qualitative Methods in Tourism Research - Theory and Practice, published by Chanel View Publications.

They say the tourism and trekking industries have potential to provide Nepali women with their own footholds in society.

Earlier this year, the CQUni duo presented an update on their Nepal projects in the presence of other social innovation proponents from academia, at the Ashoka U Exchange in Boston.

They have developed a grounded theory analysis of seven case studies to gain a clearer picture of the challenging conditions for female entrepreneurs in the tourism industry in Nepal.

They say the women who have started a journey towards tourism entrepreneurship and personal emancipation have demonstrated great capacity and resilience, in the face of Nepal’s patriarchal customs and traditions.