As Japan is a significant provider of investment and foreign aid to Africa (Watanabe, 2008), Japanese perceptions of Africa are important (Philips, 2001). However, undergraduate courses often ignore or gloss over African destinations and students tend to avoid engaging with them, leaving stereotypical views and the possibility of racial profiling unchallenged (Agyeman, 2015). In order to investigate how students engage with African destinations, this article reports on destination choices in assessments for 79 tourism and hospitality students, and the results obtained from 12 in-depth follow-up interviews that focused on the reasons for those choices. The findings indicate that restricting student choice during assessments and using different assessment types increases engagement with African destinations and issues. By encouraging students to engage with Africa and to view the continent in a reflective manner, educators can help revise negative views and develop more balanced opinions.
Keywords: Africa, assessment, student choice, tourism and hospitality education