Jean-Pierre Poulain, Cyrille Laporte, Laurence Tibère & Neethiahnanthan Ari Ragavan
This paper narrates the story of the international university cooperation between a French state university, University Toulouse – Jean Jaurès and more precisely, the Higher Institute of Tourism, Hospitality and Food Studies (ISTHIA) and a private university, namely Taylor’s University and more precisely, the School of Hospitality, Tourism and Culinary Arts located in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. We first describe the five stages in the development of the partnership from 1986 to date with a focus on the major evolutions in both institutions and then review the current activities (joint degrees, research, exchange programs and continuing education) conducted under the aegis of the Taylor’s Toulouse University Center since 2009. We outline the paradigms underlying the design of such an international academic cooperation by using this experience as a reference. Lastly, we suggest socio-anthropological models of collective initiatives to describe and account for the rationale of action by the two partners. This paper encapsulates the nature of international academic cooperation and offers food for thought to envisage other cooperation schemes in different cultural environments.
Key words: Academic cooperation, hospitality, tourism, food studies, research, players