SINGAPORE - Students keen on pursuing a career in the hospitality industry can look forward to a new qualification being jointly developed by one of the world's most prestigious hospitality schools and the Institute of Technical Education (ITE).
Ecole hoteliere de Lausanne (EHL) Hospitality Business School - the leading university in hospitality education, according to rankings - inked an agreement earlier this month with ITE to work on a new technical diploma in hospitality and hotel management.
Announcing this on Monday (March 21), Education Minister Chan Chun Sing said: "This technical diploma will provide a new pathway for those keen to pursue a career in the hospitality industry, and will leverage both the Swiss hospitality education excellence and the distinctive applied learning approach of ITE.
"Graduates of the course will be equipped with skills in supply chain and facilities management, and new in-demand skills such as business analytics and sustainability hospitality practices."
He added that these abilities will prepare students to work in a range of settings in the hospitality and service sectors.
No further details on when the diploma course will be ready or how many students it will take in were given.
The new course is an example of how EHL is playing an active role in Singapore's higher education, said Mr Chan, who was speaking at the official opening ceremony of EHL's first international campus here.
The famed hospitality business school has more than 4,000 students enrolled across its three campuses, Lausanne, Passugg, which are both in Switzerland, and now Singapore.
Mr Chan said EHL can tap the links local institutions have with local and regional businesses to explore joint programmes, and share best practices and teaching methods, such as catering to adult learners.
This comes as SkillsFuture Singapore has been encouraging private education institutions to do more in adult learning, he said.
"I am glad to hear that EHL plans to offer online certificates and short courses for adult learners," he said.
He added that these will expand upskilling opportunities and broaden career options for those already in the hospitality and service industry, and help them stay relevant and competitive.
Students at the EHL Campus (Singapore) take the same internationally recognised Bachelor of Science in International Hospitality that is also offered at the main Lausanne campus.
They begin with a preparatory year in Lausanne followed by three years of study in Singapore.
The campus here also offers shorter courses for executives in areas such as luxury brand management, designing hotel and restaurant concepts, and people analytics.
It took in its first intake of about 170 students from 30 nationalities from February last year. This includes 49 Singaporeans.
The new campus is located in Lady Hill Road, near Orchard Road, in the former Kinloss House that was once a boarding school for the children of British soldiers.
The 2,400 sq m building, set on 1.9ha of land, houses classrooms, meeting rooms and a large multi-purpose hall, among other spaces for students.
In a speech at Monday's event, Mr Michel Rochat, EHL Group's chief executive, said the future ahead for the hospitality industry is "exciting", despite the challenges brought on by the Covid-19 pandemic.
"Certainly, the pandemic has been tough in many ways. But it also presents an unprecedented opportunity. We are entering a new world. The hospitality industry is learning afresh the all-important question of how to connect with people," he said.