SCOPE ventures into hospitality training
CityU's School of Continuing and Professional Education (SCOPE) will launch certificate and diploma hospitality management programmes in March 2004 in partnership with the hotel management trainer Educational Institute of the American Hotel & Lodging Association (EI of AH&LA). These new initiatives target adults working in the industry and school leavers who aim to pursue a career in hotel management.CityU is the first and only Hong Kong academic institution in partnership with EI of AH&LA to deliver their programmes. "We aim to provide hospitality education to people who are already in or wish to join the industry. We are proud to be associated with CityU and look forward to many years of collaboration," said Mr Roy Kennington, Senior Vice President of EI of AH&LA, at a press conference held at SCOPE's Admiralty Learning Centre on 5 December. Celebrating its 50th anniversary, EI of AH&LA has been the premier source for providing industry-tested, research-driven hospitality training resources worldwide. The Institute is the education arm of AH&LA, a 93-year old federation of state lodging associations throughout the United States with some 11,000 property members worldwide. Its teaching qualifications, such as the Certified Hospitality Educator (CHE) and Certified Hospitality Administrator (CHA), are internationally recognized standards in hospitality training.
"We are privileged to be the first local academic institution to have this collaboration with AH&LA," said Mr Charles Wong, Director of SCOPE. "We envisage a close and lasting relationship with the Institute, offering a full-range of hospitality programmes."
A fusion of flexibility and strengths
Combining AH&LA hospitality expertise in teaching and course design with SCOPE's strengths in continuing education, the highly practical programmes suit the needs of the industry. A two-year part-time programme, the Hospitality Management Diploma comprises 12 courses ranging from food and beverage management, hotel and restaurant accounting, and sales and marketing to facilities management and design. Each course requires 36 to 39 study hours. Credits earned from AH&LA courses have been accredited by hospitality management institutions worldwide, including the renowned International Hotel Management Institute (IMI) in Switzerland. Graduates completing the Diploma programme can apply for advanced standing and complete the IMI's Higher Diploma of Hospitality in six months, upon which they can pursue a Bachelor's degree programme offered jointly by Manchester Metropolitan University and IMI in one year, with a six-month practicum in hotels in Switzerland.
The Certificate programme, with a flexible choice of seven course specializations, provides students the specific technical and supervisory job skills employers needed for entry-level management positions. Both SCOPE and AH&LA anticipate that graduates will be in great demand considering Hong Kong's booming tourist industry and the opening of new facilities and attractions such as the Disneyland in 2005.
SCOPE, established in 1991, is an extension arm of City University. It has been providing quality continuing education for professional practice, retraining, and self development, anticipating and responding to community needs and the effects of social and technological changes. A full range of programmes, from Project Yi Jin for secondary school leavers to PhD programmes, is offered to serve the various education needs of the community. According to Mr Wong, in order to run a programme successfully, support from the Government, industry, and education partners are needed. The AH&LA hospitality courses have been included in the list of the Government's Continuing Education Fund, allowing a maximum reimbursement of HK$10,000 for students.
Academics and seasoned professionals from the hospitality industry were invited to form an Advisory Committee "on course content and development, ensuring that the needs and standards of the industry are met", Mr Wong explained. Members of the Advisory Committee include: Mr Dan Lee, General Manager of Newton Hotel Hong Kong and First Vice-President of Hong Kong Hotels Association; Mr Jackie Wong, Managing Director of Hong Thai Travel Services Ltd; Professor Oliver Yau, Chair Professor, and Dr John Leung, Associate Professor, both from CityU's Department of Marketing.The 5 December press conference also marked the opening of the Resource Centre at SCOPE's Admiralty Learning Centre. With learning materials on hospitality industry—books, videos, and CD-ROMs worth over US$10,000—the Centre is the first library for EI of AH&LA in the territory.