Swiss Education Group (SEG) and VIE Education have partnered with one of Sweden’s most prestigious schools to launch a new International Baccalaureate Career-related Program (IBCP).
We’re very excited about the new program. For us to design this together with the experts is a fantastic opportunity. We need young people to be innovative and to see new possibilities because the hospitality industry is going through a period of massive change. The program will provide an excellent opportunity for the students to develop industry-specific skills and be part of what we are calling a ‘reboot’ of hospitality.
says Christina Peters, SSHL’s IBCP coordinator.
Successful completion of the Swiss Education Group-certified program will gain students direct entry to César Ritz Colleges Switzerland or credits to apply to another of the internationally celebrated schools that are part of Swiss Education Group. César Ritz Colleges Switzerland will work closely on the program with SSHL, organizing guest lectures and workshops at the school and hosting study visits for students to Switzerland
“It’s a perfect complement to the purely academic studies of the business management diploma program,” says Christina. “Students can expect the classroom to feel like the real working world and vice versa, the industry will come into the classroom.”
The common goal of the collaboration is to accelerate students’ routes to a career in hospitality, explains Jon Halligan, director of schools at VIE Education which is designing the curriculum. By providing students with the necessary industry-related skills and competencies, they will be better equipped for both higher education and life beyond.
“There are lots of courses out there that are fairly generic, but we felt that wasn’t good enough for what we wanted to do. We are laying a stronger foundation that will provide students with educational security and accelerate their route to their career,” says Jon.
He added that the new program will combine the academic rigor of the IB Diploma with the professional learning and application found in other qualifications. The unique curriculum will be built around a core program that acts as a fulcrum to bring the two elements together and ensure they are relevant and cohesive.
That’s what makes the career-related program at SSHL very special. It’s got the industry, it’s got the university, and it’s got the school. They’ve come together to make that perfect trifecta,.
Strengthening the industry connection to the program is Royal Park, a leading hotel chain, which will provide SSHL with guest lecturers and internship placements. Carl Palmlund, chief operating officer of The Conscious Luxury Hotel Group and Destination Royal Park, has been acting as an advisor throughout the process to ensure that the program will be relevant to the realities faced by the industry today.
“The industry has been really badly hit and this is a great opportunity for both educators and students to start focusing on new hospitality,” says Carl. “The entire industry needs a rethink, and we need to focus on creating leaders for the future. I think this program is well positioned to do that.”
For Max Behesht, dean of César Ritz Colleges, the partnership promises a bright future for both César Ritz and the hospitality industry as a whole. COVID-19 has devastated the sector, leaving many industry workers unemployed and forcing many more to abandon hospitality altogether.
Max predicts that within a couple of years demand will resume for skilled hospitality professionals, and he is confident the students from SSHL will have the perfect profile to fill this void.
“I had the pleasure of offering some SSHL students a webinar several weeks ago. The students felt international, they were ready to communicate and not shy about it, and they felt hungry—which is very important these days. I saw that they were the perfect match for what we do; we hope to help them accelerate their excellence and become future leaders.”
From day one of the Business Hospitality Management bachelor’s degree at César Ritz Colleges, which is offered in partnership with Washington State University, students are geared towards visualizing their career post-higher education. Many go onto management trainee programs which accelerate them towards top-level jobs within just a few years.
“While graduates tend to stick to the global brands within the world of hospitality, they could pursue careers in any industry where it’s important to understand customer experience,” says Max. “We don’t want them to just find a job, we want them to wake up every morning and say, ‘I love what I do’.”
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