The University of Surrey has announced plans for a ‘learning hotel' for its School of Hospitality and Tourism Management (SHTM).
The news was announced earlier this week at the University's SHTM winter alumni reception, hosted at the Four Seasons Hotel London at Ten Trinity Square.
The University is at an early stage in developing a proposition for what it describes as a 175-200 bedroom ‘learning hotel' at its Manor Park Campus, which would function alongside a new academic centre for hospitality research and innovation.
The initiative will not be a training hotel involving the teaching of vocational skills, but instead will be focused on high-level academic study and research combined with practical experience. Students will be work toward a BSc in international hospitality management, with a view to moving into managerial positions within the industry.
Following a drinks reception in the hotel's UN ballroom, which was the setting for the inaugural reception of the United Nations General Assembly in 1946, the hotel's general manager Charlie Parker shared his insight on the future of luxury hospitality with 160 attendees, from industry leaders and alumni to leading academics and current students. Parker, a graduate of the University of Surrey, was also interviewed on stage by SHTM advisory board member, Suzie Boyd, co-founder and director of Troika Recruitment.
Professor Caroline Scarles, head of the SHTM, said: "We achieve success by working together with our alumni, industry leaders and our students, to ensure that by sharing such visions, we remain at the cutting edge of our industries and continue to nurture the world leaders of the industry for tomorrow as we progress with plans for our own learning hotel at the University."
The University of Surrey initiative will be distinct from the hotel training school, the Edge Hotel School in Colchester, which opened in 2012 in the grounds of the University of Essex. The degree students at the Edge Hotel School combine practical studies with work in the adjacent four-AA-star hotel, 45-bedroom Wivenhoe House hotel.
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