Although The Netherlands is one of the smaller countries on the world map, still a lot of things are happening in education and innovation. Hotel schools want to live up to the latest demands of the industry as much as possible. But, do we know today what these demands are?
In our national curriculum, the work processes have a general description, so the schools are free to design the four year course in their own way and work towards graduation of our future professionals. The big question is: “Is there one specific graduate the industry is waiting for? ’’ Is that the well-dressed, clean cut student, polite, hospitable, with lots of knowledge about global wines, food etc., or is that a person with character or someone with additional qualities??
Within the course’s boundaries, schools can give their education their own design. The 10 month internship at traditional hotels, will teach the student the traditional ways. A more modern/ trendy hotel, might want an intern with additional or different qualities, one that is a match with what their guests expect.
In 2015 our Minister of Education has allowed schools to develop elective modules to the curricula. This could result in the fact that in four years’ time, at graduation, not one kind of Hotel Management student is graduating but maybe four or five different ones. The school will develop the elective modules together with the Industry in the region. Elective modules gives schools the opportunity to offer different subjects compare to other schools. Another advantage is that a school, if the Industry demands change, could switch their elective modules at any time. Of course we complain a lot when the Ministry of Education comes up with new things, but in this case we are actually very pleased!
A good example is elective module “Spa & Health”. This is being developed by the International Hotel and Management School in The Hague in collaboration with a colleague of EUHOFA from Estonia. Her name is Kai Thomasberg (she used to be a student at the university and has developed a Master in the subject “SPA”) We have met her at the 50th Euhofa congress in beautiful Estonia. With the entire Euhofa family in bathing suit, lying in a pool while a lecture was given about the influence of Spa’s on the wellbeing of people. It was interesting to hear how important Spa’s in hotels in Estonia are, to offer the guests a total package. Kai had been giving the assignment to talk to the managers of different 5-star Hotels, to ask them if these hotels would prefer graduates with knowledge of Spa management. Well their answer was unanimous, there is definitely a need for such graduates. Kai is currently busy designing this elective module and in September 2018 this will be available to our third year students.
This is another good example of the benefits of being a Euhofa member. As member you meet so many people who are also busy giving their education the right direction and learning about new innovations and trends.
It is so nice to realize that nowadays 34 Dutch schools are full member of EUHOFA International. Of these schools 24 Dutch people were present at the congress in Lucca. Our little Dutch country, small on the world map, is working hard when it comes to modernize, internationalize, collaborations, and making education the best it could be.