Collaboration Between University of Essex, Kaplan and AccorHotels to Develop Future-ready Talent in Singapore’s Thriving Hotel Industry

Singapore: University of Essex (UOE), Kaplan and AccorHotels signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on 22 January 2019 to officially launch the University of Essex Bachelor of Arts (Honours) Hotel Management (Top-up) Degree programme, offered through UOE’s Edge Hotel School, the first hotel school of its kind in the UK. The MoU signifies a collaboration that sees the Degree programme encompass an internship component, combining real-world learning with practical experience.

Through the programme and internship opportunity, students will attain relevant knowledge and pick up essential skills through hands-on experience, to become qualified hotel management professionals. They will learn to manage complex situations, both practically and professionally, and apply creative approaches to problem solving. They will also get the opportunity to collaborate with hotel management and work on a consultancy project in developing solutions to resolve real-life issues faced by the industry.

The collaboration aligns with the objective of building a strong pipeline of quality talent, which is one of the four strategies of Singapore’s Hotel Industry Transformation Map (ITM) to transform the hotel industry for sustainable growth. Unveiled in November 2016, the Hotel ITM aims to accelerate business transformation and forge a competitive industry supported by a future ready workforce.

Mr Andrew Boer, Head of Department for Edge Hotel School at University of Essex, shared, “The Edge Hotel School at the University of Essex is delighted to be in collaboration with Kaplan Singapore and AccorHotels for this course. The course is distinctive in that it encourages our undergraduate students not only to engage with members of the hotel industry, but also to analyse and evaluate the knowledge they gain from these interactions in the class-based activities. We have found that this approach allows them to develop a far greater understanding of the hotel industry, and also to apply their academic learning in the context of their desired careers. In our experience, this not only encourages students to develop high levels of academic understanding, but also to become very employable professionals.”

Associate Professor Rhys Johnson, Chief Operating Officer and Provost of Kaplan Singapore, said, “Kaplan, together with our partner, University of Essex, are pleased to be collaborating with AccorHotels, who is the largest hotel group in the world outside of the United States. In combining both UOE’s quality academic delivery and AccorHotels’ expertise in hospitality, Kaplan students will gain sound knowledge and skills needed to thrive in this evolving and energetic industry. Through the internship opportunity, students can hone their soft skills and acquire valuable work experience, making them attractive to hospitality employers in Singapore and around the region.”

Mr Marcus Hanna, General Manager of Fairmont Singapore and Swissôtel The Stamford, shared the same vision for this meaningful collaboration, “Learning and talent development has always been a core part of the AccorHotels culture. We are excited and committed through this collaboration with Kaplan and the University of Essex, to take an active role in grooming and building hospitality leaders of tomorrow. Great things in business are never done by one person, but a team of people. We believe that this great partnership will have an incredible impact on the overall sustainability, growth and success of the hospitality industry, especially in Singapore. “