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Title: Making hospitality management programmes relevant to industry : a case study
Author: Luke, David William
Awarding Body: University of Bristol
Current Institution: University of Bristol
Date of Award: 1999
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There has been a considerable debate in recent years about the 'fit' between hospitality management education and the needs of the hospitality and tourism industries, with allegations of disproportionate 'wastage' of vocationally labour market entrants to other sectors of the economy. This study began by outlining the evolution of hospitality education in the UK. The study then reviewed models of vocational education and discussed their relevance to hospitality management education. A discussion of the effects of political, industrial and educational debate has been included. A case study has provided an historical review of the evolution of the BA Honours Degree in Hospitality Business Management in an important FHE college, which is the largest single provider of hospitality education in the UK. The study goes on to highlight the transition of graduates into the workplace from 1992 to the present time. The first sections of the study were completed using exhaustive secondary research carried out using all of the library resources at my disposal. The case study was achieved using primary research techniques of questionnaire and follow-up interviews with the graduates and with senior programme administrators from the college. Use of the Dillman (1977) method ensured an exceptionally high response rate to the questionnaire, although it is probably true that my power-distance relationship with the respondents also had a positive effect on the response rate. The researcher also believes that the responses received from the graduates truthfully reflected their views on the questions asked. The final section of this dissertation discusses and analyses the results of the primary research and this is the major innovative part of the work. During the course of the research, a number of themes emerged, and the discussion is aligned with these themes, providing a framework for the analysis. The content of the courses, comprising the four-year programme were generally seen as appropriate by the respondents. However, a number of possible changes were identified which might improve the programme. One surprising result was that it emerged that no change would be needed to fit graduates for the industry for the next decade. A second surprise was the low ranking given to information technology and numeracy by the respondents. This must surely be a misconception by the graduates and this finding is in need of further research. The term 'graduateness' was generally little understood by the respondents. However, once they were familiarised by the meaning underpinning the term, they did comprehend that graduate skills were of considerable importance. Indeed their understanding of graduate skills related very closely to those defined NAB (1986). However, the discussion of their evaluation of numeracy has already been outlined. Not surprisingly, there was considerable overlap between discussion of course content and teaching methods. However, it is important to mention that one of the main issues arising was that of the use of information technology and multimedia in course delivery. This research has found that these methods are seen to be of growing importance for communication and dissemination of information between students. industrialists and educationalists in the hospitality industry, being a truly world-wide industry. One major area of discussion which has arisen in my research is the industrial placement experience. An important finding has been that despite whether the students had received a successful industrial placement experience or not, almost all agreed that industrial placement experience was an essential component of the programme. In fact the research identified that industrial placement is so important, that the government should consider funding research to investigate the value added to students on vocational programmes, with a view to extending the benefits to other subject areas before they undertake primary cost reduction by cutting funding for industrial placement in hospitality management programmes. With regard to employment issues, there were three issues that arose. First, the changing character of the hotel industry, which is likely to provide less opportunity for management development for graduates. Nevertheless, the research identified despite this trend that a very large percentage of graduates were still finding employment in hotels at the present time. Second, the limited language skills of UK graduates, which the research considers as an important negative factor for UK graduates in a time of globalisation and EU aggregation. Finally, UK educational institutions depend to some extent upon recruitment of students from overseas (full fee paying). The recessionary developments in the global economy, especially in the Far East, should give cause for some alarm by UK universities and colleges in this respect.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Hospitality education ; Hotels ; Tourism education