THE FUTURE OF HOTEL MANAGEMENT HIGHER EDUCATION: TRENDS AND EVOLUTION
This article was written as part of the research carried out under the auspices of BBI's Research and Innovation Committee. It is therefore property of its author and of the Initiating Institution, BBI-Luxembourg - school for international hospitality & tourism business.
Historically and in Europe, the higher education sector in hotel management took place mainly in specialized centers such as Hotel Schools or Hotel Management Schools. This practice, largely inspired by the Swiss model, was justified by the level of studies which rarely exceeded two years of higher education or three academic semesters combined with two semesters of practical training. It was therefore imperative to concentrate the hotel operation subjects right from the first academic year. Students then obtained a BTS, DTS, DEUG or Higher Diploma. Those who wished to pursue a bachelor level had to follow an additional academic year where the hotel operations part was nearly not present but which was mainly used to upgrade them in general management subjects. The level reached was then close to a general bachelor in management.
Subsequently, the number of students reaching a bachelor level has increased and this level has become the norm. Some schools then balanced the general management courses over the three years, others left them in the third year. Today, we are at the dawn of a time when the master level in five years could become the standard program. There is therefore no longer any interest in concentrating operational and purely hotel subjects over the first two or three years.
We can therefore ask ourselves whether specific teaching is always useful or whether hotel management could be integrated as an optional pathway in generalist management path depending on a university management department or a business school. This is what appears in many universities in the schools of management or departments of tourism. Finally, many courses such as accounting, marketing, human resources or financial management are not specific to the hotel industry and can be given jointly to students pursuing or not a hotel course even if an upgrade is necessary for certain peculiarities such as the USALI chart of accounts.
Do specific hotel schools still have their place? What is the point of keeping both types of education? Is the level reached the same in both cases? We will try to answer these questions by using qualitative methods and by studying different hospitality programs offered on the market.