University of Wolverhampton
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University of Wolverhampton: Where hospitality experts are made

The hospitality industry was devastated by the coronavirus pandemic. Millions lost jobs and livelihoods as once-bustling hotels, restaurants and tourist sites vanished into eerie emptiness.

But things are looking up. With lockdowns lifted and restrictions recalled, most of us can travel again. Only in peril a year ago, the hospitality industry is now showing strong signs of recovery. According to the World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) Barometer, more than 900 million tourists travelled internationally in 2022. This is twice the number recorded in 2021. Welcoming 585 million arrivals, Europe reached nearly 80% of pre-pandemic levels.

To deal with this boom, the industry is scrambling for workers again. And not just any worker — but those with the know-how to thrive in the “new normal.” It is not enough to just be knowledgeable. Initiative, inspiration and innovation are just as crucial.

The best universities are taking note of this — and have pivoted their programmes to better prepare students for the current vagaries of the hospitality industry.

At the forefront of this is the University of Wolverhampton Business School’s BA (Hons) International Hospitality Management. While there are several hospitality programmes available in the UK, this programme stands out for its focus on industry trends. It is informed and endorsed by the university’s research, publications and engagement with professional bodies such as the Institute of Hospitality (IoH), Institute of Travel and Tourism, ABTA and Association for Tourism in Higher Education — an approach that’s paved the way for many graduates to some of the most senior managerial roles worldwide.

Accredited by IoH, the programme explores everything from traditional aspects of management skills to marketing, leadership, teamwork and critical thinking skills. In each and every lesson, students can expect high standards as well as staff and lecturers with not only industry experience but also a love for people.

“We are delighted to receive accreditation for our International Hospitality and Tourism Management programmes from the IoH in recognition of our quality programmes and the high standards of our institution,” says Amanda Ross AIH, Programme Leader at University of Wolverhampton Business School. “Students can be assured that when they choose to study with us they are joining professionally recognised courses that equip them with the skills and knowledge required to succeed in industry.”

IoH’s Professional Review Panel also commended the programmes for their activity-based, enquiry-led, student-centred learning curricula; assessment strategy that is not based on students sitting final formal examinations; and Academic Coaches providing dedicated and bespoke personal tutoring; to name just three.

“My experience was eye-opening and challenging but it was also so rewarding and exciting to learn in such a positive, encouraging environment!” says graduate Tamsy Raybone.

Learning is hands-on and backed by plenty of support and enriching relationships. Tutors really care and this shows in their advanced understanding of students’ personal development, skills and attributes.

“You have plenty of opportunities inside the university, so being a student is not all about learning it’s also about engaging with the teachers and the staff, and even your colleagues in order to develop different projects that might bring you to the level where you extend your network,” shares graduate Andrea Rimniceanu. “My experience has been great as I had amazing opportunities and the staff and teachers have supported me a lot throughout until graduation.”

Adding to their base of subject knowledge is a suite of digital literacy and business skills. These help students in strategic planning, organisation and sustainable management of international hospitality operations. As classes take diverse formats, from small group case study analysis and assessment unpacking to discussions and seminars, students can reflect and practise communication skills as well.

In their final year, students can opt to undertake a practical professional project instead of a dissertation. Students will work closely with their supervisors to determine their research.

University of Wolverhampto

At the UoW Business School students will learn from a team of experienced and reputable lecturers. Source: University of Wolverhampton

Doing this gives UoW students an advantage when applying for jobs. Their research allows them to showcase their knowledge and skills, making them stand out to employees. As the host of the ITT Future You conference each year, students can hear from professionals from across the travel, tourism and hospitality industries and gain insights, hints and tips to jumpstart their careers. Various field trips offer more connections to industry and opportunities to contextualise their learning.

Through the EMS (Education Membership Scheme), students can also access a range of IoH benefits. These include unlimited access to IoH’s online resources and Mock Interview platform, free entry to a range of student events including annual Passion4Hospitality event and careers fairs, free attendance at all IoH webinars, access to IoH’s Mentor Me scheme, hospitality specific job opportunities advertised on IoH UK and global jobs boards, and special student discounts on leading retail and leisure brands.

Graduates can join the IoH graduate membership scheme at a greatly reduced membership fee for their first three years in employment. This is in addition to the privilege of placing the letters AIH after their name as an Associate of the Institute of Hospitality.

These features show that UoW does not just aim for its students to secure a job by graduation. It wants them to have a wide range of options to choose from in this rapidly expanding hospitality industry.

Almost 90% of the university’s graduates found work or were furthering their studies after graduation, according to the latest Graduate Outcomes report. Career paths for BA (Hons) International Hospitality Management include hotel manager, restaurant manager, operations coordinator, personnel manager and hospitality manager.

“My course benefited my career by equipping me with transferable skills,” says Raybone. “I learned about delivering outstanding hospitality and providing high levels of customer service based on the work we did in the course. The course has opened doors for me in the hospitality industry.”

For student Amie, the programme exceeded almost all her expectations. “A key focus during the course was the ability to fully understand the industry and also to gain the skills and knowledge that set me above others during the recruitment process,” they say.

After achieving a 96% overall satisfaction in the NSS last year, where better to begin a successful career in the hospitality industry? Learn more about the University of Wolverhampton’s BA (Hons) International Hospitality Management here.

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