Heralding 25 years of Swiss hospitality education

THE weary traveller always carried a bedroll and maybe even a tent, but when there was an inn, tavern or lodge to be found, few would resist a warm bed on a long journey.

Ever since people began to form villages, towns and cities, places where people can pay for a few nights of shelter and comfort have existed.

While this can be found everywhere in the world, there lies but one place regarded as the “home of hospitality” and “birthplace of hospitality education”.

History shows that innkeeping became a profession first in Switzerland, sometime in the 1700s.

If you think about it, this should not be surprising.

Whether cheese, chocolates, watches or even pocket knives, the Swiss have a historically proven, globally saluted habit of being uncompromisingly exacting about whatever they set out to do.

So, travellers crossing Switzerland in the 1700s did not just find warm beds in taverns, they also found a stay to remember.

Yes, the birthplace of hospitality – a pursuit through which the guest is pampered and spoiled and given every chance to relax and unwind – is Switzerland.

It is for this reason that 25 years ago when UOW Malaysia KDU wanted to help Malaysians learn about hospitality, it chose to work with International Management Institute (IMI) in Switzerland.

Note that Google, WhatsApp, Instagram, TikTok, email, handphones and such technology did not exist 25 years ago.

Reminiscing the “old days”, UOW Malaysia KDU's School of Hospitality,

Tourism and Culinary Arts (SHTCA) head Cindy Loh could not help but chuckle at the effort it took to bring world-class hospitality education to Malaysia at that time.

"In 1987, we started by offering the Diploma in Hotel and Catering Management.

We trained thousands of skilled workers for Malaysia's hospitality industry. Some are still working even today, and they are the nation's top hospitality management professionals.”

It was in 1997 that UOW Malaysia KDU formed a partnership with IMI – at this time Google, WhatsApp, Instagram, TikTok, email, handphones and such still haven’t existed.

Today, a quarter of a century later, students at UOW Malaysia KDU's SHTCA still practise a Swiss syllabus.

They have many roads to choose from – four Bachelor degrees in International Culinary Arts,

International Hotel and Tourism Management, Hospitality Management, or Culinary Management; three diploma paths in International Hotel Management, Professional Chef Training, or Culinary Arts; a certificate in Hotel Operations; a Master of Science in Hospitality and Tourism; and a Doctor of Philosophy in Hospitality and Tourism.

All students on these paths can choose to transfer to IMI in Switzerland for total immersion in learning Swiss hospitality.

Loh points out that IMI is ranked 15th in the QS World University Ranking for Hospitality.

"This year marks the 25th anniversary of UOW Malaysia KDU's partnership with IMI. We look forward to many more years to come," she says.

UOW Malaysia KDU shares the UOW’s spirit of innovation and focus on producing career-ready graduates to meet real-world needs.

This expansion allows a combination of UOW’s internationally recognised teaching programmes and personalised approach with UOW Malaysia KDU’s state-of-the-art campuses and vibrant, industry-focused programs.

Further, it provides a high-quality educational experience that will help shape graduates and foster their growth in becoming future global leaders.

For more details on getting a Swiss-class education in hospitality, contact UOW Malaysia KDU at 03-5565 0538 (Selangor campus) or 04-238 6368 (Penang campus) or go to https://www.uowmkdu.edu.my/

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