The University of Johannesburg’s School of Tourism and Hospitality (STH) opened its doors in the late 1960s. UJ is one of Africa’s largest residential universities, and graduates can ride its reputation to fast-paced, successful careers across the continent. For Asian students eager to launch an international career in hospitality, the School of Tourism and Hospitality is a promising place to lay the foundation.
The tourism industry in Africa is tracking a similar course to that of greater Asia. New travel destinations emerge each year, and international tourists are eager to explore the new offerings, attractions and the service industries that are growing out of this phenomenon.
The STH has been in operation for more than four decades and has secured its legacy as one of UJ’s flagship schools in the past few years. Its courses are designed to build students’ leadership competency and analytical skills. The impetus is on ‘future-fit’ leadership, with coursework that anticipates the directions the hospitality and tourism industries are taking rather than dwelling on where they have been.
This is appropriate for South Africa, where the dynamic socio-economic climate has been evolving rapidly for the past 20 years or more. Along these lines, students arriving from Asia, where the rise of tourism is presenting new opportunities to developing nations, will find case studies in South Africa particularly relevant.
The school is also well-networked with other hotel schools in Europe and the US, including those at Ravensburg, Penn State and New York University. Students have access to impressive study-abroad options, while the networking potential for graduates is second to none.
The School of Tourism and Hospitality is organized under the JU’s Faculty of Management. Programs on offer range from block-release courses that can integrated into the lives of professionals, and three-year, full-time programs with diplomas on offer.
These are the main programs available through the School of Tourism and Hospitality:
National Diploma Hospitality Management
This is the core hospitality program offered at University of Johannesburg. It’s a three-year, full-time program bundled with work-integrated learning modules. Graduates will be prepared to assume supervisory roles in the hospitality industry, either in South Africa or abroad. They may also choose to follow-up with the BTech program, designed to groom students for senior-level management positions.
A BTech in Hospitality equips students to assume senior management roles in the hospitality industry. The coursework is designed to be completed on a part-time basis over two years, and it ends with a research project.
Hospitality Management Certificate
This part-time program allows students to pick up a certificate in hospitality management without walking away from their career. Courses are released in six-week blocks once every year for three years. In the time between these block-release classes, students put classroom theory into practice in the workplace.
This three-year program explores the link between the tourism potential of a destination and its historical and cultural background. Incorporated into this program are elements of research and analysis related to geography and anthropology, and it includes work-integrated modules. Some graduates go on to serve on research committees and tourist development boards.
The BTech in Tourism Management prepares students to apply existing tourism practices in new contexts. Applicants for this two-year program are expected to have preexisting experience in the tourism sector. The coursework can be completed on a part-time basis and completes with a tourism project.
National Diploma Tourism Management
This is one of only a few dozen programs of its kind in the world that enjoys United Nations World Tourism Organization TedQual Accreditation. It is designed around the understanding that the tourism industry exerts major influence on a locale’s political, social and economic environment. Full-time students can graduate in three years.
In-class instruction at the School of Tourism and Hospitality is enhanced by on-campus commercial enterprises in which students can hone skills and gain experience. These venues are operated by managed by experienced professionals, and they offer outstanding integrated learning possibilities for students.
Students have ample opportunity to work with these facilities in the course of their education. These are a few of the more prominent venues in operation:
- The Bistro – Serves coffees, light snacks and a popular buffet; also hosts specialty breakfast events.
- The Design Café – Hosts The Coffee Academy, which regularly offers barista training courses.
- The Stellenbosch Room – A private dining room that can accommodate up to 24 diners as part of a banquet or conference.
- The Waterford Restaurant – A fine-dining restaurant that accommodates up to 70 diners and hosts regular Fine Food and Wine Evenings.
- Truffles Bistro – A charming theatre bistro.
- KKS Culinary Theatre – A demonstration kitchen capable of accommodating more than 50 guests; often booked for product luncheons.