Hotelschool The HagueBy Asian Correspondent Apr 06, 2012 8:38PM UTC
When the World Tourism Organization shortlists an institution, the international community takes notice. This is part of the reason that Hotelschool The Hague has been able to attract one of the most diverse student bodies in the Netherlands. As a student, you’ll benefit from the faculty’s commitment to mentoring and coaching, while building your vocational skills in the innovative Skotel practice hotel.
Hotelschool The Hague was founded in 1929 by HORECAF, the employers’ organisation in the hotel and restaurant industry. Since its foundation, the Hotelschool has become an international school specialised in hotel management offering a 4-year international Bachelors degree course. This degree course is also available as a 2-year International Fast Track programme.
The Hotelschool is independently operated, but it’s also partially state-funded. This means it enjoys plenty of autonomy without having to inflate prices. This is not a money-driven institution. Instead, students discover an affordable hotel school that focuses on delivering hospitality programs of the highest quality.
One of the hallmarks of an education from Hotelschool The Hague is the principle of ‘entrepreneurial learning’. Teachers can be seen as coaches rather than lecturers, which means they are available for one-on-one mentorship in situations where simply listening to a talk and taking notes is not enough.
This approach to learning is borne naturally out of the Dutch philosophy of teaching. The Netherlands is already renowned for its educational system, in which problem solving and critical thinking are paramount. By keeping these principles alive and well, Hotelschool ensures that each crop of hospitality managers it produces are among the best qualified and most ambitious in the industry.
The Bachelor Program
The core offering at Hotelschool The Hague is a bachelor’s degree in business administration in hotel management. It takes four years to complete and covers three key areas: international hospitality, international business and international management.
This is a selective school, and there are many requirements in place for those who want to join. Experience in the hospitality or catering industries is an advantage. Beyond this, admission requirements are posted on the website.
The bachelor’s program is divided into three phases:
- Hospitality performance – this stage is all about developing the sort of service-oriented attitude required to succeed in the hospitality industry; lasts roughly one and a half years, including a 20-week international placement
- Tactical hospitality management – this stage sees students showing more initiative and concentrate on developing management skills; lasts one year
- Strategic hospitality management – innovation, creativity and problem solving strategies take center stage in the third phase; lasts one and a half years, including a 20-week management placement
The Master Program
The master’s-level program offered at Hotelschool is relatively new, and it’s offered through cooperation with Erasmus University. The program combines hospitality leadership and business science, teaching students how to apply marketing, finance, human resources and management concepts in a hospitality context.
In the course of the program, students will attend workshops and individual sessions that will prepare them to carry out a master’s project. First, students work as part of a team on a real-life business case, giving them a chance to synthesize and apply the strategies they’ve learned in class. Next, each student writes a thesis.
The program mainly targets students who have already completed a bachelor’s-level program in hospitality. However, those with non-related bachelor’s degrees who are eager to transition to the hospitality industry are welcomed to apply.
The International Fast Track Program
The Fast Track program welcomes students who have already established qualifications in the hospitality industry, and lets them earn a bachelor’s degree from Hotelschool The Hague in as little as two years.
The program begins with a summer preparation course before launching into study courses similar to phases two and three of the regular bachelor’s program. The Fast Track program is demanding, and it requires a great deal of individual study, case studies and group work. Students have to be highly motivated to survive in this environment.
First year students at Hotelschool live and work together in a training complex called Skotel. This training and study hotel houses students two-by-two in residential units, but it is also open to the general public. This gives first-year students ample opportunity to build interpersonal skills and learn firsthand the challenges that are associated with running a modern hospitality enterprise.
While staying at the hotel, students learn how to interact across cultures. This happens in a variety of contexts, including in roommate scenarios, on training teams and when dealing with real customers.
First-year students carry out basic tasks such as working at the reception counter tidying rooms with the housekeeping division. Opposite this, fourth-year students take on leadership roles as part of their final managerial work placement. As such, the Skotel stands at the bookends of the educational experience at Hotelschool.
Students can also gain first-hand experience at Le Début, a fine dining restaurant located a 10-minute walk from the main school building. In this case, first-year students build practical skills, while second- and third-year students take on leadership roles.
What the graduates say…
The strength of the Hotel School the Hague lies for a large part in the dynamism of the institute. By keeping their ear to the ground with leading companies, they closely follow the latest developments in the industry.
- Roeland Vos (1982), President Starwood Europe, Africa & Middle East
The Hotel School The Hague has always been setting the highest standards in its selection process and curriculum, resulting in the most talented, all-round graduates. That is why, every year, I seek these graduates and ask them to join my organization
- Ricco de Blank (1990), CEO Hotel Division, Sun Hung Kai Properties