Article by Sybil Hofmann, President International Programs, Swiss Alpine Center
In October 2020 Alpine Center will be celebrating its 34th year of presence in Greece as the leading provider of hospitality and tourism management education ‘a la Suisse’. It was established in Greece in 1987 as a stand-alone institution until 2011 when City Unity College invited Alpine Center to sign a collaborative agreement, becoming its Hospitality & Tourism Management department.
Students who enroll at City Unity College have the privilege of graduating with Dual Awards: a Swiss Alpine Diploma in Hotel Management after two years of study and a BA(Hons) International Hospitality & Tourism Management after the third year awarded by Cardiff Metropolitan University, UK. Also, students enrolled on the Swiss Alpine Center Diploma in Culinary Arts have the privilege to graduate with a Cardiff Metropolitan BA(Hons) in International Food & Beverage Management at the end of the third year.
Shorter courses in Food & Beverage Management, Rooms Division Management, Digital Marketing, Revenue Management, Hospitality Management & Controls are also offered at the department.
As for the postgraduate degree, City Unity College offers the Cardiff Metropolitan University MSc International Hospitality & Tourism Management.
What sets Alpine Center apart from other schools in this field is Alpine’s strong professional ethos and industry links, mainly stemming from its adoption of the Swiss philosophy of practical application. City Unity’s Hospitality & Tourism Management Department is located in a hotel in Vouliagmeni where students have the privilege of combining practical classes with classroom theory. What better way to study hospitality management than in the premises of a 4 star hotel. We recently hosted a Virtual Open Day on campus which you might wish to watch through this link. http://www.swissalpinecenter.com/en/Virtual-Open-Day-2020-599.htm
Since the beginning of the outbreak of COVID-19, the safety of our students and staff has been the top priority at City Unity College and continues to be the main focus as we prepare to reopen in October 2020 in line with measures issued by the Ministry of Education, ensuring the health and safety of our students and the staff.
We all know that COVID-19 has created challenges on the educational system worldwide. Due to this pandemic, education is moving away from traditional classroom settings to non-traditional environment such as hybrid and online classrooms, or blended learning!
At City Unity and Alpine Center, we believe that the mix of online and physical components become critical in preparing our students for successful careers in the hospitality industry. The pedagogical approach at the hospitality and tourism management department has always helped nurture students into well-rounded professionals, vocationally skillful, critically thinking, flexible and future-ready graduates that guarantee their success in all segments of the international hospitality management industry.
Students will still have to come to classes not only those that will focus on practical skills such as food and beverage, housekeeping, front office and reservations, in small groups, of course, to observe social distancing, but also other classes that will build future skills and competences focusing on building mental and emotional strengths and resilience. Also, of utmost importance as a result of the changing needs of customers in the industry, the importance of instilling in our students soft skills such as empathy and communication will be stressed alongside pragmatic crisis and team management. This is best practiced in real life situations, and on campus. Building character, building careers is our forte!
Hospitality and tourism will always be the cornerstone of the Greek economy, and whilst the tourism industry has been hit very hard by the global pandemic in the last six months, Greece’s tourism industry will always be a major contributor to its economy and the biggest creator of jobs. In 2 to 3 years we hope it will be back to its top form. Therefore, now is the time to prepare the future generation of hospitality and tourism leaders by equipping them with all the skills needed to function in the “new normal”.
As City Unity prepares to open its campus in the Athenian Riviera Hotel this October, the hotel will operate only for the purposes and the needs of the school, and will not cater to outside guests to make the premises more COVID secure.
“We all want to ensure that the academic excellence and the professionalism of our students will not be affected by Covid-19. City Unity is constantly seeking further information from the Ministries of Education and of Health to guarantee a safe environment for our students and staff”, said Andreas Sammoutis, City Unity College’s Academic Dean.
President, International Programs
Alpine Center, the Swiss Business School for Hospitality & Tourism Management