|Source: LHE. From left, Hou, Tatar, Williams Knight.|
“We continue to see traction and interest in the region for our programmes in Switzerland, the US and our branch campuses," said Judy Hou, CEO of Glion Institute of Higher Education.
Hou, who was in Singapore with other LHE CEOs to speak at the inaugural Women in Hospitality and Tourism in Asia conference, added: "Our presence in this conference acknowledges the roles of Singapore and China, among others, as pivotal to the hospitality industry growth, not only in the region but worldwide.”
Glion is the only institution to offer an internationally accredited 100% online Hospitality MBA. The New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC) and saw its first batch of graduates in December 2013.
"In creating an online classroom we are giving our students the opportunity to continue to grow professionally without putting their career on hold. Our interactive learning approach means students debate with classmates from around the world and can apply the concepts and skills learned immediately into their working environments, offering far more to both student and employer than a more traditional distance learning programme," said a Glion spokesperson.
"The nature of virtual learning means that we’re attracting hospitality professionals who already have established careers but recognise the need for continual development. We have also forged partnerships with a number of major hotel groups who are keen to put employees into our programmes," the spokesperson added, naming Accor, Hyatt, Rotana, Taj Hotels, Ritz, Banyan Tree and the IHG group as some of the students' employers.
According to a 2014 backgrounder from Glion, the institution currently has 297 students from across 70 countries learning online, with an average age of 37 and over 15 years work experience each. Nearly four in ten (39%) of Glion Online MBA students come from Asia Pacific countries, with a further 20% from Africa and the Middle East.
Glion has students from Marina Bay Sands and Sofitel in Singapore participating in the online course. Hou says, “These students are well supported by their management teams at work, and we expect the degree to position them to fast track their career in hospitality management.”
Kendall College, based in Chicago, USA, and known for expertise in hospitality and culinary arts, has also seen increased interest from Asian students due in part to the vibrancy and promise of the tourist and culinary scene of Chicago. “Kendall has seen a 60% increase in culinary arts students from Asia, with women representing more than 80% of those new students,” said Emily Williams Knight, President of Kendall College. “This diverse pool adds to the unique and global experience of our academic approach.”
Sister institution Les Roches’ Global BBA programme is also popular as it allows students to pursue their academic studies in China, Spain and Switzerland.
“International hotel companies – which have excellent potential for growth, especially in Asia – are looking to hire graduates who are not only used to a multicultural work environment, but who also have expertise acquired in different parts of the world,” said Sonia Tatar, Director General/CEO of Les Roches Worldwide.
“The Global BBA programme gives students a unique and differentiated exposure to countries where the hospitality sector is in full and rapid expansion, providing them a competitive edge to enter this professional market.”
LHE is a member of the Laureate International Universities network, which is made up of more than 75 accredited campus-based and online institutions of higher education, serving more than 800,000 students in 30 countries.