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Old 05-27-2008, 10:22 AM   #1
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Default Tourism & Hospitality

Q:
I am a JC student sitting for A levels at the end of this year. I'd like to know more about the different degrees regarding tourism/hospitality/F&B the universities in Singapore offer. From what I have found out, I realised that only Nanyang Business School in NTU offers such degree regarding what I want. Am I missing out on anything?

With regards to the scholarship from STB, could you please tell me more about it?

A:
Indeed, NTU is currently the only autonomous university to provide tourism & hospitality studies, unless NUS/SMU decides to offer tourism studies, which is not likely to happen in the near future. NBS even plans to have a separate hospitality school in the future, but that will take time. The quality of tourism studies in NBS is likely to be good, as Cornell University (Ranked No. 1 in the world in hospitality education) is involved in the planning of its curriculum and some of their lecturers actually do guest lectures in NBS as well.

However, take note that Hospitality & Tourism Management is a specialization that NBS students choose to enter at the end of year one. It is highly competitive as only 50 places are offered at the moment, with no intention to increase the number of places in the near future. Selection will be based on marketing results (B and above to be considered), in addition to a written essay and an interview. So it’s good to have some relevant experience to support your interest.

A private university that you may want to take into consideration is UNLV (www.unlv.edu.sg). If I’m not mistaken it’s ranked the No. 2 tourism & Hospitality School in USA, but take note that USA doesn’t have many Hospitality Schools to begin with. Its courses are well-designed (1000 hours of work experience required to obtain the Bachelor’s Degree; 3 years, though I can’t say the same for their honours programme), and its campus is nice and comfortable (small school in geographical terms and in terms of the size of the student population; friendly staff). Moreover, students can finish off the remaining half of their studies in the campus at Las Vegas. However, their lecturers are flown over from Las Vegas main campus, so students will not be able to see them in person often and may have to contact them through emails. Admission into the school shouldn’t be too much of a problem (refer to the GPA cut-off on the website), although it’s on a first-come-first-served basis. Class size is capped at 35 to 40 students.

Its students consist mainly of polytechnic students, namely those from TP’s tourism & hospitality course. JC students do make up a portion of its student population, but they are usually not the top students of the cohort. So although it offers a relatively good programme, the education provided by NBS should be more rigorous and recognized.

There are more options overseas. As previously mentioned, Cornell University is well-known for their tourism and hospitality courses. However, it’s not easy at all to gain admission. Perhaps you can also take a look at University of Surrey. Other reputable schools include Lausanne Hotel School in Switzerland (teaches in English), Les Roches Jin Jiang International Hotel Management College etc. However, we all know that an overseas education costs a hefty sum unless you manage to secure yourself a scholarship.

With regards to the scholarship from STB, STB offers 2 types of scholarships for undergrads:


1. Firefly, which is, similar to other statutory board scholarships, highly competitive. The first round of application is open after the prelims, and the second round is open after the release of the A Level results. They sponsor many different courses of study, not necessarily only tourism and hospitality studies. In fact, they hope that their scholars will take up a diverse range of courses and are willing to pursue their undergraduate studies in unconventional countries like China, India etc. In short, they want a pool of talent equipped with knowledge from different fields and with diverse cultural experiences. However, you need to have excellent academic results to be considered. Thereafter, you need to undergo 3 rounds of interview. The first round is a simple interview, whereas the second round is a situational test with other Firefly scholarship applicants, where you will be accessed on your ability to lead, to work in groups and to think on your feet. The third and final round is an interview with people from senior management level. You may want to explore the forum further as there have been some discussions about how the interviews are conducted. If you manage to secure yourself an STB-Firefly scholarship, it may bring you to Cornell because STB has some agreements with them.

2. NTU-STB scholarship. Application is open only after you have applied for a course in NTU after the release of the A level results. With that, you will be automatically admitted into the tourism specialization in year 2.

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