- Is the establishment dependable with an established reputation?
Do not be fooled; not all Colleges, Business schools and Universities are created equal. You need a trusted name with an international reputation for excellence. A proven history showing student success in the hospitality industry. Who are the lecturers? What experience and qualifications do they have? Does the school have strong links and partnerships in the industry?
- Does the Hotel School provide you with the skills to be employed after graduation?
Visit the various schools, colleges and universities offering hospitality degrees and compare facilities. What subjects are they teaching at what level? Are you getting a genuine business education? How innovative and up to date is the curriculum. Check out the qualifications of the faculty? Are there PhD’s and experts in their fields? Or are they recently graduated students teaching from a book?
- Friendly, professional, nurturing campus environment?
What facilities does the campus have? Good Wi-Fi, recreational space, private study areas, practical kitchens for different sections, up to date equipment, public restaurant. Does the school provide meals, books, uniforms, laptops, and other items as part of their inclusive charges? Beware of hidden costs. Is the building just an office block or a purpose-built educational campus? Is there a Student Representative Council (SRC) who are active? Are there fun and educational events? Safe parking, access to faculty members when needed.
- Proper Accreditation?
In South Africa, the Higher Education institution MUST register with the South African Department of Higher Education and Training DHET. Degrees must be CHE accredited, 3-year chef programs must be QCTO, SAQA accredited, and all other educational qualifications must be accredited and monitored by South African education authorities. Many of the international certifications are NOT recognised by the departments of education.
DO NOT register with an institution unless they can show you evidence that they are properly registered with Quality control councils and education authorities. These bodies exist to ensure excellence in education and to protect the consumer against fraudulent claims.
- Do you have to find your own internships?
If internships are part of the studies. Does the establishment have a proven record of placing students in suitable establishments in South Africa or overseas? Several hotel and chef schools claim to place in Switzerland, USA, UK, and other countries check that this is the case? If an establishment says you must find your own internships it is a red flag.
Stephen is a hospitality professional from Johannesburg South Africa. His career started with THF hotels in the UK and subsequently with the Southern Sun Hotel group in Johannesburg. Hickmore Recruitment / CareerMap, is a leading supplier of Senior and Exec recruitment services for the hospitality industry in Southern Africa. Stephen recently added career change services, headlining as CareerMap, to assist job applicants. Stephen is a founder and business developer of Pple Hospitality (formerly HSC) the largest Hospitality Industry full-service outsourced staffing company in South Africa. In March 2020 Stephen became a director and part-owner of the Swiss Hotel School South Africa. Stephen writes for a number of publications on food and hospitality industry matters, trends and opinions.