Preparing hospitality’s future leaders
TEXT: MARTIN PILKINGTON | PHOTOS © BBI LUXEMBOURG/ANEFORE
As a major provider of higher education courses to the hospitality and tourism industry, BBI Luxembourg is moving with the times – and ahead of them.
“Tourism is an incredibly important employer,” says Hans de Meyer, director of marketing and business development at BBI Luxembourg, “and it’s expanding very quickly – with its need for professional skills growing accordingly. The Accor group, for example, is currently opening a new hotel somewhere in the world about every 36 hours.”
BBI’s mission is to provide students with the skills and qualifications they increasingly need to fill managerial roles in today’s – and tomorrow’s – hospitality and tourism industry.
“A significant change lately in our teaching is greater focus on sustainability in the field, reflecting the mindset of the industry itself and our awareness that we’re preparing people for leading roles in the sector,” says Hans, “and that, for us, is linked with innovation – both what’s new in the world that the students will work in, and their own ability to innovate.” In fact, sustainability and innovation is now a block within the Master’s programme at BBI Luxembourg.
Areas such as the use of social media, harnessing industry-standard software packages within the programmes, and management simulation games that mimic real-world pressures are all part of the learning environment at BBI, for both Bachelor’s and Master’s students. Candidates this year will have access to the institution’s expertise via its new e-learning programme, for which the deadline for admission is this August.
To allow greater focus on case studies, theses, and other on-campus elements of the programme, BBI is reducing the Master’s internship from 12 to six months: “Students want to get the maximum out of their time with us, so that’s a better balance,” says Hans. Moreover, it chimes with the institution’s watchword – ‘BBI Luxembourg, the place where extraordinary people come to life’.
Part of that is due to the stimulus of mixing students from many countries: “Our student body on the Wiltz campus this year includes representatives of 25 or more different nationalities,” says de Meyer, “and internship placements for some means exploring other countries new to them.” And with the e-learning Master’s in Hospitality Business Administration offering students across the globe a way to experience that community and its educational benefits from their own home countries, it’s set to be more international still.