IFT organises 20th anniversary media dinner

Dr. Fanny Vong delivered a speech

The Institute for Tourism Studies (IFT) hosted the 20th anniversary media dinner at IFT’s Educational Restaurant on 17 June. The attending media from local newspapers, magazines and television outlets were warmly welcomed by Dr. Fanny Vong, President of IFT, Mrs. Diamantina Coimbra, Director of Tourism and Hotel School, Mr. Oscar Ho, Regent of Internship Programme and Ms. Tannia O, Functional Head of International Affairs. President Vong expressed her gratitude to the continuous support from the Macao SAR Government, industries, community and media over the years. With the support, IFT has developed itself locally and internationally along with Macao’s tourism development. She also mentioned that as the only higher education institution in Macao specialised in tourism and hospitality, through the past two decades of development, IFT has made significant progress in various areas, with increasing student intake, quality and variety of programmes and courses, as well as teaching and research strength. The Institute is not simply the first educational institution being recognised with the “UNWTO.TedQual Certification” by the United Nations World Tourism Organization(UNWTO). Besides, 3 more degree programmes were recognised by them this year. In total, 7 out of 8 degree programmes have been recognised by the Certification, leading IFT to become the higher education institution with the most bachelor degree programmes being recognised by the UNWTOin the world. In 2014, IFT was also honoured “Best Educational Organizational Brand and Service” in the “3rd Macao Elite Service Award” as voted and supported by the public. In 2013, the Institute became the first higher education institution in Macao and Hong Kong to gain the ISO 20000 accreditation. The number of four-year undergraduate students has increased by more than 13 times, from a hundred in the beginning to currently over 1,500 students while an average of 20,000 people participated in professional training courses every year. At present, IFT offers 6 daytime degree programmes and 2 evening degree programmes in culinary management, hotel management, heritage management, tourism business, events, retail & marketing. The Institute keeps introducing new professional training courses, with hundreds of fundamental, advanced and higher level courses offered every year, some of which are international qualification courses co-organised with up to 19 international certified organisations around the world. Furthermore, it co-organises executive development programmes together with world-renowned Cornell University School of Hotel Administration, the United States and Ecole Hoteliere de Lausanne, Switzerland every year, enabling the local hotel industry executives and professionals to keep abreast of the latest development and trends of hotel management. IFT aims at developing into an international leading institution. Its excellent education quality attracts international students and exchange students from 16 counties and regions to the Institute to study. It adheres to invite scholars and industry elites through global recruitment to join the teaching crew, in order to form a strong team with considerable academic attainments and practical experiences. In recent years, the number of researches published by the academic members has increased substantially, and the faculty members are often invited to other institutions for talks and exchanges, and also appointed by Macao SAR Government to conduct research projects and provide professional advices. IFT maintains close connection with the local as well as global leading organisations in the tourism industry. More than 500 companies and organisations have provided internship opportunities for students, and over 85 institutions and tourism organisations from 27 countries and regions have maintained partnership and cooperation with IFT. IFT is the only institution in Macao that adds practicum courses and half-year internship programme to all undergraduate students, enabling them to establish ties with the industry and gain work experience while they are still at school, bringing them in line with the real work environment more quickly. Last year, the Institute conducted a large-scale survey on the employment situation of alumni. Around 70% of the alumni being interviewed joined the tourism and service industry and a considerable percentage of whom had been promoted to senior executives or mid-senior level positions. With professional knowledge and skills, they are favoured by the industry. A substantial number of alumni chose to pursue master’s degree and even doctoral degree after graduation, and some of them were admitted to renowned universities at home and abroad. The year of 2015 is a milestone for the Institute. With the receiving of the East Asia Hall at the former University of Macau campus and the amendments of Higher Education Law, the Institute will face exciting opportunities for more new development. Looking to the future, the Institute hope to further enhance the hardware facilities, expand the faculty scale, optimise teaching and learning environment, provide quality professional training, undergraduate and master’s degree programmes, and continue to make contributions to the higher education of Macao.

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