STENDEN South Africa held an open day, last weekend introducing prospective students to the environment wherein they will be prepared to tackle the worlds of hospitality and disaster management.
Stenden South Africa has been hailed as the best hospitality teaching institution in South Africa, and is the only institution offering a degree in disaster management. It has an average 200 students enrolled in total.
The open day began in the auditorium, where the prospective students were greeted and filled in on what they could expect as first years. The guests in attendance and facilitators thereafter went to MyPond Hotel for that segment of the open day tour.
Twenty five prospective students and their families were in attendance, reaching a capacity total of 60 guests.
“Five families travelled from KZN,” Stenden South Africa’s marketing and education support office manager, Ronel Bartlett said. “The rest from the Eastern Cape areas of Port Elizabeth, East London, King William’s Town and two students from Port Alfred itself.”
“Full time students enter our full degree programmes,” Bartlett continued. “[Most of] these students come from 16 different countries, including Zimbabwe, Zambia, Botswana, Namibia, Angola, Ghana, Kenya, USA, Bahrain, Tanzania, Malawi, Mozambique, and, of course, South Africa.”
Invited as an alumnus guest speaker at MyPond was Derek Martin, who came to South Africa as part of the Grand Tour intake, and who spoke from the perspective of one whose doors were opened by Stenden South Africa.
“My time at Stenden South Africa allowed me not only to meet local friends but also gave me the opportunity to meet fellow students from all over Europe,” said Martin. “This resulted in me having great friends across the world – that are now great business associates.
“Stenden South Africa is more than just a university for me, it is a family, even after graduation the leaders at Stenden still mentor me if I need any career guidance, I feel like an individual amongst the other students and not only a number which is often the case in very large hotel schools.”
Stenden receives about 50% of their students from The Netherlands and Germany each year, coming to Stenden South Africa as part of the “Grand Tour”, which is a foreign-student study programme hosted by the Dutch-based university.
“Our Grand Tour numbers have increased steadily for the last eight intakes and we are seeing another increase in Grand Tour numbers for our July intake this year, up to 170 per semester,” said Bartlett.
Stenden hosts a number of open days and opportunities to become involved with the institution throughout the year, where they invite as many interested participants who feel they have a passion for learning hospitality management.
“Our next open day is on June 30 this year, then another one on September 30,” said Bartlett. “In the mean time we also have open days on May 9 and 10 in Johannesburg and Pretoria respectively.
“One coming up in Nelspriut in May and one coming up in KZN in June. We also have a number of open seminars still in Zimbabwe this year and one in Namibia.”