A memorandum of understanding was signed today between Wouter Hensens, the executive dean of Stenden SA, Lynn Keeys, president of the Project Management Institute of South Africa (PMISA) and Gert Noordzy, managing director of Northside Consulting and hotel opening specialist.
This sees months of planning between the Hotel Management School and the above stakeholders come to fruition and has culminated in the launch of a pilot program for a new minor (elective) subject called Hotel Opening Management.
The focus of this minor is on managing the entire hotel opening process. This is something the industry is in dire need of due to a staggeringly high number of new hotel projects in the pipeline internationally.
The minor has a strong focus on project management and aims to equip students with the necessary skills needed to form an integral role within a hotel opening team.
The minor is the first of its kind and will run as a pilot with a group of 12 students for the next eight weeks. Keeys was joined by Jannes Haasbroek, vice president of the institute’s Academic Outreach wing.
PMISA and Northside Consulting have played a pivotal role in supplying support and material in order to launch the pilot. The minor coordinator, lecturer Kevin Aitchison has been working in conjunction with lecturers Tracey Painting and Megan Walwyn of the hotel school in order to develop the academic content and organisation of the minor. Based on student feedback the minor is expected to launch in full come 2018 when it will be open to both local and international students looking to take their first step into this exciting area of the industry.