IT Tralee and The Gleneagle Group have joined forces to create a new International College of Hotel Management which is preparing to welcome its first students in September 2017. The college, which is modelled on the Swiss hotel management education system, is the first of its kind in Ireland and is backed by a major international education group with similar colleges in Germany and Austria.
The college will offer higher education programmes in hotel management to mainly international students. The courses will combine practical on-the-job training with classroom and online learning designed to equip students with the varied skillset required for a successful career in the hospitality industry. The new venture represents a key strategic public / private partnership between The Gleneagle Group and IT Tralee while securing students from overseas is one of a number of objectives specified under the Action Plan for Jobs (2016).
Dr. Oliver Murphy, President of IT Tralee outlined: “The opening of the International College of Hotel Management in Killarney represents an excellent opportunity for IT Tralee. We have had some notable successes in the internationalisation of our programmes with almost 400 international students attending our Tralee campus annually. This experience, coupled with our extensive range of tourism and hospitality programmes, will help ensure the new college benefits from our international education experience. This venture is a key development in our pathway towards the attainment of the Munster Technological University (MTU) status in partnership with CIT.”
Patrick O’Donoghue, CEO of The Gleneagle Group said: “Killarney is the home of Irish tourism, there is a wealth of knowledge and experience here. This college will harness the intrinsic expertise of the locality and the excellent academic offerings of IT Tralee to produce a world-class suite of courses. Our ancestors established a centre of learning on Inisfallen, which attracted scholars from across Europe. Now, centuries later, we will once again welcome students from around the world to Killarney.”
Mary Rose Stafford, Head of School of Business, Computing and Humanities acknowledges the longer term benefits the college will bring at regional and national level: “The programmes will be unique in terms of how they are taught. Programme delivery will focus on work-based learning and distance learning, as well as traditional lectures and practical demonstrations. Students living and studying in Killarney will contribute to the economy of the town and will undertake their work-placements in hotels throughout the region. We hope to gain the support of regional hotel providers and we will be encouraging them to benefit from the availability of highly trained and skilled personnel for placements.”
While the first students are expected to join the college in September 2017, the full degree programme will be on offer from September 2018 and will be an honours bachelor degree (NFQ Level 8) in Hotel Management.