Evaluating staff and student partnerships to provide opportunities for students to engage within the community and develop their confidence

Visram, Zabin, Kanuga, Ingrid and Pendre, Rakesh (2014) Evaluating staff and student partnerships to provide opportunities for students to engage within the community and develop their confidence. In: RAISE Reseraching, advancing and Inspiring Student Engagement, 11th-12th September, Manchester, England.

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Abstract

The Graduate Diploma programme in Hospitality has actively fostered productive partnerships with students in order to strengthen participation and increase student engagement. Initiatives employed by the lecturing team provided opportunities for international students to integrate within the community and develop skills of team working, leadership, and management. An emphasis was placed on developing pluralistic skills aimed at developing an appreciation and understanding of the different cultures; such key skills better enable the students to be global citizens.

Whilst theoretical knowledge gained within the class room provided ample opportunity to understand the subject concepts of hospitality and event management, the international students needed an avenue where they could put this into practice within a real environment and learn skills that cannot always be taught with the teaching environment; skills such as integration within a community, lead a project, manage student teams, develop marketing campaigns and compete in an environment outside of a university context.

To achieve these ambitious goals, a strategy was drawn up in partnership with the students. This strategy involved a range of extra curriculum activities which are discussed within this paper and required a true alliance between staff and students.
All initiatives were evaluated through student led focus groups which involved both staff and students. During these sessions students assessed what worked well and allowed the students to integrate in their new community with confidence.

The first initiative was to successfully secure funding for a student led mentorship programme. This mentoring scheme was designed to help new international students settle within the country and adapt to the teaching delivery approaches and assessment strategies as well as becoming accustomed to the concept of independent learning.

Secondly, student and staff worked together when they joined an international competition for hotel business students. The competition required for the team to produce online “rumour around their brand” via social media platforms which encouraged all students and lecturers within the department to become an active online community

In addition, alliances were made with leading hotel conferences to develop opportunities for the students to volunteer in the designing, coordinating, management and deliver of the international conference. Such conferences gave the students an exposure to the discussion and debates undertaken at senior management and director level, concerned with emerging developments within these industries at European level.

Students were also taken on a variety of field trips. The trips gave an exposure to the operations undertaken within the industry and how the industry addresses customer relationship management issues.

Finally students were also encouraged to join the university VTeam which provides opportunities for students to volunteer within the local charity projects; providing an exposure to working with the local community.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Subjects: Education
Hospitality and tourism
Depositing User: ZABIN VISRAM
Date Deposited: 31 May 2016 13:30
Last Modified: 24 Oct 2016 14:55
URI: http://repository.uwl.ac.uk/id/eprint/2281

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