The Malta Independent 24 October 2020, Saturday

Towards a brighter and stronger future – ITS records its highest intake to date

Sunday, 18 October 2020, 08:27 Last update: about 7 days ago

Pierre Fenech

Opening the academic year 2020-2021, the Institute of Tourism Studies has recorded its highest intake to date. The Institute has welcomed a 22.2% increase in new students when compared to the year 2019 and a 136% increase in intake when compared to the academic year 2018-2019.

It is of great satisfaction to see this increase in new students, who certify what the Institute has been working on for the past years, that in elevating the Institute’s offerings as well as providing higher skilled personnel for a more quality tourism. This may be seen most notably in the highest increase in applications being in the higher-level courses, those of the Bachelor’s Degree and Master’s Degree.

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This year, the Institute launched a further three new study programmes, two of which are the first of their kind worldwide. These include the Diploma in Climate Friendly Travel in collaboration with SUNx Malta, the Bachelor of Science in Diving Safety Management in collaboration with DAN Europe and the Preparatory Course for the Bachelor in Culinary Arts. Over 60 students will be reading for these programmes this year.

Just over six months ago, on Thursday, 12 March, the Institute close its doors due to the pandemic and continued normally with lectures online as from Monday, 16 March. This was thanks to the IT infrastructure the Institute had already invested in, the management, staff, lecturers and students who worked together in making sure that this change in the way of teaching was accommodating to everyone’s needs.

Apart from the students who were conducting their studies on campus, the Institute had a number of students abroad for study purposes. The Institute made the necessary arrangements to repatriate the students and provided alternative ways in which they may graduate from their study programmes in view of this special circumstance.

In a survey conducted in April, 85% of students were satisfied with how the COVID-19 situation was handled by ITS and 88% said they had no difficulty in following lectures online through the provided platforms. Apart from the positive feedback received, the Institute also received some requests for assistance and concerns, which the Institute addressed so that all students were able to continue with their studies in the best possible way in this new normal.

Throughout the past months, the Institute has been closely monitoring the situation, following the Health Authorities guidelines, to be able to issue the necessary protocols for the opening of the Institute’s campuses. The Institute opened its doors for a limited number of students in September for recovery sessions which could not be held online, such as practical sessions in the kitchen and service. These proved a success; and in fact, following a case of a student who tested positive for COVID-19, there were no other contacts who tested positive for the virus.

It is nevertheless of great gratification to see these numbers in new students, who during a time where the Tourism and Hospitality Industry was worst hit due to COVID-19, understood that the industry will rise stronger.

As ITS CEO, I augur a great year to all ITS students and look forward in seeing them spread their wings towards a brighter and stronger Tourism and Hospitality Industry.

 

Pierre Fenech is CEO at ITS

 

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