A UNIQUE deal under which Shannon College of Hotel Management has become the exclusive education partner for hotel managers of the future from the Seychelles was endorsed by a visit of the Tourism Minister from the African state, Alain St Ange on Wednesday.
The deal was signed with the Seychelles in 2008 and the first students of the Advanced Diploma in Hospitality Management (ADHM) recently completed Year 4 examinations at the college and they turned in a strong academic performance. By 2016, it is expected 60 Seychellois students will have graduated from the Shannon college.
The Shannon College was selected amid intense competition from a number of other top hotel schools.
Under the arrangement with the Seychelles Islands Tourism Academy (STA), Shannon College directly supervises the teaching, learning and assessment of the STA’s three-year Advanced Diploma in Hospitality Management (ADHM) programme in the Seychelles. The successful students then come to Shannon to complete Year four and the final trainee management placement. The arrangement is approved by NUI Galway and the NUI.
Shannon College of Hotel Management director Phillip Smyth said the arrangement with the Seychelles shows the standing of the college. “To be selected as the only college in the world to educate the hotel managers of the future for one of the most exclusive holiday destinations in the world is an almost unbelievable vote of confidence in what we do here at the Shannon college.
“When you take into account the size of our college, with just 400 full-time students, compared to that of other leading international hotel management academies, it makes the achievement even more remarkable. It proves that quality rather than quantity is what’s most important. Indeed, our size is probably our strength as it enables us to give the type of hands-on attention to students that has traditionally moulded some of the leading hotel managers in the world.”
Wednesday was a busy day for Mr St Ange as he also visited the Cliffs of Moher, Bunratty Castle and Folk Park and attended a medieval banquet. During his time at the college, he met and addressed the Seychelles students who will leave Shannon with their degrees and return to posts in the island’s renowned exclusive resort hotels.
Shannon College of Hotel Management celebrated its 60th anniversary last year, having been founded by the legendary Dr Brendan O’Regan.
It has supplied over 2,000 graduates to the hotel industry and some have gone on to manage leading Irish and international hotel properties.
Among its most famous alumni is Gerald Lawless, executive chairman of the Jumeriah Group, which operates the internationally acclaimed Burj Al Arab in Dubai, which has been recognised as the world’s most luxurious hotel.
In Ireland, its alumni include Liam Griffin of the Griffin Hotel Group and Michael Davern, CEO and GM of the K Club.
The college is a recognised College of the National University of Ireland. It is known as one of the world’s leading hotel college due to its combination of a business degree with professional hotel management education.
Half of its 400 students are Irish, with the other half coming from 25 countries across the globe. Currently, students are undertaking work placements in 100 hotels across 16 countries worldwide.