This February, four Glion students will head to Maastricht in the Netherlands to compete against 39 top schools in a gruelling academic contest. Founded in 2009, the annual European Mise en Place Cup (EMCup) sees students from the best European Hotel Management Schools complete a series of assignments and debates for a chance to be crowned champions. Student ambassador and regular blogger, Khaila Prasser explains how her team prepared for the contest.

Now in its 11th year, the EMCup is a platform for passionate and entrepreneurial students to make a real difference in the hospitality industry. Glion is proud to be represented by a team of international students – Khaila Prasser, Pierre Leonard, Lim-Lim Kobe and Joy Pean – who are a mix of students from Bachelor’s and Master’s programs.

Revolutionizing teaching methods

The students were chosen through a rigorous selection process, during which they had to submit their CVs and motivation letters and then pass a series of interviews with the faculty member leading this project, Ms Laury Chantonnier. The 2019 theme of ‘Get Real Education – Old School Vs New School’ requires the students to share their findings on the current state of education and propose changes to international teaching methods.

The theme aims to kickstart new thinking about how education programs need to progress in-sync with environmental, social and technological changes around the world. The solutions presented by the team could be applied to the curricula of hotel management schools around the world. As part of the competition, and before it begins, the team must come up with a brand, create social pages and visibility, write an academic paper, and prepare a pitch to sell their ideas.

‘No change in 500 years’

Once the competition starts, the students will have to write an essay in 45 minutes on a given topic and instantly prepare a nine-topic debate to compete with other teams. While this might discourage many people from taking part, the Glion team is motivated and excited by the challenge, and cannot wait for the competition to start!

As part of the research, they loved learning more about the educational field and discovered many changes that could be made in higher education teaching.

“It is very interesting to learn that the current educational system was created 500 years ago and that it has not changed much since”, Khaila said.

Their research showed that more interactive and immersive ways of teaching could better help a new generation to adapt to the needs of the future hospitality industry. Both soft and digital skills have to be developed at the same time if graduates want to have jobs in the future.

Preparing for the contest


Rather than separating the work, Khaila, Pierre, Lim-Lim and Joy meet three to four times a week to develop ideas and challenge each other. No-one can question their commitment – on a team trip to La Clusaz, they spent three days together isolated from everyone else and later worked on a project without stopping for 30 hours!

With 39 other top European schools to beat and a prestigious judging panel from leading businesses, including Hilton, hosco,, IHG and Unilever, a strong preparation schedule is a wise move. We wish them luck and will get follow their progress at the competition in February.

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About the author

Glion Institute of Higher Education
Glion Institute of Higher Education is a private Swiss institution offering bachelor’s and master’s degrees in hospitality, luxury and event management to an international student body across three campuses in Switzerland and London, UK.
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