How to choose the best hotel school
With so many hotel schools in Switzerland to choose from, it can be hard to find the right one for you, but there are some common qualities that you can check when investigating a hotel school. With each point, we offer the example from Glion Institute of Higher Education (GIHE) to show how our institution meets these standards of excellence with more than 50 years of experience in hospitality education.
According to the Oxford Dictionary Online, accreditation is an “official certification that a school or course has met standards set by external regulators.” There are many different accrediting associations around the world. Schools often cite their accreditation on their website, but there is more to the question than just knowing if
the school is accredited, you want to know how they are accredited and by whom. Some questions to ask: Is the school accredited by an internationally recognized association? Is it recognized by your home country, or the country where you wish to work or pursue further studies? Is the institution accredited to deliver degrees? Is it the institution itself accredited, or does it deliver programs under third-body accreditation?
Glion Institute of Higher Education is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges of the USA. This is one of six regional accrediting associations recognized by the US Secretary of Education, and the same association that accredits many of the USA’s ivy-league universities. This accreditation applies to GIHE as an institution and covers the undergraduate, graduate and postgraduate degrees on the campuses in Switzerland and London.
While accreditation is a good indicator of academic quality, other criteria such as the school’s reputation in its field, the diversity of courses offered, the qualifications of faculty members and the academic standards for admissions and graduation are other indicators of academic quality.
Among universities offering hospitality management programs, GIHE is ranked among the top three in the world for an international career according to a survey of hiring managers (TNS Global Survey, 2013). Our institute employs 105 full-time and part-time faculty members with diverse international backgrounds and experience, this figure represents a ratio of one teacher for 14 students.
Let’s face it, where you live and the activities that you can do there will make all the difference for an enjoyable university experience. So when you look at different hotel schools, look at the location, sports teams, cultural, extracurricular activities and the student living environment in general. For hotel schools in particular, the level of cultural diversity is highly important. Hospitality is a global business, so the more cultural knowledge and experience you can gain through student life, the better.
Glion Institute of Higher Education has three campuses in two of the world’s top destinations to study abroad with students of 94 different nationalities (2015).
In Switzerland, we have two campuses located between the famous Lake Geneva region and the country’s capital in Bern. Our flagship hotel school campus is located in Glion above Montreux, along the shores of Lake Geneva; while our business school campus, in Bulle, is located at the base of the Swiss mountains in the Gruyère region.
In London, UK, we have the Glion London campus, located on the grounds of the University of Roehampton which offers a modern student life and impressive university facilities and services on London’s south west side.
Hotel schools are leaders in employability because of their emphasis on work-related skills and knowledge. However, not all institutions are alike in terms of career resources and recruitment partners. A high rate of graduate employment is a good indicator of how a school’s graduates compete in the industry. A wide range of recruitment partners, both inside and outside of the hospitality industry; recruitment visits and career fairs; full-time career development departments; and a good use of technology in the internship and career placement process are good indicators that you will have the resources and recognition to find a good job when you graduate.
For Glion Institute of Higher Education, we know that 86% of Glion graduates have a job or multiple offers on graduation day. And 50% of Glion alumni reach the stage of “middle management” within 5 years of graduation; this includes positions such as directors and department managers or owners, and entrepreneurs (Graduation December 2014). Every year, we have more than 100 international recruitment partners visiting our campuses and we regularly receive visits from Marriott, Hyatt, Disney, MCI, Starwood, Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts, JP Morgan Chase, Accor and Chopard.
What about hotel schools in other countries?
There are many hotel schools around the world and the criteria above apply to all of them. However, you should pay special attention to the academic structure and reputation of hotel schools outside of Switzerland. Some university programs for hospitality management may not use the Swiss hands-on approach which makes the graduates of Swiss hotel schools so successful. Furthermore, since hotel schools are often private institutions, it’s important to look closely at the standards of accreditation and recognition among hospitality industry professionals.
Some Swiss hotel schools work in partnership with universities abroad to offer programs and branch campuses in other countries. Again, the quality of these hotel management programs can only be as good as the Swiss-based institute they come from, so the same criteria apply as mentioned above.
In our case, for Glion London, our branch campus based in London, UK, GIHE guarantees the academic quality and general management of the branch campus. Therefore, Glion London is authorized as a branch campus to deliver the programs of Glion Institute of Higher Education. Additionally, Glion London delivers some programs that are not offered on the Swiss campuses such as a part-time MBA for executives and executive certificated for working professionals.
About Glion Hotel School
Glion Institute of Higher Education was created as a hotel school in 1962. Founded by Walter Hunziker and Frédéric Tissot, it opened in the grandiose old Hotel Bellevue on the mountainside above Montreux. Known then as the “Institut International de Glion” – an international school for hotel and tourism management – it had a first class composed of 15 students from five countries.
Throughout the years from 1960 to 1988, Glion evolved and changed names, but it remained a private hospitality management school dedicated to providing the best in Swiss hospitality management education. In 1989 it opened a second campus in Bulle, and in 1995 it raised the academic bar to deliver its first bachelor degrees in hospitality management. In 2001, Glion achieved accreditation by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC) of the USA, and in 2002 it joined forces with Laureate Education.
Around this time, Glion began delivering a Sports Management Degree and later an MBA; finally uniting the Glion Hotel School with Glion Sports School and Glion Graduate School under the name of Glion Institute of Higher Education. Since then, the school has attained a top-3 ranking in 2007 and 2013, according to the hotel schools ranking survey conducted by Talyor Nelson Sofres.
Today, Glion Institute of Higher Education has campuses in Switzerland and London and it offers a wide range of bachelor degrees in hospitality and event, sport and entertainment management; plus, Glion offers graduate degrees and online education for executives.
For more information about Glion Institute of Higher Education, visit the website glion.edu