The Red Sea Development Company (TRSDC), the master developer behind one of the world’s most ambitious tourism initiatives, has signed an agreement with the University of Prince Mugrin (UPM) to award 120 scholarships for undergraduate studies, commencing in the academic year 2019-2020.
The five-year college program will lead to a Bachelor of Science Degree in International Hospitality Management, which is accredited by the Ecole hôtelière de Lausanne (EHL), recognised globally as one of the most prestigious school in this field of study.
John Pagano, CEO, The Red Sea Development Company said: “We are excited to launch this initiative, in partnership with the University of Prince Mugrin and Ecole hôtelière de Lausanne. These two institutions share our ambition to support the accelerated pace of development in the Kingdom through the creation of educational opportunities suited to the requirements of a rapidly expanding tourism sector. The initial response has been overwhelming, with more than 12,000 applications since the portal opened on Sept 1st.”
“We hope to contribute to the growth of the wider tourism and hospitality talent pool, helping young Saudis move into exciting new careers. A qualified, highly skilled workforce and steady supply of manpower will also position Saudi Arabia as an attractive investment opportunity for hotel partners and investors, for our project and across the industry,” he added.
The President of University of Prince Mugrin, Dr. Nabil Al-Rajeh said: “University of Prince Mugrin continuously seeks to contribute to the development of the national human capital through offering unique and quality programs in accordance to international standards, that will result in the successful employment of its graduates, and meet the needs of the local leading development projects including The Red Sea Project.”
He added: “This collaboration aims to localize jobs by preparing national skills and empowering the graduates with the practical skills required by the company. This is a unique program that is offered in cooperation with prestigious world-class universities such as Ecole hôtelière de Lausanne to raise the level of the graduate’s skillsets and make the most of this collaboration opportunity.”
“Our industry represents 1 job in every 10 worldwide, and the provision of quality training is key to maintaining excellence in our sector. We are very fortunate to have worked with our partner, UPM for a number of years on this project which ensures young Saudis eager to build a career in tourism and hospitality are equipped with a solid foundation in the form of an internationally accredited education. We welcome the participation of The Red Sea Development Company, who’s generous funding will enable 120 students to pursue their dreams,” said Pierre Verbeke, advisory services a Ecole hôtelière de Lausanne.
Where possible, The Red Sea Development Company will seek to provide job opportunities for successful graduates, either directly or with partners involved in the development or subsequent operation of the destination.
By end of September, the accepted students will start their five years studies. The program will be launched with a preparative year, and will offer modules integral to any student keen to launch a career in the tourism and hospitality industry. It will be covering courses such as management theories, and applied business projects, in accordance with Swiss and international standards. Several of these modules are particularly well suited to meet the hiring needs of the Red Sea destination, and subsequent operation.
Students will have the opportunity to undergo field training for two academic semesters and prepare a graduation project presented in the final semester. The ‘on-the-job’ elements of the degree are key to ensuring a smooth transition from education into employment.