Reforming Hospitality Education To Fulfill The Industry Expectations: A Case Of Universiti Utara Malaysia
At present, the study of hospitality is deemed important because it is a significant industry in the service sector. According to the World Travel and Tourism Council, the hospitality industry is estimated to acquire a total of 262.6 million jobs present in the global workforce by the year 2017 and being one of the most volatile industries globally. Hence, there is an increasing need for the hospitality education sector to provide sufficient manpower to meet the demands of this dynamic industry. While there has been an increased emphasis on hospitality programmes which offer a wide range of courses worldwide, there is insufficient review if the present hospitality education curriculum meets industry expectations.
With regards to Malaysia, the hospitality education is remodeled to a great extent to bridge the gap between hospitality education and industry needs aligned with the development of the hospitality industry. With the growing need for hospitality graduates, various academic institutions in Malaysia have created hospitality programme to meet the industry demands. However, the quality of curriculum structure has become an extensive challenge for the hospitality industry. The academic institutions reckoned that a balance between theory and practice of hospitality education needs to be positioned as a fundamental element of the hospitality curriculum particularly in higher institutions. Hence, it is this study aims to examine the standardisation of existing curriculum. Is the curriculum really designed to fulfill the industry expectations? Does it comply with what the industry wants from the graduates?