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Phuket pushes for first dedicated hospitality college



PHUKET: With Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra’s arrival on Phuket for the Cabinet meeting tomorrow, more details of the proposed transformation of Thalang Vocational College into Phuket’s first dedicated hospitality and tourism college have been unveiled.

The college’s director, Suthep Yongyut, told the Phuket Gazette that the plan is to be proposed to the Cabinet tomorrow for budget approval of 300 million baht.

“We have had many discussions with business operators, directors of educational institutions, teachers, and other people involved with the hotel and tourism industries – and they all agree that our college should be developed into a hotel and tourism college for Phuket,” said Mr Suthep.

“The classes we offer here overlap with those offered by Phuket Technical College, which means we have less people enrolling in our classes – and now it is simply not worth operating the school,” he added.

“Each year, the hotel and tourism industries generate billions of baht for Thailand. If we can develop our curriculum so we become a hotel and tourism college, then we can become an educational institution that produces quality human resources for the hotel and tourism industry in the future,” he added.

Mr Suthep said he had received much support for the project.

“Dr Chaiyapruek Serirak, the secretary-general of the Office of Vocational Educational Commission (OVEC), came down here to inspect the college facilities, and he agreed that our college was appropriate for developing into a ‘Phuket Hotel and Tourism College’,” he said.

“Phuket Governor Tri Augkaradacha also seems to support the project,” he added.

High on the list of goals of the revamped curriculum is to produce graduates with English skills and hands-on experience in the hospitality trade.

The college is looking to offer two courses: vocational diplomas (Por-WorChor) in hotel and tourism, dubbed the “Mini English program”; and advanced vocational diplomas (Por-WorSor), called the “English program”.

The vocational diploma course would include classes in domestic science, business computing, spa operations and general management.

The advanced vocational diploma course would offer classes in hotel management, food and beverage management, spa business management, and conference and seminar management.

“The buildings, classrooms and laboratories will be set up to look like a real hotel and the curriculum will be designed with help from specialists in the hotel industry to provide a real hotel environment and situations,” said Mr Suthep.

“We aim to be a leading hotel and tourism educational institution within ASEAN [Association of South East Asian Nations], and I expect this project will help solve the recurring shortage of qualified hospitality personnel in Phuket and other provinces in Andaman region.

Mr Suthep is looking to offer the courses in May 2012. “We can handle 90 students in the vocational level course, and 30 students in the ‘high level’ course,” he said.

OVEC is now recruiting foreign teachers to be part of the team for the new curriculum, he added.

— Warisa Temram


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