“How Far is the Hotel Academic Studies Consistent with the Hospitality Industry in Egypt”

Presented by Dr. Dina Mostafa Weheba

PhD Lecturer, Hotel Department, Faculty of Tourism & Hotels, University of Alexandria, Dr. Mosharrafa Street, El Shatby, Alexandria, Egypt Tel: +203 484 3123 FAX: +203 487 8401 Mobile: +201 1193 7292 Email: dr_dinamw@yahoo.com, dinamweheba@hotmail.com

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Acknowledgement

To Prof. Salah El Din Abd El Wahab,
Words can’t thank you enough, and time is not long enough to thank you as much you should be thanked, I am honored meeting you and discussing the topic with you, and I hope my work is somehow useful to the involved parties

To Prof. Mahmoud Heweidy,
It’s not easy to find such a graceful and helpful personality, thank you for everything, I just hope that I can make some slight good changes

To my family,
Thanking you all for supporting me all the time, love you all

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Abstract
The Hospitality Industry is one of the most important industries that demands special requirements and skills in those who are willing to be part of the career. It has been thought that recent graduates of the hospitality educational institutes are not qualified enough to perform effectively in this ever-changing industry. This research poses some major questions emphasizing the main problems that –if answered- can help solving some of the major issues that are forming the gap between the academic studies and the hospitality industry in Egypt. The research approached three categories; representing the main parties of the hospitality career: Hotel Managers, Hospitality Educational Professionals and students. The responses gathered will focus on the problems facing each party, thus suggesting ways to overcome them and finding simple approaches to help hospitality industry get better graduates of the Hospitality Educational institutions. The research follows a descriptive analytical method, criticizing recent methods used in supplying graduates with the information they need to know before they start working in the hospitality career.

Introduction and Overview:
Higher Education in Egypt may be considered the oldest education system in the world. (EL MAHDY, 2001) stated that in recent years approximately one-third of the students enter general secondary schools, the traditional route to universities. Almost 70% of students are channeled into technical secondary education, but less than 20% gain employment when they leave. Current State of the Higher Education System in Egypt:
Overall Education Structure When talking about higher education, it is very difficult to rule out the rest of the educational ladder prior to higher education. Outputs from secondary education are the normal stream of higher education. The current overall education structure in Egypt by age and level is schematically represented in the layout shown in Fig. (1). The layout gives [3]

a comprehensive overview of the education system in Egypt highlighting entries to and exits from the different levels of education into the labor market and society. Figure (1): Overall Education Structure in Egypt by Level and Age

Graduates from general secondary are streamed directly into 4, 5 or 6 year programs of university education. Graduates from general secondary education can join the nonuniversity stream of middle and higher technical institutes when their grades do not meet
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the grades needed for enrollment into university education. Although the chances of this category of graduates for getting into university is limited, the flexibility of the system allows equal opportunities to all students graduating from secondary education to be admitted into university if they wish to do so, after passing the entry exam. In the academic year 2000/2001, only 326 students were able to meet enrollment criteria into university education. (El Mahdy, 2001) Strengths and Weaknesses of Higher Education in Egypt: Strengths in the Egyptian higher education system are identified as the strong human resources made up mainly of university professors, the large variety of educational and research disciplines, and the existence of some institutions with very long experience in higher education. Weaknesses, however, fall mainly into two main categories: 1- The very high loading of staff with direct consequence on the average quality of graduates: • • • • • • • •

Limited financial resources Over-crowding Inadequate infrastructure Under-trained faculty members in some areas, Poor instructional materials and equipment, and Lack of modern education technology manifest the low quality of graduates.

2- Low system efficiency, is manifested by: Lack of sustainable financial policy Weak accountability within academia and Lack of formal assessment and accreditation mechanism. 1

Accordingly, the Egyptian higher education faces a number of challenges, namely in: 1- System-wide governance and management 2- Quality and relevance at the university level
1

In the academic year 1974/75 four assistant/staff existed on the average. In 1987/88 the ratio was about 1 assistant/staff, whereas in 1998/99, about 0.6 assistants/staff were available. A considerable drop in the assistants o staff ratio is noted over the past 15 years (almost 7 times at an average annual drop of about 0.45%

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3- Quality and relevance at the middle technical level 4- Fiscal sustainability of publicly enrollments The 2nd challenge will be discussed in more details here. (EL MAHDY, 2001) Quality and relevance at the university level: Clearly, not every student is gifted with the abilities needed to succeed at the university level and the selection process needs to be able to sort students on the basis of
i

characteristics that are stronger predictors to success (especially in faculties of Tourism and hotels that require special requirements in their students). This could, for instance, be: o Foundation knowledge o Competency in study skills o Writing ability o Intellectual ability o Motivation o Foreign languages proficiency (especially in faculties where some courses are taught in English) Education Input: Weaknesses in the educational inputs can be classified in two groups related to: 1- Infrastructure & 2- Academic staff 1- Infrastructure: The size of the system poses special challenges in making substantial investments in infrastructure, its operation, continuous rehabitation and periodical maintenance. Also, the combination of inadequate libraries and ineffective integration of IT in the educational process contributes directly to low quality in higher education, specifically:
a) The lack of an overall technology plan2

b) Information Technology (IT) and the internet within individual universities. There is a shortage of modern IT for teaching, libraries and
2

Cairo, El Mansoura and Assiut Universities have already established IT centers and started to build their own modern Management Information Systems (MIS)

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research. At the National level, the 12 Universities are connected to the Egyptian University Network (EUN) with the Supreme Council of Universities (SCU) acting as the hub, or focal point of the network. There is currently no content (research material, library catalog, learning media, etc.) available through EUN.
c) Libraries:

Low rates of stock replacement and a high proportion of

outdated content contributed to the currently low-level-use of libraries, and the weak management means that their improvement is less likely to be made a financial priority. Egypt’s twelve public Universities have over 200 libraries with often poorly maintained buildings and equipment.
2- Academic Staff: Academic staff are affected by:

1- Selection & recruitment practices 2- Academic qualifications & competencies 3- Remuneration and other incentives Educational Process: Educational process issues can be grouped into main 8 categories, all affect the teaching process: 1- Teaching methods 2- Workload/ teaching loads 3- Working conditions 4- Staff promotion, performance assessment and accountability 5- Academic staff responsibilities 6- Use of modern educational technology 7- Research development
8- Student activities (ALLPORT, 1998)3

Literature Review:
The gap between academia and the hospitality industry is affected by many factors:

3

There is no space here to discuss the educational process lengthy, especially in the introduction part.

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1- The current higher education system and its disadvantages, including the

following: a. The lack of scientific knowledge of the new graduate b. Focusing on specialization from the very first phase of the higher education and its study process, contradicts with the fact that the same level of study can be reached within a 4-year-study, the same way when having a diploma (post graduate certificate) within only 2 years.
c. The limited communication with the chambers of Tourism and Hotels &

stakeholders on one side and on the other side, the hospitality higher educational institutions. (Their participation is often honorable)
d. There is no international educational system used in higher education or

even the possibility of related scientific exchanging programs either in Egypt or abroad. (HEWEDY, 2005)4
2- Workload of the academic staff, which cuts much of their energy and time to start

communicating with hospitality specialists. The workload of teachers is not quite equal; the amount of teaching to be done becomes evident just before the beginning of a term. In addition to teaching, lecturers need to be involved in research and development insuring the expertise and competence required for supervision of students’ research work, graduation projects, etc. Other tasks of teachers include compiling of new teaching material, curriculum development and management; participation in research and development activities, as well as wellplanned in-service training form an important part of the contribution made by the teaching staff. (Kuressaare College, 2006) In Kuressaare College, Estonia, teachers attended a summer course on teaching in a higher education, in August 2006, which proves that the teaching staff needs training and updating of knowledge just the same as students, specially in the hospitality career, where changes are endless. The Head of the department of academic affairs is responsible for planning and organization of the provision of education (organization of duties, coordination of the

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This is a translated reference from Arabic, a lecture given by Prof. Heweidy.

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work and negotiations with teaching staff and counseling of students), which the Egyptian Universities lack practicing it in general. Applying Quality Assurance in Higher Education can also have many advantages, as its main purpose is the improvement of the graduates’ ability to compete in the labor market. Quality of the study process depends on:

Administration of Studies: regulations, systematic analysis of study process, effective arrangement of study process at an internationally acceptable level. Study environment: infrastructure, library, etc. Study programs: and their development based on systematic self-evaluation and feedback from students, and hotel managers. Expectations and requirements of potential hotel managers and customers are met and exceeded by the University.

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Academic staff: evaluated through annual performance reports, feedback from students, and requirements for promotion, etc.

Feedback from students regarding the quality of teaching is obtained mostly by filling the questionnaire that has to be attached to the documents of evaluating the instructor, for future promotion or upgrading of his/her skills. The students complete anonymously a survey form. The collected responses are interpreted and the results delivered to the teachers and the Dean. The feedback from students is an important part in evaluating teachers as well as in improving the overall quality of the teaching process. Strengths of applying quality on the study process are: 1. A great demand for tourism and hospitality professionals 2. Highly qualified and professional teaching staff, motivated to further their knowledge and skills. 3. The teaching staff includes practitioners who are experts in their field. 4. Constant student-feedback, including evaluation of the quality of teaching. 5. Good contact with hotel managers, training placement reports also provide feedback for curriculum development. 6. Appreciation of the standard and results of education by the graduates and hotel managers.
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7. System of individual student counseling helps to advance academic progress and

to

motivate

learners.

(http://education.stateuniversity.com/pages/411/Egypt-

EDUCATIONAL-SYSTEM-OVERVIEW.html)

Concept of the Study:
This study has two areas; the first one is discussing four main questions that, if properly considered, can give the solutions and remedy to the problem of the existing gap between academic studies and the hospitality industry in Egypt. The second part of the study is a field research that was done through distributing three different questionnaire forms on the three parties that are linked to the problem of the study, represented in: • •

Teaching Staff of the hotel department Hotel Managers of chain hotels Students of the hotel department (mainly at the faculty of Tourism & Hotels, University of Alexandria)5

Methodology:
The purpose of this research is to know what causes the gap between academia and the hospitality industry. The study contains a literature part, presenting four main questions, if considered properly, can crystallize the whole issue of the gap. As well as a field study which includes three questionnaire forms, telephone interviews and personal interviews The chosen sample of this study covered the main three parties involved in the problem, to know how each of them sees the problem, and what suggestions they can offer, from their points of view, can help in reaching the remedies. The sample covered the following:

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This research was conducted during summer vacation, and reaching students of other faculties was like impossible at this time of the year. The researcher could reach the students as they are connected through their online group, started by the researcher years ago. It was a better and faster way to communicate with students even during holidays and days off.

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Professors, PhD lecturers, Instructors and administrators of the hotel department, in the University of Alexandria, Helwan University, Suez Canal University, and El-Mansoura University.

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Hotel Managers of 5 star-hotels in Cairo, Giza, Hurghada, Sharm El Sheikh Students of the hotel department, especially of the Faculty of Tourism & Hotels, University of Alexandria.

Questionnaire forms were emailed to the sample of the study, as well as some telephone interviews were made, and personal interviews. It was not easy to gather the answered forms, as unfortunately some staff members and hotel managers do not take it seriously sometimes. The students covered 2nd, 3rd and 4th year students of the department. The form was put on the internet and the researcher got answers either on the Hotel Department online group (started by the researcher about 4 years ago to communicate online with her students) or by email. The total gathered responses of Staff members formed about 60% of the expected ones. The total gathered responses of hotel managers formed about 50% of the sent forms, and the total gathered responses of students formed about 65% of the expected answers. Research Method: The research method used in this study is the descriptive, analytical method, and sometimes criticizing existing conditions facing higher education in general and the hospitality studies in particular, knowing the causes of the gap between what hotels expect in recent graduates and what actual graduates have gained throughout their academic hospitality studies, and whether or not staff members can help provide both sides with what can be beneficial for them in the future. This type of research did not have hypothesis given, as it was meant to have the four main questions answered, as well as knowing what each party has to say regarding the problem of the study. Defining the actors:
1- Staff members: They are the education staff, represented in Professors, PhD

Lecturers, Administrators and Instructors of the hotel department in various faculties of Tourism and Hotels in Egypt.
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2- Hotel Managers: They are hotel managers of 5-star-hotels in Egypt. Mainly

General Managers, who are accused of refusing to communicate with the educational institutions to reach better quality graduates. The study reveals whether or not they are guilty of the accusation.
3- Students: They are the medium party, who are directly affected by whatever

the other previous two parties decide what actions to take or not. They have their own dreams, joining the hospitality career, as well as being asked for special skills to have better job opportunities. Their suggestions were also required in this study.

Presentation of the study:
The study was conducted by posing the following four important questions, in an approach to reach some answers:
1- Is the higher education in our Egyptian Universities represents a general

knowledge or is it professional hospitality education? Working in hospitality industry only needs general knowledge; as any graduate of any faculty of Tourism & Hotels in Egypt, is only required to have the general basic knowledge as any other graduate, and it’s the hotel’s job to take care of the rest, and starts allocating him/her where is most matching his/her skills. Then trains him/her according to the job requirements, but the graduates of the hospitality institutions have very little practical knowledge, which let us reach the following idea: The higher education does not allow the students to professionally work in the hospitality industry, as well as other faculties, which happen to take a different action to overcome this problem, which is: For example: Graduates of the faculty of Law do not have the permission to start actual work before having a 2-year-training in a law office. Then they can be able to work in their own career, meaning that Practical side is required to start a career. Another example: graduates of the faculty of Medicine cannot also practice until they have a 1-year-practice, in a general/public hospital.
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This can lead us to think why can’t a hospitality graduate have the same condition of not starting to work in a hotel until he/she has successfully passed about a oneyear-training in hotels, in different departments will be better as well, so that the graduate gets the wider idea about where he works and how to excel in the area where he/she will continue working at. The hospitality career is all about how to communicate with people and how to be hospitable and many skills are needed to sculpture the graduates’ personality before dealing with guests. (This can be overcome if there is some kind of training, in coordination with hotels, during the academic years, mainly the whole summer time, where the hotel can train the students, according to his policy and the promising candidates can start working right after graduation, having the working experience and the skills required.6
2- Is the curriculum flexible enough to be adjusted and modified in way that can

best help the needed requirements in the hospitality careers, especially in hotels? Hospitality educational institutes vary all over the world, as many of the conditions are affected with: 1- The percentage of the general curriculums included in the specialized courses 2- The total number of teaching hours 3- The percentage of the specialized courses 4- The number of practical hours in the courses, etc The curriculum should be routinely/periodically evaluated, to be flexible enough to have the courses changed when needed, as the hospitality career is an ever-changing one, and students should be familiar with what’s new in the career, not studying courses that are no longer used nowadays in the hospitality industry. 3- Are all curriculums of the hospitality educational institutions in Egypt identical? Should they be so? Or should curriculum differ according to geographic regions? The answer to this question is NO. Not all curriculums are identical, they vary from one faculty to another, according to geographical needs and requirements,
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See data analysis for more details.

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but in general they keep similar to what is given to students all over the higher hospitality educational institutions. (See Appendix for examples of different curriculums of Faculties of Tourism & Hotels in Egypt). 4- Do the requirements of the hospitality industry in Egypt match the hospitality requirements all over the world or not? No, the requirements of the hospitality industry in Egypt doe not match those all over the world. Specially while these requirements are always changing and adjustable, even in hotels, as these hotels deal and communicate with various types of people, with different personalities, nationalities, tastes, expectations, requirements and needs, etc. Still, the Egyptian higher hospitality educational institutes should do their best to follow up with these changes, and to have more flexible curriculums that can be easily adjusted according to any changes in the field.

Data Collection:
Three structured screening questionnaire forms were sent by email to a non random sample of hotel managers, staff members of higher education institutes of the hospitality industry in Egypt, (Faculties of Tourism & Hotels), as well as a sample of students of the faculty of Tourism & Hotels, University of Alexandria. The objective of the questionnaire forms was to try to reach the following: •

Where does the problem of the gap between academia and the hospitality industry lie. Are hotels willing to help academic educational institutes prepare better graduates that hotels will benefit from in the near future or not? Are the staff members accepting the idea of communicating with hotels to improve the syllabus and innovating them when required or not. Suggestions for remedying the problem, as seen by all three parties of the study Difficulties facing the three parties of the study that can be solved with some continuous communication.

• •

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Data Analysis: 1- Staff Members’ Questionnaire:
The forms were distributed on staff members of faculty of Tourism & Hotels, University of Alexandria, Helwan University, Mansoura University and Suez Canal University. (See Appendix for a copy of the questionnaire form). The answers came as follows: •

60% of staff members approve that the practical part of the curriculum matches the needs of the hospitality industry, while 40% do not. As for how they see it matches the hotel needs, the answers came a bit strange, as it was shocking to know that staff members did not know what was meant by the practical part of the curriculum, and instead they gave the following answers: o The summer training is good enough as training and practical part. (30%)
o

Field visits to hotels (20%)

o Field research, which the students do during their academic year (20%) o Some said that just some of the courses match the what hotels look for in candidates/graduates. (20%) o Some staff members had to overcome this problem by offering students a chance to practice these practical parts in class (live), with special and individual efforts of the staff members. Staff members were asked if they ever cooperate with hotel specialists in some given practical curriculum, and the answers came as follows: (See figure 2) •

80% of them cooperated while 20% of the sample did not. About 60% of staff members got help from teaching staff in some hospitality institutions, but that turned to give the students just plain theoretical lectures again.
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• •

20% of staff got help from specialists as in some seminars and conferences, and not throughout the whole course. The remaining 20% stopped getting help from any hotel specialists, as they stated that they refused to come lecture at the faculties as their income was declining.

Figure (2)

Staff members were asked if they can tell what a hotel needs in new graduates, and the answers were: 70% stated that they knew what a hotel needs, and the remaining 30% did not know. The 70% were then asked, how can they tell, and the answers were as follows: • • •

40% knew about these needs by being close to the hotel business 50% did so by knowing friends in the field While about 5% could tell what a hotel needs from following the paper ads. And finally the last 5% knew it on their own during going to hotels while doing a research. (See figure 3)

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Figure (3)

About 70% of staff members try to improve the characters of their students to match what a hotel requires in a fresh graduate, and the remaining 30% do not. It was noticed that about 60% of staff members have either a training kitchen or restaurant in their faculty, while the 40% did not. This indicates that many students will not get the practical study that they should specially in this hospitality field. On the other hand, only 30% answered that they have a practical hotel, where students can know all about hotel departments and the atmosphere, and 70% did not have a hotel in their faculty. It is almost a must, NOT to open a faculty of Tourism and Hotels without having a hotel attached to it.

2- Hotel Manager’s Questionnaire:
Many hotels were contacted either by email or by phone, to ask for a contact person to send the questionnaire form by mail, to be answered and emailed back. The hotels surveyed were in Cairo, Giza, Red Sea, Abu Soma, El Gona, and
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Sharm El Sheikh. Some emails were sent to the central hotel chain website, and only few sent an answered form. Strangely, hotel managers’ answers were almost identical in some points, which actually prove that hotels are having almost the same requirements in their candidates everywhere in Egypt. The majority of the GMs stated that the most important characteristics required in new applicants are: (arranged according to priority) 1) Attitude, leadership experience, intellectual ability, foreign language, cleanliness, dress and posture, first impression, personality and service attitude.
2) Verbal & listening skills, writing skills, computer skills, teamwork,

motivation, planning and organizing, problem solving, following work standards, maturity. 3) Flexibility, decisiveness, performing skills, stress tolerance, humor and optimism, general health, physical ability and schooling.
4) Social skills and general background came as least important requirements in

a candidate from managers’ view point. See table (1) Most of the hotel managers contacted hospitality educational institutions to look for new applicants among graduates, repeatedly either in writing or orally, but it was not necessarily a useful approach for hotels. Hotel managers saw that a hotel should take the first action to communicate with hospitality educational institutions, then both parties should keep such communication, and their clear message was: “open our minds to communicate”. Hotel managers believe that such communication helps new graduates to find job opportunities in hotels, as: Awareness brings improvement Continuous improvement betters chances to excel Network communication (between hotels and institutions) is essential for hospitality educational institutions. All hotels had agreed upon the possibility of introducing graduates to hospitality careers.
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All hotels welcomed the idea of offering summer training for hotel department students, and one particular hotel agreed to have some kind of arrangement with the administration of the faculty of Tourism & Hotels. Hotels also agreed to receive periodical “field visits” of hotel department students, and arrangements can be discussed, regarding how many students and how often per month. Hotel managers also found it essential for them to take part in the annual students’ interviews to join the faculties of Tourism & Hotels. Some hotels see that students should be chosen according to their grades gained at the end of the Secondary Education, while other managers see it differently; students should be having the will to join this career, and “Aptitude and talents should be included in deciding the course of education”. Suggestions of hotel managers were mainly regarding the importance of the betterunderstanding between Hospitality Education and the hospitality industry and to remain students in skills that can help them find jobs (languages, computer, writing, verbal, etc) Table (1) Hotel managers rated most required characteristics in new applicants

• • • • • • • • •

Most Important Attitude Leadership Intellectual ability Foreign language Dress and posture Cleanliness First impression Personality Service attitude

Least Important • Social skills • General background

3- Students’ Questionnaire:
As for students of the hotel department who answered the form, 50% of them were at 4th year, 20% at 3rd year, 20% at 2nd year and 10% were post graduate students, who
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were graduated from the faculty about one year ago, and are continuing higher courses. All answers showed that students agree that there is a solid connection between what they study and the real work in hotels, but the strength of this connection varied: 30% of the sample think it’s less than 30% strong, 60% felt that it ranges between 31-50% strong, and only 10% saw that it is over 51-75% connection. Students suggested the following approaches to have them get closer to what happens in hotel business in real life: Workshops and seminars with hotel specialists (speakers) 15% Visiting lecturers from hotels on regular basis (monthly, bimonthly or weekly) 25% Having hotel visits throughout the academic year. 20% Practical training (specialists) 30% Having a real built-in hotel inside the faculty for practical training all year round.10% Many students preferred to start working in hotels wherever their supervisor/manager allocate them, as they put it, the supervisor knows best what position suits them well. (50%) Other students (about 30%) preferred starting their careers from the very first level, either in the restaurant or the kitchen. About 20% of the students preferred working at the Front Office, or Reservation Department, being the most common area of guest contact. The students’ choices were taken and here are the reasons why: Starting at the chosen place for them gives them a better chance to get better, following the work standards, as it can be the best way to get to know all job responsibilities and duties, thus being able to manage younger employees better in the future. Finally, many students chose the Front Office department as that’s where they started working and have some knowledge in that area. Students were asked whether they think working in the hospitality industry requires some special requirements or not. The majority of answers showed that student agree that there are certain required skills (90%) They also rated the given most common requirements according to their priorities, as follows:
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 Foreign languages - (The same way as GM’s put them)
 Cleanliness, dress and posture – (Rated 1st on the GM’s list)  A caring person who loves to serve others – (Rated LAST on GM’s list)  Physical appearance – (Rated 1st on GM’s list)

 Social skills – ( Rated LAST on GM’s list)  General knowledge – (Matches what the GM’s place it on the list)  Intellectual ability – (Does not match the GM’s needs)

Ra nk 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

Hotel Managers’ Opinion Attitude Leadership Intellectual ability Foreign language Dress and posture Cleanliness First impression Personality Service attitude Social skills General background

Rank Students’ Opinion 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Foreign language Cleanliness, dress & posture Caring personality Physical appearance Social skills General knowledge Intellectual ability

Table (2) Required skills in the hospitality industry as seen by
Managers & Students

In table (2), the results showed how far each party (students & Managers) from actual requirements. It proves that the link is broken between the industry and what students study and know during their academic studies. Their priorities are different from what

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hotel managers actually look for, meaning that will cause a gap in finding jobs in this career after graduation. On the other hand, students’ suggested the following points to link what they study with what really hospitality business is all about: 1- Knowing what hotel specialists has to say (practical study) 2- Training programs, seminars and meetings with specialists in the business. 3- Visiting hotels throughout the academic year. 4- Developing the curriculum to follow up with the hotel market changes 5- Having a built-in training hotel is a must in any hospitality educational institute. 6- Decreasing the number of accepted students to the faculties, for better quality learning. 7- Having real summer training in real hotels, and having a better chance of good job opportunities after graduation.

Figure (4)

Results and Discussion: 1) Staff Members’ questionnaire:
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The most important result part of the form was the suggestions of staff members to help offer hotels the type and personality of students that they looks for, their suggestions came arranged starting with priority, as follows: 1. Cooperation is a must when deciding how to teach a practical course. 2. The practical training during the academic year. 3. Developing the teacher in a way that keeps him/her updated with the industry’s changes. 4. The existing of both a kitchen and a restaurant is a must in all faculties of tourism & hotels. 5. Focusing more on foreign languages, their labs as well as the computer labs and courses. 6. Decreasing the number of students accepted at the faculty each year, to match the available halls and equipment, giving each student a better chance to learn and be well-qualified. 7. Communicating directly with both Tourism and Hotel Chambers, and reaching a way to keep in touch with hotels and educational hospitality institutions. 8. Exchanging expertise via workshops. 9. Quality Assurance in Education. 10. Cancelling the specialized Diploma for non-faculty of tourism graduates, as this decreases their chances of working in the hospitality career.

2) Hotel Managers’ Questionnaire:
It was noticed that managers are looking for about four groups of characteristics in a candidate: The first group is related to good personality, and managers can judge most of the applicants from the first impression, when they are interviewed. He /She should have a service-tendency personality, with proper intellectual ability, and a well-spoken foreign language that can allow him/ her to communicate with guests, co-workers, and even managers. The second group of the most important characteristics required, deals with the candidate’s abilities & skills that can be useful for him on the job (verbal, listening, writing, computer and interpersonal skills) All these skills are required to help him/ her communicate with his co-workers , in planning & organizing,
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how to solve problems as well as being skilled enough to follow the work standards. (Mentally matured candidate). The third group of characteristics deals with how the candidate should be able to perform his job; flexible, can make a decision, having a sense of humor and to be optimistic enough to overcome some stress caused by work, as well as being in good health and with suitable physical ability to bear any required hard work. The last group of required characteristics, are social skills and general background, as if having the previous three groups, the candidate would be almost qualified to have the background needed for the job. One particular hotel agreed to have a written agreement with the faculty’s administration to start giving summer training for 2nd, 3rd and 4th year students. (Similar arrangements can be done, to have the maximum number of hotel department students trained well during summer) The hotel offered the possibility of serving all meals and full accommodation to trainees, which is more than what a student can expect during summer training. This actually defeats that accusation about hotel managers not accepting to train students of hotel department in Egyptian Hospitality Educational Institutions. Eventually, this hotel will be having its own, well-trained and ready candidates, knowing its policies, thus, saving time and money of training brand new candidates all over again, meanwhile helping educational institutions with their oral summer training problem. Surveyed hotels saw that such step can help both sides, offering better job opportunities for students, as well as better understanding of the real world of hospitality, as it helps everybody at the end. Knowing more about students talents and skills, can be achieved through some kind of “introductory form”, handed to new students, (2nd year students of hotel department) to collect more data and information about students’ schooling, skills, languages, even his/her hobbies, and to keep records of this data, and update them when required, adding some notes about students’ personality and other gained skills for example. (WEHEBA, A. KADER, 2006)

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The study showed ways of some approaches achieved by the researcher, which was very useful for the teacher, and it will also help the hotel manager choose a promising candidate from.

3) Students’ Questionnaire:
It is strange how students rated the characteristics they see are required in a candidate. It shows that much work is needed to try to have them know what managers really need in a graduate, to do their best to excel in what is required, and focus on what really matters during their academic studies. To students, intellectual ability and physical appearance do not really count, maybe that’s because of what the previous educational system requires (Secondary education), there is no need to use the mind rather than study what you see in the book by heart, but that is NOT the case at all in the hospitality studies, as they DO require someone who is intelligent enough to deal with so many various situations, as well as someone who knows types of people and guests. That was a very important point that the field study showed, and it proved that something has to be done about accepting all types of students who –most of them- are rated for their ability to study things by heart, and are least likely to solve problems or take a decision when needed, as that is NOT what they were taught to do.

Recommendations:
1- Increasing the communication with the chambers of Tourism and Hotels & stakeholders on one side and on the other side, the hospitality higher educational institutions.
2- Organizing some kind of arrangement between the faculties of Tourism and

Hotels, especially those which do not have the practical tools and equipment, to set programs with hotels, to give real practical training in hotels, and by time hotels will have expected manpower, and students will get to know more about hotels. 3- Increasing the studying hours of practical syllabus (Making sure that it’s practically applied)
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4- Decreasing the numbers of new accepted students to join the faculty of Tourism & Hotels, to ensure better job opportunities and to select them according to the qualifications required by the hospitality market.
5- Applying a “whole-year-training-program”, (Industry Placement) For all students

of the hotel management department, they should not graduate unless they finish with a “Pass” a one-year-training before graduation. (Taking after other faculties, requiring special training before start working).
6- Considering the skills and qualifications required to accept new students at the

faculties of Tourism and Hotels, as recently, most of the students joining these faculties, choose to do so, taking it as the last best choice,(or the best of the worst choices, not as they like the career at all) when their grades do not allow them to join their first-choice of the faculties. 7- An integrated survey should take place to reach the actual indicators about the required specifications, characteristics and personality skills, in the fresh graduate in order to be qualified to find a good job opening. Trying to reach the weaknesses in the graduates’ overall level, through conducting a descriptive and quantitative research. 8- Some useful guidelines for the Quality Assurance of the study process are: 1. Regularly interview the graduates to obtain feedback. 2. Analyze the effectiveness of the system for the evaluation of the professional activities of teaching staff members. 3. Deans, together with the curriculum committee, need to arrange joint meetings of students and instructors to discuss the content of selfevaluation reports for development. a continuous and systematic curriculum

Practical Implications:
Plan of Action to be taken: 1. To increase the number of teachers, to continue in-service training of the existing staff.
[26]

2. To co-operate with other institutions in the field of curriculum development, inservice training and preparing of new learning resources.
3. To train specialized training supervisors or instructors to be able to train students. 4. To strengthen the motivation of students; foundation of new scholarships by local

hotels, chains and companies. 5. Close integration of theoretical/academic studies and practical training. 6. Specialized study of courses to be educated by the staff members. 7. Rising qualifications of teachers ( Which is already done through some training courses and workshops, but they need to be taken for other reasons than promotion of position). 8. Teaching staff should include practitioners who are experts in their field, and to make sure that they are well compensated. 9. Individual and learner-oriented approach in study process, close contacts with the teachers. 10. Flexibility, consideration of previous learning and work experience. 11. Application of modern methods of teaching and e-learning. 12. Good facilities with modern presentation equipment, WiFi areas. 13. Technologically well-equipped facilities for conducting practical cookery classes. 14. Increasing need for qualified graduates in tourism and hotel sector.

References:
1. ALLPORT, Carolyn, “Thinking Globally, Acting Locally: Life Long Learning &

Implications for University Staff”, Journal of High Education Policy and Management, Vol. 22 No. 1, May, 2000. pp. 37-46

[27]

2. EL MAHDY, M. S., “Higher Education Vision for the 21st Century: A Future

Outlook” A keynote paper presented at the CAINET99 Fourth Internet Conference & Exhibition, Cairo, 1999. PP. 11+ 3. EL MAHDY, Mohsen, Higher Education in Egypt, Report of the MOHE, Jan., 2001, PP. 23+ 4. HEWEDY, M. Mahmoud, “The Relationship between Higher Education, Training and Research and the Hospitality Industry; General Readings in the Lost Links”, Faculty of Tourism & Hotel Management, Fayoum, 2005. (In Arabic)
5. http://education.stateuniversity.com/pages/411/Egypt-EDUCATIONAL-

SYSTEM-OVERVIEW.html
6. http://eu.europa.eu/education/programmes/tempus/countries/higher/egypt.pdf 7. http://tn.gov/education/cte/standardscurr/doc/me_hospitality.doc 8. http://web.helwan.edu.eg/tourism/index.html 9. http://www.alex.edu.eg Alexandria University 10. http://www.fayoum.edu.eg/TourismFaculty Fayoum University 11. http://www.helwan.edu.eg Helwan University 12.http://www.qaa.ac.uk/reviews/reports/overseas/bournemouth_cyprus01.asp#26 13. https://mudb.mans.edu.eg/default.asp University of Mansoura

14. Information Unit, Annual Statistical Books, Ministry of Higher Education, Seven Volumes on University and Non-University Education, October, 1999. 15. KEERBERG, Anne and KUBARSEPP, Jakob, Kuressaare College Report of Tallinn University of Technology, Estonia, “Tourism and Catering Management; Applied Higher Education studies”, Self-evaluation report, August, 2006. PP.42+ 16. Statistical Department, Annual Statistical Books, Supreme Council of Universities, University Education Department Research Center, Seven Volumes, November 1999. 17. WEHEBA, Dina and A.KADER, Maher, “The Impact of Communication in Teaching: A Two-Way-communication Approach; A Case Study on Hotel Department Students, Tourismos, Vol.2, Issue1, Spring 2007. P. 127+
[28]

18. World Conference on Higher Education, Higher Education in the Twenty-First

Century: Vision and Action”, UNISCO, Paris, Vol. III, Commissions, Part II, pp.16-17, Oct., 1998.
19. www.conrad.com 20. www.fourseasons.com 21. www.hilton.com 22. www.ihg.com 23. www.marriotthotels.com 24. www.mohe.com.eg 25. www.oberoi.com 26. www.sofitel.com

Appendix
Faculty of Tourism and Hotels – Fayoum University

Hotel Department Curriculum:
[29]

Second Year:
12345678First Semester: Introduction to Food and Beverage Fundamentals of Management Human Resources and Public Relations Introduction to Information Technology Fundamentals of Statistics Fundamentals of Accounting Specialized First Foreign Language Specialized Second Foreign Language Second Semester: Food and Beverage Production Hotels Economics Hotel Statistics Materials Purchasing and Storing Applications of Information Technology in Hotels Cost Accounting in Hotels Specialized First Foreign Language Specialized Second Foreign Language

12345678-

Third Year:
1234567First Semester: Hotel Management Nutrition and Menu Planning Foods and Fast Foods Food and Beverage Production Crises Management Specialized First Foreign Language Specialized Second Foreign Language Second Semester: Hotel Management Hotel Marketing Food Service Management in Organization Hotel and Tourism Organizations Psychology of the Hotel Client Specialized First Foreign Language Specialized Second Foreign Language Training

12345678-

Fourth Year:
[30]

123456789-

First Semester: Hygiene in Hotel Industry Tourism and the Environment Managing Events and Conventions Hotel Equipment and Fixtures Hotel Maintenance and Engineering Hotel Architecture and Decoration Specialized First Foreign Language Specialized Second Foreign Language Graduation Project Second Semester: Graduation Project Controls in Hotels and Catering Protocols and Etiquettes Tourism and Hotel Legalities First Aid Modern and Current Egyptian History Specialized First Foreign Language Specialized Second Foreign Language Training

123456789-

Faculty of Tourism and Hotels - Alexandria University Hotel Department Curriculum:
Second Year:
1234First Semester: Economics of Tourism and Hotels Accounting of Tourism and Hotels Management of Hotel Services Fundamentals of Food and Nutrition (1) [31]

567-

Statistics for Tourism and Hotels First Foreign Language Second Foreign Language Second Semester: Computer and its applications Information Technology for Tourism and Hotels Fundamentals of Food and Nutrition (2) Hygiene and Food Contamination Hotel Management First Foreign Language Second Foreign Language • Practical Training for two months. (Kitchen and Stores)

1234567-

Third Year:
1234567First Semester: Tourism and Hotels Marketing Food and Beverage Management Cooking techniques Hotels Cost Accounting Room service Management First Foreign Language Second Foreign Language

1234567•

Second Semester: Food and Beverage Control Human resources Management Front Office Management Hotel Equipment Planning Food Menus First Foreign Language Second Foreign Language

Practical Training for two months. (Service and Front Office) [32]

Fourth Year:
1234567First Semester: Tourism and Hotels Legalities Restaurant Management Mass Catering Feasibility Studies for Hotel Projects Graduation Project (1) First Foreign Language Second Foreign Language Second Semester: Foreign Cuisine International Hospitality Management Resort Management Hospitality Quality Management Graduation Project (2) Specialized First Foreign Language Specialized Second Foreign Language • Practical Training for two months. (Service and Front Office)

1234567-

Faculty of Tourism and Hotels - Mansoura University Hotel Department Curriculum:
First Year:
123456First Semester: Fundamentals of Management Fundamentals of Statistics Computer Basics and Applications (1) Introduction to Tourism Introduction to Food General Geography [33]

78-

First Foreign Language Second Foreign Language Second Semester: Introduction to Hospitality Industry Touristic and Leisure Geography Food receiving and delivering Basics Basics of Nutrition Fundamentals of Accounting Computer Basics and Applications (2) First Foreign Language Second Foreign Language

12345678-

Second Year:
12345678First Semester: Organization and Management of Hospitality Operations Egyptian Environment Hygiene Food and Beverage Production (1) The Art of cooking (1) Computer Basics and Applications (3) First Foreign Language Second Foreign Language

12345678-

Second Semester: Hospitality Statistics Food and Beverage Production (2) The Art of Restaurant Service (1) The Art of cooking (2) Hotel Management Computer Basics and Applications (4) First Foreign Language Second Foreign Language

Third Year:
12345First Semester: Tourism and Hotels Legalities Front Office Management Housekeeping and Decoration Hotels Cost Accounting Food Menu Planning [34]

678-

Foods and Fast Food First Foreign Language(5) Second Foreign Language(5) Second Semester: Hotel Equipment Hospitality Economics Mass Catering The Art of Restaurant Service (2) History of Egypt and its Monuments Developing Human Resources First Foreign Language(6) Second Foreign Language(6) First Semester: Psychology of the Client Tourism and the Environment Event and Convention Management and Protocol Hygiene in Hospitality Industry Hospitality Management Agreements Feasibility Studies for Hotel Projects First Foreign Language Second Foreign Language

12345678-

Fourth Year:
12345678-

1234567-

Second Semester: Crises Management Spas and Resorts Hospitality Environment Management Food and Beverage Quality Control Hospitality Marketing Specialized First Foreign Language Specialized Second Foreign Language Graduation Project

[35]

[36]

i

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