Expert Opinions

Hospitality Education Institution in South Africa

1. What are the current opportunities & challenges facing the hospitality education sector in South Africa?

The hospitality and culinary educational sector is an incredibly diverse and dynamic one, not only in South Africa but worldwide too. It is highly influenced by global trends, so the industry requires education to remain relatively adaptive and flexible to changing needs.

Economic challenges are one of the most notable that the hospitality industry faces in South Africa as it directly impacts the ability of individuals to invest in a quality education.

The rapid evolution of technology in the culinary and hospitality industries and the expectations of the current generation coming into educational institutes to study, requires educational institutions to continuously adapt and incorporate technology into teaching methods, while facing the challenges of an equitable delivery of digital literacy in South Africa as a whole.

Compliance with industry and educational regulations is essential for maintaining the quality of education.

Addressing these challenges and capitalising on opportunities to provide students with local and

international accreditation opportunities can contribute to the overall growth and enhancement of culinary and hospitality education in South Africa. Continuous collaboration between educational institutions, industry stakeholders and relevant government bodies and international partners and bodies is crucial for the sector’s success.

Another incredibly relevant challenge to the current culinary and hospitality environment is ensuring graduates are well-equipped with the practical skills needed by the industry. It is one component of education, but equipping learners with the tools to operate and manage themselves in a work environment has emerged as a gap in a post-Covid world, with a growing expectation from learners and industry to try bridge the gap. There can be a gap between the skills acquired in educational institutions and the actual requirements of the workforce but we need to work to eradicate this.

Despite these challenges, there are immense opportunities in the hospitality and culinary sectors in this country. The increasing popularity of culinary arts and the immense growth and iversification of the hospitality sector provide opportunities for educational institutions to contribute to creating and fostering the development of meaningful careers within the field.

South Africa’s rich and diverse culinary and cultural heritage presents an opportunity to develop unique and culturally rich education programmes that can appeal to local and international students. The globalisation of travel and hospitality trends provides an opportunity for institutions to expose students to a wide range of international hospitality and culinary opportunities, preparing them for diverse career paths.

South Africa’s tourism industry is a significant contributor to the economy, so we need to ensure that educational institutions focus on preparing learners to enter the world as well educated, well rounded, passionate professionals with the potential to build their careers. Good educational institutions create an innovative industry and play an important part in impacting the global market.

2. What are the key education philosophies and teaching methodologies implemented within your institution to ensure students are well-equipped for the industry?

At Capsicum Culinary Studio and The School of Hospitality and Service Management (IIEHSM), we prioritise and actively cultivate robust relationships with industry partners within the hospitality sector and outside of the traditional sector. Our commitment to staying connected with the industry and to contribute to developing the industry is reflected in several key strategies that we remain committed to, including involvement in advisory boards and professional bodies, regular collaboration and networking through industry events, conferences and other networking opportunities.

The integration of guest lectures and workshops – where industry professionals are invited to interact with our students – gives them direct exposure to real-world challenges and innovations. This interaction not only enhances the learning experience but also provides students with valuable insights from those actively engaged in the field. Collaborative projects form an integral part of our curriculum.

These initiatives allow students to work on real-world challenges, providing solutions that are both innovative and practical.

Through strategic partnerships, we facilitate internships and placement programmes that allow students to gain hands-on experience in diverse settings. This not only enhances their practical skills but also exposes them to different facets of the industry, we always prioritise open and continuous communication with industry partners. Regular feedback assists us in gathering vital insights on the changing needs of the industry and provides us with the opportunity to help guide and develop our students. This two-way communication ensures that we remain dynamic and responsive to industry.

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