After a lengthy preparation process, the University of Szeged Faculty of Economics and Business Administration will launch a new bachelor training programme for economists specialising in tourism and catering in the 2020/2021 academic year.
The programme has recently been approved by the Hungarian Accreditation Committee. The application deadline for the programme for international students applying from outside Hungary is 31st May 2020.
The main aim of the Faculty is to provide students with professional knowledge giving them a definite advantage on the job market, at the same time catering for the region’s demand of highly trained graduates with excellent communication skills and foreign language knowledge. In the past few years, many youngsters had left the Southern Great Plain region and chose other cities in the country to pursue their higher education studies in the field of tourism and hospitality. Launching this new programme in Szeged will provide a better perspective for the region’s youngsters while strengthening economic development based on tourism in the area as well. More than 30 organisations – with the region’s key hotels, restaurants, travel agencies and other national/local institutions among them – have previously expressed their support for a bachelor programme to be started concentrating on the field of tourism in Szeged.
Szeged underwent a dynamic development period in the field of tourism in the past few years – this is supported by the increase in the number of nights tourists have spent in the city. Szeged may be considered one of the most popular touristic destinations of the country; the city’s hotels often report fully booked periods and record-breaking incomes. On top of the increase in domestic tourism, there are more and more international visitors that end up in the city of sunshine. The reputation of the city has been further elevated by the myriad of recreational and gastronomical events and festivals organised here all year round. The achieved successes and the intense development that has taken place regarding the region’s touristic attractions unquestionably call for a continuous supply of professionally trained workers, a category that currently appears to be in a deficit. According to statistics about what programmes higher education applicants nominate as their first choice, tourism-catering bachelor programmes appear to be among the most popular economic related training programmes. Introducing this new bachelor programme further strengthens Szeged’s position within the tourism industry.
Among other fields, the programme focuses on current tourism industry trends and on introducing the students to modern, digital and online touristic tools. It also puts an emphasis on leadership skills, regional and local marketing, country image and brand building. Besides tourism researchers working at the University of Szeged, this new practice oriented training programme is aided by key figures of the Southern Great Plain professional touristic sector with a lot of relevant experience within the field of travel organisation and hospitality. These experts also hold important professional positions in a number of touristic organisations in the region. The programme is also designed to be highly market-oriented with a focus on special subjects like online and e-tourism, hotel management, travel agency marketing, health tourism, local town marketing or even the relationship of brand building and gastronomy.
Unlike the other bachelor programmes offered by the Faculty of Economics, the tourism and catering programme takes 8 semesters to complete with the last 2 semesters being spent at a company on a compulsory internship. The internship allows fresh graduates to already have some practical experience by the time they finally graduate and also to develop professional connections early on in their career. Students of the tourism and catering bachelor programme will be required to have two language certificates by their graduation – to achieve this, they will be able to enlist the help of the university’s Foreign Language Centre or the language courses that are actually part of the programme itself. These specific language classes are open to international students as well, providing even more opportunities for students to improve their language skills and to develop their intercultural connections.