Top hospitality school eyes Singapore

Switzerland’s famed Ecole hôtelière de Lausanne wants to set up a campus here and is also looking at having an innovation hub for Asia.

SWITZERLAND’S Ecole hôtelière de Lausanne (EHL), the world’s leading hospitality management school, has big plans for Singapore. It is considering setting up a campus here and is also looking at having an innovation hub for Asia in Singapore.

EHL says that it wants to respond to the needs of students who require an educational experience abroad. Its goal is to swap one semester between the proposed EHL campus in Singapore and the main EHL campus in Lausanne.

Mr Rochat: “We believe that our success is a combination of art (practical) and science (academic).”

“When the final decision to establish our EHL campus in Singapore is made, we want to offer the same level and values that we offer at the EHL Lausanne campus. We plan to offer in Singapore a Bachelor and a Master degree. We will also, within the Singapore campus, provide an EHL innovation hub for Asia,” says Michel Rochat, CEO of the EHL Group.

“We are still working on this project. A final decision by our board will be taken this coming October,” he adds.

With over 2,700 students from 114 nationalities at its campus in Lausanne, Switzerland, EHL says that it offers a combination of the “art de la main” (practical) and science (academic), which is very typical of the renowned Swiss dual system of education.

“With its 125 years of experience – EHL Lausanne campus celebrates in 2018 its 125th anniversary – our aim in our academic programme is to respond to the market’s needs. Together with well over 10,000 alumni, the EHL Lausanne campus is well rooted in the industry,” says Mr Rochat.

EHL Lausanne has a strong alumni community in Singapore too. It opened a regional office here in 2014. Its other regional office is in San Francisco. In addition, it has consulting offices in Beijing and New Delhi, and also a network of eight certified schools around the world.

The leading hospitality school says that the growing hospitality industry worldwide is going to bring many economic benefits to the Asia-Pacific region. There is expected to be 4 per cent annual growth in the tourism and hospitality market in the next 10 years. EHL’s likely setting up of a campus in Singapore will also be a boon for the hospitality business here as it is an important sector of the local economy.

“In the Asia-Pacific region we expose our students to a new landscape in a country which shares many of our Swiss values like excellence and security. We are a non-profit foundation. If any profit is made, it will, at first, be invested for students. This is in order to bring to the industry in Asia the best trained students that support excellence of our EHL values,” says the EHL chief.

As practical training and apprenticeship are important for the hospitality industry, both these aspects are woven into the programmes offered by EHL.

“We apply the Swiss dual system together with internships. Further, during the bachelor year, our students are confronted with real requirements of the industry and are a part of a Student Business Project. We believe that our success is a combination of art (practical) and science (academic). In Singapore, there will be a similar programme as at the EHL Lausanne campus,” says Mr Rochat.

This is because the Swiss system with its emphasis on vocational training is relevant for Singapore. And Singapore can learn from the Swiss experience as it develops its own SkillsFuture programme.

“Rooting universities with the future needs of the market is today the key. We both have to learn from each side and it has to be an added value for Singapore and EHL Lausanne,” says Mr Rochat.

Since 1893, EHL has been a pioneer in terms of managerial training for careers in hospitality. A worldwide reference, EHL pursues its mission to select ambitious and talented students and to train them to become the responsible leaders of the future. The school is a member of EHL (Holding) SA.

As an ambassador of the Swiss hospitality tradition, EHL says it has established one of the largest and most dynamic professional networks of alumni around the world. This unique community consists of 25,000 industry leaders, all of whom are brought together by EHL’s values and culture.


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