Adrian Artimov, Director of Marketing and Enrolment, Sommet Education

Adrian Artimov is a dynamic, innovative and target-driven professional with 18 years of experience delivering premium sales, marketing, shopper marketing, consumer and brand activation initiatives across Central Europe, South Asia, Middle East and Africa, in FMCG and Higher Education. Adrian began his career as a Sales Area manager and after working at different organizations including IDO AD (Client Servicing Director/Business Development), Regional Sales and Marketing Manager (Laureate Hospitality Education), he became Head of Enrolment South Asia at Sommet Education. He is currently Director Marketing and Enrolment Higher Ed at Sommet Education.

 

In the last two years, educational institutes underwent a major transformation. Physical classrooms altered into virtual and soon remote or ‘Phygital’ learning became the usual norm. Remote learning cut down students’ transportation costs and travelling time which gave them the flexibility to revisit the lectures and adapt the curriculum as per their convenience.

As we enter 2022 and the government of India announces ‘One class, One TV channel’ in the Union budget 2022- a progressive and much need change by making the internet accessible to students in every part of India and with expansion plans of executing 12 to 200 TV channels, educational institutes are hopeful that it will help rural students to imbibe, and to understand the curriculum effectively as supplementary education will be done in regional languages. It is expected to help students from rural India to join mainstream India with confidence.

As schools open up and physical classrooms resume, let’s understand the current and future trends in hospitality education:

‘Phygital’ Classrooms

Technology is changing rapidly and with the ‘One class, One TV channel’ scheme announcement educational institution has a great opportunity, more than before to maximize the opportunity to digitize the classrooms and streamline the process and centralize the data. Certain hospitality institutes are increasingly proposing a unique learning solution to the students to choose online study or study on campus. Options such as part campus part online or fully remote possibilities are also presented to them. Moving from physical to remote and now back to physical classroom requires the adaption of curriculum and content but more importantly, the adaption has to be smooth in keeping with student’s preferences. To ensure the success of the studies and to keep the interest alive of online students, hospitality institutes have proposed extracurricular activities such as interactive sessions on ‘how to introduce creativity in cocktails and mocktails’ live demonstrations of culinary skills, and prominent guest speaker interviews.

Certain institutes have leveraged big time on technological advancement and have come up with an innovative new app with a personalized AI tutor which identifies gaps in students’ knowledge, process, and coaches it accordingly. To generate a sense of belonging among the students, bespoke career counseling, online interview techniques, mentorship programs are also being introduced.

Virtual Learning (VR)

The advent of animation has made it a lot easier for information to be absorbed in a faster and more suitable way. Simple or tough – any subject or topic can be presented in a simplified way with the help of animation. And this innovation has given room for Virtual Reality (VR) technology that has been transforming and has the potential to transform the education landscape massively in the future.

Time and again, technology has proven to be an impressive learning tool that makes teaching fun and engaging. In the current scenario, it allows effectively replicating practical environment to gain professional experience by making and rectifying mistakes a fun way. It is adapted according to students’ needs and levels, allowing them to take risks without losing things. To help students become adept in handling complex scenarios and tricky situations, Les Roches, through its on-campus innovation center named Spark, have developed a concept for virtual reality for their student training activities on campus. These new-age training solutions will acquaint students with customer service experience, ways to manage consumer needs and resolve conflict in a real-time manner without needing humans.

For instance, the new VR solution will train future receptionists (students) in check-in/check-out (or other services) with virtual customers (bots). These virtual customers could be drunk, aggressive or unreasonable etc. The technology helps in recreating situations in front of students that are difficult to reproduce in real, even with a professor. These virtual customers (bots) offer both national or international inferences that require receptionists (student) to act accordingly, considering the cultural factors, as the response in Japan would be different from that in Mexico). To help the students get exposed to people of different nationalities, the VR solution uses different languages (with natural language processing technology), including different accents or slangs. This system, used in classes, can manipulate visual, auditory (audio), olfactory (sense of smell), and other sensations in the body while tracking the participant’s eyes, head, and body movements. Controlled by researchers, this tool can fully immerse a user into a virtual world. The students can even undertake this training alone or in a group (in a physical classroom with a teacher). After its completion, students and professors receive a “training” report with information about their experiences (for their continued improvement).

2021 presented numerous opportunities for the hospitality industry by allowing the players to re-center their activity on the principles of sustainable growth. 2022 is the year of sustainable growth- businesses across sectors are working towards sustainable practices at the workplace. Many players focus on turning their businesses locally by providing consumers with the experience of organic with local goods and services. Certain hospitality management schools are using experiential learning systems. They are basing their content and educational model to help students learn and pick the nuances of hospitality management as professionals and help in the overall personality development.

Constant Changes

As the hospitality industry grapples with constant changes, professionals need to embrace the newly emerging culture of lifelong learning in hospitality education. According to a recent study carried out by Oxford University, about 47 per cent of US jobs will be digitalized in the next two decades, which means people will now have to acquire new skills to remain employable. Besides, research conducted by PWC stated that 79 per cent of CEOs worldwide are concerned about the talent gap that may hinder the future growth of their organizations. A possible solution to the issue rests in encouraging employees to undertake short-term and long-term training programs along with other professional courses to boost their careers. Understanding the need of the hour, several hospitality institutions have redesigned their offerings and course structures, allowing professionals to resume their academic journey through flexible learning programs with the option of adjusting the course duration and platform (online or offline).

To conclude, ‘phygital’ classrooms, technology advancement, personalization, and lifelong learning will emerge as the key future trends governing hospitality education.

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