Nanaimo, BC: A first-time visit to Vancouver Island University (VIU) by a group of senior college officials from Tanzania is the next step in a unique training collaboration between the two institutions.
Five members from Tanzania’s National College of Tourism (NCT) are at VIU for two weeks this August, working alongside VIU tourism and hospitality faculty to develop new management programs for the East African country.
“Our team is excited to offer our support and expertise to NCT,” says Peter Briscoe, Chair of VIU’s Hospitality Management program. “The international nature of hospitality and tourism allows people to experience other cultures, and to share their cultures and ideas with others.”
Tourism is a crucial industry in Tanzania; it accounts for about 17 per cent of the country’s GDP. However, few Tanzanians work in the sector’s managerial ranks. The goal of developing an upper-level degree program is to enable Tanzanians to take on those management positions in hospitality and tourism, according to Rosada Msoma, Acting CEO of NCT.
“We are looking forward to learning from VIU as we develop degree programs in hospitality and tourism management,” says Msoma. “We also want to develop a diploma curriculum for event management.”
The visitors will take workshops on “competency-based education and training” – an educational philosophy that stresses participation and hands-on learning. In addition, delegates will receive leadership training and take part in sessions offered by VIU’s Centre of Innovation and Excellence in Learning.
The partnership is also benefiting VIU. “Faculty are able to use their skills in an international context,” says Darrell Harvey, VIU’s International Projects Coordinator. “The shared learning will help VIU as faculty members renew their curriculum – it’s likely that the collaboration will rub off on our programming, too.”
The project’s overarching goal is to launch a new NCT tourism and hospitality degree program by 2019. There will be at least two more NCT visits to VIU; in return, VIU faculty members will lead annual training trips to Tanzania.
Funding for the project comes from the Improving Skills Training for Employment Program (ISTEP), which is managed by Colleges and Institutes Canada. ISTEP is a five-year Government of Canada initiative that provides funds to projects involved in strengthening technical and vocational institutions in Tanzania.