e at IFT believe in the importance of providing high-quality education and training in the field of tourism and hospitality, in order to equip people with the skills and knowledge to excel in the global marketplace. However, as the landscape of Macao’s higher education is shifting, and as Macao is evolving, we too need to adapt.
In that regard, academic year 2016/17 has been one of particular importance for IFT. Following the recent revision of Macao’s Higher Education Law, we at IFT plan to amend our by-laws in order further to strengthen academic autonomy and provide improved career prospects for academic and administrative staff, a move that will help us attract additional, high-quality, team members. We are also working to establish postgraduate programmes, in order to promote development of first-class talent for the tourism industry.
IFT persistently strives to improve the quality of the education provided at our facilities. It is thanks respectively to the tireless efforts of our faculty and non-academic staff in enhancing our education and research standards; to our alumni’s outstanding performance in the society; and to the support of the Macao SAR Government and the local community at large, that we have been able to achieve continuous progress and to strengthen our reputation. We have recently successfully completed 2 additional academic evaluations conducted by international organisations, thereby expanding our global prestige and recognition as a top tourism education provider.
A particular focus for IFT has been the expansion of our international network of partners. Since the Global Centre for Tourism Education and Training was officially set up at IFT in academic year 2016/17, we have organised a number of international training programmes in partnership with the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO).
“WE AT IFT BELIEVE THAT TIMES OF GREAT CHANGE, THOUGH DAUNTING, ARE ALSO TIMES OF TREMENDOUS OPPORTUNITY. LOOKING AHEAD, WE ARE WORKING TO BECOME AN AGENT OF POSITIVE CHANGE BOTH IN EDUCATION IN THE FIELD OF TOURISM AND HOSPITALITY, AND IN MACAO’S OVERALL DEVELOPMENT”
Tourism is a pillar of Macao’s economy. IFT aims to contribute to the sustainable development of the local tourism industry through conducting more research in this field. This is in order to help inform policy decisions. The research output of our academics has been increasing, with ever more studies conducted, numerous articles published in international academic journals, and consultancy services provided to tourism operators and Government.
In addition to our ongoing journey in the pursuit of academic and research excellence, we at IFT are fully committed to fulfilling our social responsibilities, and contributing to the betterment of Macao as a whole.
On 1 July 2017, the “Framework Agreement on Deepening Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Cooperation in the Development of the Bay Area” was signed between the National Development and Reform Commission, and the governments of Guangdong Province, the Hong Kong SAR and the Macao SAR. Part of the Framework Agreement pledges to develop the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area as an international education highland, and to support the development of Macao as a base for tourism industry training.
As a Macao public tertiary education institution, IFT will cooperate fully with the Macao SAR Government in order actively to participate in the Greater Bay Area project, and to contribute to the development of the local tourism industry. In fact, IFT has been cooperating with educational institutions in Zhuhai and in Guangzhou for many years: the Institute has helped train more than 2,000 students in those cities and plans to expand cooperation to other educational institutions and organisations in the Greater Bay Area.
We at IFT believe that times of great change, though daunting, are also times of tremendous opportunity. Looking ahead, we are working to become an agent of positive change both in education in the field of tourism and hospitality, and in Macao’s overall development. As old ways of acting and thinking start to break down, embracing change and making the most of working in partnerships are for us the right ways forward.
Dr. Fanny Vong