College News Main Headline

High school students, families flock to Open Day to learn more about IFTM

中文摘要 / Summary in Chinese

IFTM hosted on 9 January its annual “Open Day”. This year’s event drew scores of prospective students and their families, seeking to learn more about the Institute’s programmes and facilities.

The 2021 edition of the IFTM Open Day took place on the Institute’s Taipa Campus. It featured guided campus tours, game booths and workshops. Also available on site was a series of information desks providing details on admission processes for a number of programmes. Prospective students were able to register their interest for a preferred programme.

Included in the Open Day were 2 “Sharing Sessions”, providing an introduction to the Institute’s undergraduate and postgraduate programmes. They were delivered by IFTM faculty members, who were joined by alumni that are already pursuing successful careers in the city’s tourism and hospitality industry. The sessions were attended by an aggregate of more than 100 high school students on site, and were also broadcast live online.

The IFTM Open Day seeks to explain to visitors that combining theory and practice is at the heart of the Institute’s educational work. It gives prospective students a chance to speak to staff and current students to find out more about courses, and about life at the Institute.

Mr. Miguel Lei accompanied his daughter to the Open Day. He was impressed by IFTM’s curriculum, teaching facilities and the Institute’s overall network of international partners.

“Its curriculum suits the needs of students,” Mr. Lei said. “Graduates from this institution are also quite successful in finding jobs.”

Mr. Lei explained his daughter had considered applying for higher education studies abroad, but due to the seriousness of the COVID-19 pandemic worldwide, staying in Macao seemed the best option.

“As parents, we are worried about our kids wanting to further their studies abroad, because global travel restrictions are still in place and the infection risk lingers. Comparatively speaking, Macao is quite a safe place and hence also a good choice,” Mr. Lei said.

Appealing option

Damien Wong Hok Hin, who is preparing for his final high school exams, attended IFTM’s Open Day seeking to gather details about the Institute’s Culinary Arts Management Bachelor Degree Programme. “I’m interested in culinary arts and I think that would make IFTM my only target in Macao,” Damien said. “But I’m also checking what other programmes the Institute offers.”

The IFTM Open Day annually attracts prospective students not only from Macao, but also from elsewhere in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area, as well as further afield. This year was a bit different, due to travel restrictions linked to the COVID-19 pandemic. Nonetheless, the event retained an international appeal.

IFTM’s Culinary Arts Management programme was the reason for Janice Gumboc, a Philippine national working in Macao’s hospitality sector, to attend the Institute’s Open Day. She was scouting for admission details to pass on to her brother, who is living in the Philippines. Despite potential travel complications caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, Ms. Gumboc said her brother was still considering heading to IFTM to pursue studies in the culinary arts field, because of his passion for all things related with food.

Local praise

The quality of education at the Institute is praised by heads of local schools. The Institute has in place a recommendation system that enables high school principals directly to refer to the Institute individual students judged to have outstanding academic performance.

“IFTM is well-known for its strength in cultivating tourism professionals,” said Mr. Chan Chi Seng, a teacher at Kao Yip Middle School, where he handles university admission counselling for students. He attended the IFTM Open Day as a guest, as his school is part of the IFTM referral system.

“The Institute enjoys a high standing in the QS World University Rankings for its subject area, hospitality and leisure management. So, it does attract a lot of interest from our graduates,” Mr. Chan said.

Macau Baptist College’s Vice Principal, Ms. Lam Tai Tai, said people at her school were impressed not only by IFTM’s quality education, but also by the Institute’s role as a base for tourism education and training for young people and professionals coming from the Greater Bay Area. “Macao’s positioning is to become a World Centre for Tourism and Leisure, and our impression of IFTM is that its curriculum and teaching methodology do fit Macao’s role,” said Ms. Lam.

She added: “English is the language of instruction for IFTM’s daytime bachelor degree programmes, and the Institute has high international exposure. That is actually a push for our students to enhance their English-language communication skills. We hope that they can eventually get accepted by the Institute and improve their language skills and other competencies during their time studying at IFTM.”

A special feature of the Open Day is that students from the Tourism Event Management and Culinary Arts Management bachelor degree programmes help put together the event. They are responsible for planning and delivering many of the activities offered throughout the day.

Alec Wu Qitao, a Year 4 student in the Tourism Event Management programme, was one of the student ambassadors offering support during the 2021 edition of Open Day. It was his second time in such a role.

“For the first time, the guided tour was around IFTM’s Taipa Campus. We also got to introduce what the Institute offers in terms of postgraduate programmes, as well as the new facilities on the Taipa Campus, such as the Heritage Lab and the Retail Lab,” Alec said.

Fellow student ambassador Qoo Lan Yue was surprised by the Open Day turnout. “We were a bit worried in the beginning that the COVID-19 situation would discourage people from coming, but we had good infection-prevention measures in place, and the attendance turnout was better than what we expected,” said Qoo, a Year 2 student in the Tourism Event Management programme.

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