中文摘要 / Summary in Chinese
The annual IFTM Open Day was held on 9 January. The event was a window giving prospective students, their parents, representatives of secondary schools and members of the public a first-hand view of the top-notch facilities and high-quality curriculum the Institute offers.
The IFTM Open Day took place at the Forward Building on the Taipa Campus. Among its features were game booths, food stalls and musical performances, along with a variety of workshops covering topics such as eco-friendly handicrafts and tea making, presented by IFTM students and instructors. These features gave visitors interactive ways to get a taste of what IFTM campus life is like.
Booths gave out details about admission to the array of undergraduate and postgraduate programmes at the Institute. Guided tours showed off the campus facilities. Several sharing sessions, which could be attended physically or online, allowed prospective students to learn from current students and alumni about the Institute and the career paths that an IFTM degree can open up.
Terry Siu, a Form 6 pupil at The Affiliated School of the University of Macau, was among scores of high school students seeking information about the Institute at the IFTM Open Day. “I’m preparing to take the Joint Admission Examination for Macao Four Higher Education Institutions, and I have still not made a decision on which local institution and what programme I should enrol in,” Terry said. “I’m checking out different tertiary education institutions.”
The Joint Admission Examination (JAE) is a common entrance exam covering 4 subjects, jointly set each year by IFTM and 3 other Macao institutions of higher education. The intention is to save Macao candidates for places at the 4 institutions the trouble of sitting more than one exam in each subject if they apply to more than one of the institutions.
After taking an IFTM Open Day tour, Terry said he had gained familiarity with the offerings of the Institute. “As I plan to start my career in Macao in the future, I’ve found that the IFTM programmes are practical, and align with my goals, particularly the Cultural and Heritage Management programme,” he said.
Besides JAE, another main way for pupils leaving Macao high schools to be admitted to IFTM is through a recommendation system, which enables principals to refer direct to the Institute individual students whose academic performance is outstanding.
Ted Wong, who will be leaving the Escola Choi Nong Chi Tai this summer, has been recommended by his school for a place in the Culinary Arts Management programme. He visited the Taipa Campus during the IFTM Open Day to become acquainted with the Institute.
“The environment is comfortable, with a lot of facilities,” Ted said. “I love cooking, and many of my friends and relatives have studied at IFTM, with great feedback, so I’ve decided to study in the culinary arts programme here.” He hopes the programme can equip him with the skills and knowledge to become a chef de cuisine, and start his own food and beverage business.
According to IFTM President Dr. Fanny Vong Chuk Kwan, the Institute “emphasises both theory and practice, offering internship opportunities.” What Dr. Vong called “a comprehensive education system” at the Institute is capable, she said, of “nurturing students with profound knowledge, professional skills and practical experience.”
The Institute plans to admit about 570 new students in academic year 2022/2023, some to pursue bachelor’s degrees, some to pursue postgraduate studies. The figure is 16 percent greater than the number of new students enrolled for the current academic year, Dr. Vong said. IFTM plans to broaden in academic year 2022/2023 its appeal to postgraduates, offering new programmes in applying smart technologies in the fields of hospitality and tourism.
High praise earned
One of those asking at the IFTM Open Day for more information about the postgraduate programmes was Ms. Vicky Ip. Ms. Ip has worked in retailing in Macao, her home town, for about 4 years. “I want to pursue further studies to boost my career development prospects, because just having a bachelor’s degree is not enough nowadays,” she said.
Having studied in Hong Kong before returning to Macao to work, Ms. Ip admits she is unfamiliar with tertiary education institutions here. “But when I mentioned to my family and friends that I wanted to take a master’s degree programme in tourism, they all recommended IFTM.”
The Institute has earned similar high praise from heads of high schools in Macao. According to Colégio Diocesano de São José No. 6 Head of Academic Affairs Mr. Lou Ho In, “the robust development of IFTM in recent years, including new facilities and more partnerships with other regional and international institutions, is one of the reasons some of our students are attracted to IFTM.”
During the IFTM Open Day, the Institute formally opened its Ideation Lab, a facility on the Taipa Campus intended to stimulate entrepreneurial behaviour and innovation. The facility has co-working office space, meeting rooms and other hardware. Its purpose is to support entrepreneurial projects by Macao people, particularly projects spearheaded by IFTM students or alumni.
Mr. Lou said that although the COVID-19 pandemic has hampered tourism in Macao, interest among high school pupils in pursuing studies in the field is unabated. “Despite the current fundamentals, tourism will remain as the major industry in Macao in the future, and that’s why many students are still interested in this area,” he added.
Ms. Fan In Leng, a teacher at Our Lady of Fatima Girls’ School, has a similar perspective. “For our students who want to develop a career in Macao, quite a lot will choose tourism, and their first choice for study is IFTM,” Ms. Fan said. “The curriculum at IFTM is in tandem with the development of Macao, offering industry insights that students might not get elsewhere.”