Institute News Main Headline

Scholarships give added drive to IFTM students

中文摘要 / Summary in Chinese

“I have always worked so hard, but this scholarship is a driving force that will give me inspiration to constantly invest in myself,” says IFTM fresh graduate Gina Lam. She received earlier this year a Bachelor’s Degree in Tourism Retail and Marketing Management from the Institute.

Gina was one of the awardees to benefit from the 338 scholarships and fellowships made available to Institute students in 2021. Scholarship partners sponsored a total of 271 grants, valued at more than MOP2.4 million in aggregate.

IFTM hosted on 19 November its annual IFTM Scholarship and Fellowship Presentation Ceremony, to recognise its partners and the student awardees for 2021. The event took place at the Grand Hall on the Mong-Há Campus.

The ceremony was particularly significant for Mr. Rutger Verschuren, President of the Board of Directors of the Macau Hotel Association, one of the bodies supporting the Institute’s scholarship programme. “IFTM is where most of our employees came from – I’m not exaggerating – and they are very talented and passionate people,” he says.

“We really want to give our modest support to students who could use some extra help to work hard, study hard for a successful career,” says the Dutch executive, a veteran of the local hospitality sector. “It’s the least we can do,” he adds.

Management at IFTM highlights the importance of scholarships as a way to improve people’s access to education: some scholarships provide financial aid to undergraduates facing economic hardship. Such an award system is a way to “ensure students from less-well-off backgrounds have access to the opportunities and tools to forge their path to success,” said IFTM President Dr. Fanny Vong Chuk Kwan during the scholarship ceremony.

The overall IFTM scholarship programme serves several other goals. They include helping students to attend an internship outside Macao, assisting them to participate in academic seminars, and aiding interested ones to take part in exchange schemes. Other scholarships reward undergraduates who have performed exceptionally during their respective curricular internship. The system can additionally recognise students for academic performance.

That was the case with Abrio Wong Hio Ieng, a postgraduate student in the Hospitality and Tourism Management Master’s Degree Programme. “I didn’t apply for anything, so it was quite surprising to me when I found out I won this scholarship”, she admits.

A scholarship means the local student is now “more motivated” to continue performing well in her studies. “Our teachers hope we can work harder to do even better,” she explains.

Helping hand

“To be able truly to develop leaders for the tourism and hospitality industry, we need help along the way”, said IFTM President Dr. Vong in her speech during the Scholarship Ceremony.

Those endowing scholarships include arms of the Macao SAR Government, private enterprises, charities, associations, and individuals, as well as the IFTM Council. There are currently 21 sponsors, supporting a range of grants.

Banco Nacional Ultramarino, or BNU, is one of the long-standing supporters of IFTM’s scholarship programme. BNU Chief Executive Officer Carlos Cid Álvares says the bank is “more than happy to help” offer IFTM students “one more incentive to try harder” in their studies.

He stresses that Macao’s involvement in the development of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area – particularly regarding the neighbouring Hengqin Island – will create fresh demand for trained, high-quality professionals. IFTM is renowned for being able to develop such people, he says.

IFTM also offers its own scholarships. In this academic year, 55 new undergraduates and 8 postgraduate students were exempted from paying tuition fees via that route. In addition, IFTM also offered other types of grants.

IFTM scholarship and fellowship providers:
– Cultural Affairs Bureau
– Macao Foundation
– Macao Government Tourism Office
– Banco Nacional Ultramarino
– Bank of China
– Mr. Cheung Lup Kwan
– Galaxy Entertainment Group
– Golden Burger (Macau) Charity Association
– Henry Fok Foundation
– Ms. Isabel and Mr. Patrick Huen
– L’Arc Macau
– Macau Hotel Association
– Macau Polytex Group
– Macau Traveling and Cultural Exchange Promotion Association
– Melco Resorts & Entertainment
– Nam Kwong (Group) Company Ltd.
– Sands China Ltd.
– SJM Resorts, S.A.
– Wynn Resorts (Macau)
– IFTM Council