You are welcome to the Hotel Schools Division of the North West Parks and Tourism Board. The information you require about our institutions is provided to you through responses to a series of questions which from our engagement with our clients and stakeholders over the years seem to be some of the most commonly asked questions. We hope we will be able to be of assistance to you.
The Institute of Hotel and Tourism Management (IHTM) is the collective name of institutions that provide hospitality, tourism and conservation management and skills training in the North West Province under the auspices of the North West Parks and Tourism Board. Our institutions pride themselves in being among the leading institutions in the country that specializes in training future leaders in the sector. The North West Parks and Tourism Board is one of the nine provincial tourism and conservation agencies in the country. It is only one of such agencies that have developed facilities to training people in a sector that is the fastest growing industry in the world.
Our institutions are THETA Accredited and with our Council for Higher Education (CHE) approved programmes offered in collaboration with institutions such as Centurion Academy, the City and Guilds of London etc. We are in the process of expanding this network of collaboration and affiliation with international organizations and institutions such as, the Birmingham Institute of Tourism, Hospitality and the Creative Arts in the United Kingdom, the Tourism Institute of Singapore and the Hotelfachschule Belvoir Park of Zurich, Switzerland. Our institutions have over the years steadily gained a reputation as one of few such institutions in country with state of the art facilities.
The Hotel Schools Division (HSD) of the North West Parks and Tourism Board (NWP&TB) consists of two schools: the Institute of Hotel & Tourism Management (IHTM) situated in Mafikeng and Ga-Rankuwa Hotel School (GHS) situated near Pretoria. Plans are well advanced to open another Hotel School in the Greater Taung District of the Province. The Taung Hotel School is likely to open its doors to the first group of students in January 2010. The HSD operates under the auspices of North West Parks & Tourism Board Act, (Act 3 of 1997) and plans are on foot for the institutions to function as autonomous institutions. This autonomy should be achieved by January 2010 or shortly thereafter.
The quality of teaching and learning is assured by Tourism, Hospitality and Sport Education and Training Authority (THETA) and Council for Higher Education (CHE) through the collaboration agreement with Centurion Academy. Operational standards are quality assured by Tourism Grading Council and Occupational Health and Safety Bodies.
In 1992/93 Hotel Schools Division sought and attained accreditation status with City & Guilds of London Institute who set syllabi, course contents and examination papers externally and this made us the only institution in South Africa to have such a status. Accreditation with the SA Hospitality Training Board followed also in 1993. With the establishment of SAQA and the various SETAs in South Africa, ITHM was then also granted full accreditation by THETA to offer Unit Standard based qualification in 2001. This full THETA accreditation was granted in 2004.
The IHTM group of institutions currently comprises of two institutions – Ga-Rankuwa Hotel School located in Ga-Rankuwa in the east of the North West Province and Mafikeng Hotel Schools located in Mafikeng the capital of the Province. As stated earlier, plans are advanced to establish a third Hotel School in the Greater Taung region of the Province. The older of our institutions – the Ga-Rankuwa Hotel School was established more than 30 years ago.
Ga-Rankuwa Hotel School (GHS) was an initiative of the previous dispensation under the Hospitality and Training Board (HTB), which has its inception in 1972. It was initially targeting low skills provision for the growing industrialized area around Pretoria. The institution has contributed immensely in providing excellently trained personnel in the hospitality and tourism sectors.
The other Hotel School (Mafikeng Hotel School) was established 1992 by the erstwhile homeland administration of Bophuthatswana under the administration of the homeland’s Tourism Council. At that stage a need was identified for the improved training of young men and women in the Hotel and Hospitality and Tourism sector in the country. The Tourism Council entered into an agreement with the Hotelfachschule Belvoir Park of Zurich, Switzerland to provide support and expertise in the training in Hospitality and Tourism Management.
This arrangement resulted in the establishment of the Institute of Hotel and Tourism Management (IHTM) in Mafikeng in 1992. This partnership ceased in 1996 due to change in the educational landscape in South Africa. The institute is currently in the process of re-establishing the relationship with Belviorpark and it is hoped that by the beginning of 2010 academic year, that relationship would be been re-established.
Presently we are in the process of acquiring the erstwhile Taung Tusk Hotel from the Peermont Group to convert it into another Hotel School. This process is very far advanced and with some luck it should be possible to admit the first group of students to the Taung Hotel School in January 2010.
Currently the Hotel Schools Division operates two institutions – the Ga-Rankuwa Hotel School and the Mafikeng branch. The Mafikeng Hotel Schools serves as the head office of the institute. Given that the Ga-Rankuwa campus is inevitably to go to the Gauteng Province due to the provincial boundaries re-demarcation process, plans are well advanced to acquire the Taung Tusk Hotel to establish another Hotel in the western side of the province.
Our institutions are amongst the very few in the country that offer (apart from teaching and demonstration facilities) full commercial services to the public. We offer on site accommodation facilities, restaurants, meeting and conferencing facilities, fully licensed bars, banqueting services etc. Even though these facilities are meant to serve as demonstration and simulation facilities for our students, they also double as fully fledged commercial operations for the institutions out of which the institution generate additional income to supplement its budget.
Into the future IHTM group of institutions intend to continue playing a leading role in the development of the tourism sector by providing the much needed skills with which to grow the sector. In May of 2007, the IHTM redefined itself in terms where it wanted to go, how it intended to get there, what it wanted to be known for and what it promised its customers.
“Hotel Schools Division of the North West Parks & Tourism Board is a public institution that is committed to creating a leading hospitality and tourism management training institution that will be seen by our clients as being a gem of the North West Province – this we will do in partnership with other role players”
In preparing itself for the bigger challenges, the institute has embarked on major transformation in the area of staff recruitment, new programme design and development, vigorous marketing, service improvement, infrastructure upgrades, students’ recruitment, internationalization of our programmes, building affiliation and collaboration relationships, establishing contacts with leading industry role players both locally and internationally.
Our institutions provide the much needed training and skill development in the tourism and the hospitality sector in the country. It is our aim to contribute towards the growth and development of the sector by providing the necessary person skills that are required by the industry. We focus on providing such opportunities to the previously disadvantaged communities of the county as we have been doing for several decades.
The Hotel School Division has set itself the following values:
“To develop and maintain a distinct identity based on honour, integrity, honesty, reliability and commitment to service excellence”.
As part of the cornerstone of our turnaround strategy, the Institute of Hotel and Tourism Management has committed itself to building strong relationships with key industry role players in both South Africa and overseas. Currently we have a good relationship with FEHASA and the Southern Sun Group. We have also established a good working relationship with local universities such as the Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT), the Johannesburg University (UJ), as well as the South African Chefs Association (SACA). The IHTM is a member of the Association of Hotel Schools in Africa (AHSA) and we are in the process of finalizing our relationship with the Singapore Institute of Tourism as well as the Birmingham Institute of the Tourism Hospitality and Fine Arts in the United Kingdom.
The IHTM group of institutions receives a small grant from the North West Provincial Government through the Department of Economic Development and Tourism (DEDT). The remainder of the financial requirements is generated through or commercial operations which we offer on site. The institution have accommodation, conferencing dining and bar facilities that are used for demonstrations as well as for serving clients.
Needless to say that the financial position of our institution requires strengthening and we are always on the lookout for opportunities that will enable us to strengthen our position. We are in the process of establishing strong relationships with industry role-players whom we hope will assist us in funding some of our requirements. We are in contact with international funding organization such as the European Union (DelPHE) fund and Edulink International to secure additional financial resources for our institutions.
We are also in contact with other funding agencies including government departments with the view to increasing our financial resources base. Our institutions are in talks with the Office of the Premier in the North West Province to extend the bursary scheme of the office to include programmes of the Hotel Schools. The Department of Labour has been approached to extend financial assistance to students on our learnership programmes.
In order to bring down the cost of studying for students at our institutions, we are in process of exploring other sources of funding which included that of the private sector and the provincial government bursaries. From 2008/2009 all indications are that students who register with our hotel schools will quality for provincial government grants and bursaries.
In recent time some of the key industry role players in the North West Province have started to support the work that is being done at our institutions and have started to provide financial support to needy students in the from of fully funded bursaries. Notable amongst them is the Mmabatho Palms Resorts. Such assistance is provided to needy students purely on merit. Plans are well advanced to secure more financial support for our students.
We estimate that since their inception and between our current two institutions, we have trained 35 000 graduates (consisting of advanced diplomats, certificates programmes holders and other short courses). Our graduates are to be found in all the leading hotels and other hospitality related organizations and establishments all over South Africa in very influential positions. Many leading hospitality establishments around the world including airlines such employ many of the former graduates of our institutions. Currently we have an arrangement with the Florida Creek Resorts in the United States of America where a number of our graduates are placed on an annual basis. The alumina list of our students is available on request.
The Institute of Hotel and Tourism Management offers Skills Programmes (short courses), one-year Certificates, two-year Diplomas, and three-year Advanced Diplomas.