BIHR (Bahrain Institute of Hospitality and Retail W.L.L) is a leading Swiss hotel school in the Kingdom of Bahrain with external accreditations from Swiss Hotel and Tourism Management Institute, HTMi Switzerland; American Hotel and Lodging Education Institute (AHLEI, USA) and Australian Retailers Association (ARA, Australia).
It was founded in 1999, a part of Dadabai Holding Bahrain and is the only private training institute in Bahrain to achieve ISO 9000 – 2001 and an ISO certified private training institute in the GCC Region with a rating of Grade 2 from the Adult Learning Inspectorate of the Ministry of Labor and the Quality Assurance Authority for Education and Training in the Kingdom of Bahrain.
Autar Nehru from Curriculum magazine in an email interview asked Nigel Viegas, Executive Director, BIHR some India specific questions. Here are excerpts:
Your institute, Bahrain Institute of Hospitality and Retail W.L.L, of late is showing a lot of interest in students from India. Any special reason for this?
Answer – Hospitality and tourism employ over 235 million people worldwide. According to the World Travel and Tourism Council and career prospects in the industry expand rapidly year on year. Expats who have international Hotel certifications gain the right skills and expertise required for the highly demanding international hospitality market and thus command top positions globally.
The international five-star hotels are looking to hire talented graduates, especially from Indian continent as they believe that these graduates have the passion, diligence and the potential in promoting the ‘right service’ in a professional and efficient manner. The people of India are known for their hospitality and dwell well in this field. The hospitality sector has a great career path for those who have the passion.
And do have some collaborations in India as well?,
Answer – Yes. We recently partnered with IIHM, Dangayach Hotel School and Group of Hotels in Jaipur India, We have already collaboration with Speedjet Aviation, GAA, New Delhi, Indiaand VIRA Consultancy, India
These collaborations are for exchanges, internship, research and placements, etc:
The exchange program will broaden the academic and social experience of students and promote alliances between host and overseas institutions while, the presence on campus of both exchange students and faculty members from overseas partner diversifies the student population and encourages local students the benefits of an international educational experience.
What kind of financial support in terms of scholarships and otherwise would be available to Indian students?
Answer –BIHR offers Scholarship grants to International students as well as Indians that is based from their Academic Qualifications/Scholastic Records. They have to meet up certain requirements for their GWA thereby achieving academic distinctions from their Secondary School/undergraduate courses. BIHR determines the scholarship package to be offered.
Tell us about the international diversity of student population in your college and how is internationalization import for BIHR?
Answer – We have a diverse team when it comes to students, faculty members and staff, BIHR – HTMi aims to internationalize the students’ experience and provide theoretical and applied learning at an internationally recognized standard in the field of hospitality and tourism with global competence.
BIHR kick starts, an exchange program for both students and faculty with different hotel schools across the globe. This will broaden the academic and social experience of students and promote alliances between host and overseas institutions while the presence on campus of both exchange students and faculty members from overseas partner diversifies the student and faculty population and encourages local students the benefits of an international educational experience.
We have students from Canada, Japan, Bangladesh, India, Bahrain, China and all across the globe, who enrol themselves to become skilled and get placed in 4 star and 5 star hotels.
In terms of facilities, can you mention some important ones?
Ans: 1) Fast and convenient Student Visa processing
2) Accommodation and Transportation
3) Books and technical uniforms
4) State-of-the-Art Campus and simulators
5) International accreditations
6) Internationally trained staff
7) Students Exchange Program
8) Guaranteed job placement
9) Work Experience in GULF/MIDDLE EAST
Placement or job assistance is very important from student point of view who seeks admission; can you spell what is your policy on this?
Answer- Expats who have international Hotel certifications gained the right skills and expertise required for the highly demanding international hospitality market and thus command top positions globally while the international five-star hotels are looking to hire talented graduates, from across the globe who has the passion, diligence and the potential in promoting the ‘right service’ in a professional and efficient manner.
BIHR provides equal attention and opportunities for both international and local students and graduates on campus. Even before completing their courses, they have been enjoying the privilege of being able to work at Four & Five Star properties that are industry partners of BIHR and based from their performance they have the opportunity for a career ladder that makes them stay back in Bahrain. Some of the graduates who might not stay,proceeds to Switzerland or Singapore campus to further their studies to a degree in International Hotel and Tourism Management.
Coming to Hospitality industry and careers or jobs, what is the international outlook like?
Answer – The dynamic world of hospitality is one of the fastest growing, stimulating and Innovative industries. It has a wide wingspan of jobs that you can apply for; you can get involved in managing hotels and resorts, organising mega events and festivals or running franchised restaurants or in other things that require filling, which includes almost everything from housekeeping and guest services, to running the front desk. It is not hard to get a job in international hotels; you just need to be qualified enough according to their recruitment criteria.
Due to the growth in tourism, the hotel industry is flourishing at a rapid pace and some of the popular brands like Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc., Marriott International Inc., InterContinental Hotels Group Plc, Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide, Inc., Accor Group, Indian Hotels Co Ltd., ITC Ltd., and Four Seasons Holdings Inc. are spreading their empire in every continent. Their expansion has created many job opportunities around the world and in the Kingdom of Bahrain.