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‘BIHR offers a caring, supportive learning environment and highly individualised attention on students’

Thursday, June 28, 2018, 14:24 Hrs  [IST]

Leading Swiss hotel school BIHR (Bahrain Institute of Hospitality and Retail) in the Kingdom of Bahrain accredited by HTMi Switzerland, a subsidiary of Dadabai Holding, was established in 1999 to meet the local demand for trained professionals by offering them locally relevant and internationally recognised qualifications of highest standards. Nigel Viegas, Executive Director, BIHR spoke to Hospitality Biz citing the programs and benefits extended by BIHR to the Indian & international students.

Q What are the programs that Bahrain Institute of Hospitality and Retail offer to students, and how these programs are different from the relevant international programs offered across the globe?
The HTMi Two Year Diploma in International Tourism and Management Program offered at Bahrain campus has a wonderful blend of the prestigious Swiss certification as well as BIHR’s ethos in imparting skills and qualities essential to success in senior management positions in the international hospitality industry. The HTMi program develops the students into innovative leaders ready to meet the standards of managerial competence in hospitality management.

At our campus, we prepare our students to undertake internships within the industry, where they work in both practical and supervisory environments. Studies are both academic and practical as students also work in kitchens, food service restaurants, and front office.

QHow international is your campus in terms of the nationalities studying and the faculties?
BIHR campus is culturally diverse with international students, faculty and staff. Bahrain has been ranked amongst the world’s top 15 most economically free nations and number one for expats. We welcome international students from across the globe.

We provide international students with Swiss International Hotel and Tourism Management course. We are the only institute in the kingdom to provide the students with a visa. BIHR offers a caring and supportive learning environment with limited students in each class to provide highly individualised attention by experienced faculty and high-quality internships. Currently, the institute has a population of 200 Bahrainis and international students, with 16 different nationalities from Africa, Europe, Asia - Nepal, India, Sri Lanka, Philippines, and Bangladesh and has placed over a thousand graduates in the tourism and retail industries across GCC countries – Kuwait, Bahrain, Singapore and Europe - Switzerland and is working on a new opportunity, that will place student interns/ graduates to the United States of America.

BIHR kick-started 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.

QHow has been the intake of Indian students into your campus over the years and what are your strategies to create more pull in the market for your programs?
HTMi attracts Indian students to study at BIHR Bahrain. The international five-star hotels are looking to hire talented graduates, especially from Indian subcontinent 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 willingness to work hard and offers a variety of opportunities within itself.

The strategy adapted by BIHR are, Participation in Career Fair and Educational Exhibitions; Partnership with IIHM and chain of hotel schools in India; Active Social Media and Marketing.

QAre you looking at any kind of tie up or partnership with any Indian travel, tourism, or hospitality institutes of eminence for joint programs?
BIHR partners with IIHM and Indian Travel, Tourism and hotel schools. BIHR recently signed partnership with IIHM; Dangayach Group of Hotels in Jaipur, India; Speedjet Aviation; and VIRA International Ltd.

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