TAYLOR’S University made the country proud for being the first local private university to be ranked by subject in the top 30 in the world by the rankings data provider Quacquarelli Symonds (QS).

In the 2017 QS World University Rankings By Subject, Taylor’s placed 29th in the world for Hospitality & Leisure Management.

Hospitality & Leisure Management is one of four new subjects that has been added to this year’s subject rankings. The QS World University Rankings by Subject 2017 covers 46 different subjects.

Taylor’s School of Hospitality, Tourism and Culinary Arts dean Neethiahnanthan Ari Ragavan said the school offers a comprehensive range of programmes of Bachelor, Master to PhD in Hospitality and Tourism.

Given its reputation, Neethiahnanthan said the School collaborates with many top universities in the United States and Europe, such as Switzerland, United Kingdom, Holland, Germany, Finland, and Australia.

“The new approach in the area of internationalisation today is to work with top universities on a semester abroad programme where both institutions send their students on an exchange.

“To date, we have sent more than 200 students, where they need not pay fees to the receiving university,” he said.

Its Hospitality & Leisure Management programme has a history of 31 years since its inception in 1986. The track record has moulded its reputation and this has contributed to the quality of teaching and learning, industry network, research and enterprise activities.

“Our long-standing partnership with one of the oldest universities in Europe, University of Toulouse, has significantly contributed positively to this area.

“We have a network of more than 15,000 alumni with the more senior ones being the movers and shakers of the industry. All this sets us apart from others and hence, our excellent performance on the subject ranking.

“This recent ranking in the world higher education arena clearly sets us apart from many local and regional institutions for Hospitality and Leisure Management in terms of high quality delivery in teaching and learning; graduate output; industry partnerships; academic reputation; and research.

“This will enable the university to attract quality academic staff with balance in both teaching and research; working closely with top universities in joint academic and research projects; and ultimately benefit our students in terms of receiving world class education in Malaysia.

“We strictly comply to the Malaysian Qualification Agency (MQA) standards. As such, all our academic staff are well qualified and has vast industry experience. Our faculty profiler is one of the biggest strengths of the school.

“About 25 per cent of our faculty are international. They are mainly from France, Italy, Australia and India,” said Neethiahnanthan.

He added that based on the four sources (the first two are global surveys of academics and employers for international reputation and the other two assess research impact), the university did well on both academic reputation (60.3) and employer reputation (73.2), which he believes had contributed to the ranking.

“On research, we did fairly well with a score of 45.8. However, this is not enough if we were to play at the top of the league table. We will need to push further our research score,” he said.

A Taylor’s degree in hospitality and leisure management can get one very far. “We have designed a successful fast-track talent management programme which is known as STEP (Student Employment Programme) and GeM (Future General Managers Programme) which allow students to be adopted by the industry during their Bachelor’s degree programme and eventually employed by the industry as management.

“This programme has proven to be effective in producing future managers for the industry. Many of our graduates are today top hoteliers, entrepreneurs, experts in the leisure and event industry, executive chefs, directors and vice-presidents in hotel operation, revenue management and many others.”

Bachelor of Culinary Arts and Food Service Management student Siti Maryam Mahmed Khan, 22, said Culinary Arts has always been something she looked forward to ever since she was a little girl.

“I decided to become a chef after seeing how food can make people happy. The plus point is that it drives me to be a creative person.

“The three-year journey in Taylor’s has shaped me to be better each day. Taylor’s inspires young adults to prepare themselves to be better role models in the industry.

Siti Maryam is undergoing her industrial training in a Michelin Guide Restaurant, Au Pois Gourmand in Toulouse, France.

“It is a fusion fine dining restaurant and I can proudly say that Taylor’s has prepared me well enough to have the courage and confidence to work in a foreign country with its attendant language and culture,” she added.

Siti Maryam is overjoyed to be part of the fraternity and to be able to study in one of the top schools in the world.

“Taylor’s deserves such honour, not only for being able to produce students with great capabilities but also for being able to deliver on the promises of having the best facilities with the highest employability.

“On the other hand, Taylor’s has prepared me not just with hands-on technical cooking classes, but mentally as well with modules that prepared us to be professional chefs and/or entrepreneurs.”

Wong Jie Cheng, 25, who graduated from Taylor’s in 2014, said she only knew of the difference after meeting interns from other universities when she started working with Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA).

“Taylor’s has academic and industry lecturers that provide knowledge from two different perspectives, exposed me to practical executions through big and small events, projects and trips and lecturers who focused on student’s development — not just teaching for the sake of teaching,”

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