There’s a future beyond COVID

Published January 8, 2022, 8:40 PM

by Manila Bulletin

Swiss educational institutions prepare students for the post-pandemic economy

“The world was already changing rapidly but the pandemic accelerated it,” says renowned futurist and author Bernard Marr. COVID-19’s far-reaching impacts have created an atmosphere of uncertainty, not just within businesses and industries, but concerning the future careers and employment of our children. Marr posits that adaptability, flexibility, and creativity will be among the high-value skills necessary for success in a post-pandemic world. They should likewise be the markers of quality education.

During the onset of the pandemic in 2020, Les Roches, an esteemed Swiss hospitality institute, moved swiftly to ensure the health and safety of their students. Catering to students of a hundred different nationalities over three separate campuses— in Crans Montana, Switzerland, in Shanghai, China, and in Marbella, Spain—the school efficiently addressed concerns for travel and boarding arising from newly-established health protocols, while ensuring that classes continued without disruption.  A year on, Les Roches continues to confidently welcome students for face-to-face classes. Each of their campuses observes COVID-19 health measures introduced by public health authorities in their respective countries. Highly flexible remote learning options are also available for those still facing travel restrictions. 

Beyond the health protocols and well before the pandemic, Les Roches was already enhancing its programs in Hospitality Management and International Hotel Management to adapt to changing global needs by integrating entrepreneurship and innovation in its curriculum. These principles encourage students to develop disruptive design and provide platforms to incubate and test new solutions for the evolving hospitality industry.

LUNCH WITH A VIEW Glion students taking a break amidst the fabulous view of Lake Geneva

These creative program responses are mirrored in Glion, a sister school to Les Roches. Glion’s legacy as a Swiss hotel school enriches its robust bachelor and postgraduate programs in International Hospitality Business, Hospitality, Entrepreneurship and Innovation, Real Estate Finance and Hotel Development, and Luxury Management and Guest Experience. Glion’s three campuses—two in Switzerland, and one in London—provide rigorous academic and practical training for careers in the international hospitality and experience industries. Among its programs is Luxury Brand and Guest Experience Management, a recognition of the global shift to an experience-driven economy where value lies beyond the basic service transaction.

“These schools have transformed their curriculums to meet the demands of a post-pandemic economy. These agile and knowledgeable responses to changing conditions are great indicators of a good educational institution,” says Marco Protacio, a Les Roches graduate. “Studying overseas at a school with truly global standards and strong industry partnerships is especially valuable today, as the way we live and work are transforming very rapidly. Those trained with a global perspective and a learning mindset have a unique advantage as they begin their careers.”

Protacio is a former hotelier turned medical entrepreneur. He is the managing director of Ekthana Philippines, an international education consultancy providing one-stop service for clients considering studies abroad. The company’s prestigious flagship, Ekthana Education Services, was founded in Thailand by Ekthana Faisaikram, Protacio’s co-alumnus at Les Roches, a former hotelier himself. Faisaikram is passionate about young Thai students reaching their full potential through world-class education. Recognizing the same spark and possibility in students across Southeast Asia, he invited Protacio to open a branch in the Philippines. 

GREENER PASTEURS Les Roches Crans-Montana Campus in Switzerland

Ekthana Philippines represents some of the world’s leading hospitality and hospitality management schools, including Les Roches, Glion, and Ecole Ducasse in Paris. It also represents a portfolio of many international schools focused on business and entrepreneurship, art and design IED Instituto Europeo di Design, as well as boarding schools in the high school level, such as The American School in Switzerland. The Philippine team has successfully served students embarking on bachelor and postgraduate programs from schools in Switzerland, Spain, and China. They also assist with foreign undergraduate and summer programs, as well as short courses and school orientation visits.

Ekthana Philippines represents some of the world’s leading hospitality and hospitality management schools, including Les Roches, Glion, and Ecole Ducasse in Paris.

Ekthana Philippines education counsellors guide students through their initial school applications and pre-departure preparation, and provide assistance throughout their studies and internships. An initial consultation typically begins with a private counseling (either through face-to-face, online, email, or phone), followed by an assessment, all at no cost to the student. They may be reached via email at [email protected] or at +639178802581.