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Title: An integration of graduate attributes in teaching and learning at a hotel school in Cape Town
Authors: Lategan, Kate 
Keywords: Graduate attributes;Hospitality industry -- In-service training;Hotel management -- Study and teaching (Higher);Education, Higher -- Aims and objectives;Universities and colleges -- Graduate work;Work-based learning
Issue Date: 2022
Publisher: Cape Peninsula University of Technology
Abstract: In South Africa and globally, higher educational institutions are responsible for the development of graduate attributes, which should be incorporated during academic teaching to produce employable graduates. Graduate attributes are high level skills and qualities that aid in the employment of students after graduation. A challenge at a university of technology’s (UoT) hotel school in Cape Town is that there is not sufficient awareness of what these graduate attributes are and how lecturers and academic instructors can embed them into teaching and learning practices. The UoT’s hotel school offers theoretical hospitality management subjects taught by lecturers and practical subjects through the training of restaurant and kitchen instructors. For the purpose of this study, all academic, restaurant and kitchen instructors shall be referred to as lecturers. The aim of this study was to determine which teaching and learning practices would be most valuable for the effective integration of graduate attributes into core subjects to enhance student success during Work Integrated Learning (WIL) and employment in the hospitality industry. At the UoT’s hotel school, within the hospitality management studies, subjects like restaurant operations and WIL provide the students with field specific attributes needed by the hospitality industry. The study was constructed using descriptive research design, which used a quantitative approach and a convenience sampling method. The population for this study was twofold: third- and fourth-year hospitality management students eligible for WIL placement and registered for the course in 2021, and lecturers that taught one or more subjects offered in the hospitality management curriculum. Questionnaires developed with were Google Forms used to collect data, circulated via email and the social media platform, WhatsApp. The respondents consisted of 67 students and 13 lecturers. Data collected were extrapolated using Google Forms and analysed using SPSS version 28. An additional data analysis software program, ATLAS.ti, was used to code and analyse text-based data and to convert the test-based data into quantitative data for further analysis. ATLAS.ti additionally created data analytics for the study, which aided the researcher to match themes and trends in the data. The data revealed that the majority of students (76%) and some lecturers (39%) do not have a clear understanding of the term graduate attributes or their individual meanings. The researcher identified that most students (85%) felt communication was an important skill to learn during their studies and develop during WIL. A noteworthy discovery from the students’ responses was their general belief that technology is not an essential graduate attribute. In addition, the students’ understanding of integrity is misconstrued and therefore perceived as unimportant. Without consensus on the concept and individual meanings of graduate attributes, the students will continue to struggle with the development of graduate attributes during teaching and learning at the hotel school. Thirty eight percent of the lecturers agreed that to improve the overall transference of graduate attributes into teaching and learning, more time is required with the students to test and observe the attributes in group activities such as class discussions or group assignments. Furthermore, the lecturers’ responses revealed that there is no uniformity for embedding the UoT’s graduate attributes into teaching and learning. Without formal pedagogic guidelines and training for the transference of graduate attributes into theoretical and practical subjects, challenges of integration into teaching and learning will remain. The study recommends the encouragement of student accessibility to information regarding graduate attributes, and planned webinars should be developed throughout the year at the UoT for all students at all levels of study. In addition, workshops or open discussions need to be established for lecturers to brainstorm collectively to create guidelines for the best pedagogic practices to embed graduate attributes at the hotel school.
Description: Thesis (MTech (Tourism and Hospitality Management))--Cape Peninsula University of Technology, 2022
Appears in Collections:Tourism Management - Masters Degrees

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