Edited by Pierre Benckendorff and Anita Zehrer
Chapter 2: Hospitality employers’ expectations towards the higher education system in Poland
Tourism is perceived to be one of the biggest and fastest growing global industries. Consequently, there is an increasing need for qualified, highly educated professionals possessing broad knowledge and competencies as well as employability skills. This chapter explores hospitality employers’ expectations of the higher education system in Poland. The study advocates that the hospitality field of study needs to refocus in order to adapt to a rapidly changing business environment and industry’s needs. The purpose of the chapter is to identify the most significant gaps between tourism education and industry needs. The study confirms the outcomes of other research carried out within the tourism education sector. The research was conducted in 2013 in 103 hotels, with 147 managers being interviewed. The findings show that changes to tourism education may strengthen the employability and flexibility of graduates. The respondents stress the need and significance of personal qualities favouring service quality and the importance of an appropriate organizational culture (e.g. creativity, entrepreneurship, flexibility, conscientiousness, synergy). At the same time those qualities seem to be neglected in the education process, both in the merit and didactic dimensions.
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