As we prepare for a new academic year, it is my great pleasure to welcome a new intake of students to the Institute.
Selecting where to pursue undergraduate studies is one of the most significant choices one can make. Everyone at IFT understands the significance of that choice and we are committed to helping our new students to develop new intellectual and social skills in order to achieve success in their personal life and in their chosen career.
Our reputation is based on four pillars: teaching excellence; strong ties to the tourism and hospitality industries in Macao and around the world; a learning environment with an international outlook; and top-quality, specialised facilities.
IFT alumni can be found across Macao and around the world. They are building successful careers in key roles: many are hotel executives and tourism entrepreneurs; others have careers in academia. Above all, they are actively involved in their communities and in making a difference in other people’s lives. I am immensely proud of the fact that several IFT faculty members started out as students at our Institute.
The respective futures of our new students are bright. Career opportunities in tourism and hospitality continue to expand. The tourism industry is growing worldwide and that translates into rewarding careers, particularly in Asia. In the People’s Republic of China, the development plan for the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area will play a pivotal role in unlocking even greater tourism growth.
The arrival of a new batch of students at IFT marks a new chapter in each student’s life. At the Institute, they will have the opportunity to learn, develop new skills and enhance their character in profound ways that more fully equip them for life after graduation. The quality of their experience at IFT – and their success – is of utmost importance to every staff member.
The 2018/19 student intake joins IFT at an exciting time. The faculty is preparing to launch its first master’s degree programme and work continues on our second educational hotel – this one to be located at the Taipa Campus. Nonetheless, our long-term goal is unchanged: to contribute further to promoting Macao as a World Centre of Tourism and Leisure, a strategy envisaged by the Macao SAR Government and the Central Government.
The new intake is already remarkable. Each student has had to stand out among her or his peers at secondary education level in order to win a place at IFT. Every member of the undergraduate intake has great potential. Now each one must work to develop that potential to its fullest. To facilitate their success, I offer 3 suggestions.
First, take responsibility for your studies. Choose the courses that fascinate you. To stay motivated, set a goal and follow a learning path. As every top executive will tell you at any of the guest talks held by IFT, success in tourism and hospitality comes from passion and sustained hard work. By investing in your learning choices you will create opportunities for career development.
Second, make the most of what IFT offers. Discovering a career that intersects with your passions is a challenge for many people. To discover your ideal career, experiment. To understand better where your passions lie, try new things and build new skills. IFT delivers a range of courses, exchange programmes and extracurricular activities. They include professional short-term courses through our Tourism and Hotel School, and events via our student clubs. These opportunities will help you explore your interests and sample new experiences. IFT offers the tools, but making good use of them is up to each of you.
Third and finally, embrace diversity of culture and knowledge. Your achievements depend on teamwork, and on the ability to interact with people from different backgrounds and with different ideas. IFT students understand they will be exposed to cultural diversity as part of their learning experience. It may be tempting to stick with the familiar, but meeting new people from cultures other than your own is an important part of your time at IFT.
My main task as President of IFT is to make each student’s journey to success as enriching as possible. I am confident that the new intake will find their time at IFT an immensely rewarding experience.