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IFTM students volunteer on project to support education in Congjiang

A group of 20 IFTM bachelor degree students used the Christmas break to travel to Congjiang County to volunteer on a project to support education at a local school. The project took place from 20 to 26 December at the Congjiang Second National High School. It was jointly organised by the IFTM Volunteer Circle, the IFTM Alumni Association and the Education and Technology Bureau of Congjiang County, and sponsored by the Higher Education Fund of the Macao SAR government. The organisers’ aim was to strengthen English-language education in Congjiang, and to promote exchanges between young people in Guizhou and Macao.

IFTM students participated in an essay contest to promote positive energy

In order to encourage Macao youths to pay more attention to the people and events in Macao during the epidemic, to promote positive energy and to express their feelings in the face of the epidemic, Macau Association of Jiangmen Youths organised the 6th "Macao in my eyes" essay contest. IFTM student Lucy Zhang Zhanyue was awarded the third prise in the open category. IFTM actively encourages students to participate in extracurricular activities to explore their potential, allowing them to enjoy the fun of after-school activities while learning and fostering their diversified development.

IFTM students supporting the launch of two social enterprises

This year, students from IFTM completed a consultancy project to help two newly built social enterprises by the ARTM (Associação de Reabilitação de Toxicodependentes de Macau) located in a redeveloped touristic spot in Ka-Ho Our Lady of Sorrows Church. With the support from the government, these social enterprises comprise of a coffee shop “Hold On To Hope” and art gallery will be open in December 2020 aiming to provide skills development and social mobility for the clients at the rehabilitation and treatment centre.

Dr Fernando Lourenço led students to explore innovative ways to drive in more traffic to the coffee shop and art gallery, propose business models for different market segment, to create two new platforms to allow these social enterprises to be financially independent and allow clients from ARTM gain valuable work experience. This is another example of the holistic teaching approach offer at IFTM to make education more relevant via service-learning approach.

IFTM participates in Oasis Action for 15 years and cultivates students'' caring hearts

Since 2006, IFTM has been a member of “Oasis Action", organised by the Chinese Educators Association of Macau. IFTM has made this programme one of the educational activities for students to participate in, aiming to cultivate students’ care for the community. IFTM has also been working on various aspects to promote the social participation of IFTM teachers, students and staff. After 15 years of development, the programme has not only cultivated a caring and compassionate spirit among students, but also provided scholarships to needy students in the western region of China, offering opportunities for outstanding students to study here. IFTM participates in and supports “Oasis Action” in three main ways: (1) setting up donation boxes on campus on a permanent basis to create an easy way to donate; (2) organising an annual one-person donation campaign by the Student Union; (3) making “Oasis Action” a part of the student organisation's agenda. (c) IFTM will include “Oasis Action” as one of the organisations that students can choose to benefit from when organising charitable activities in their courses. For five consecutive years, “Oasis Action” has been selected as a beneficiary organisation.

Students and teachers from Congjiang County participate in the "IFTM Experience Camp"

According to the "Framework Agreement” on poverty alleviation through tourism development and training signed between Macau Government Tourist Office, Macao Institute for Tourism Studies (IFTM) and the People's Government of Congjiang County, Guizhou Province in April last year, IFTM arranged a second group of 32 teachers and students from Congjiang County First National Senior High School and Congjiang County Second National Senior High School to participate in the "IFTM Experience Camp" from November 17 to 20. IFTM hopes that the students from Conjiang County can take this opportunity to learn about tourism and the development of Macao as a tourist city. The students and teachers were introduced to the degree programmes in tourism offered by IFTM and experienced a series of internship programmes on campus.

IFTM strengthens staff''s concern for students'' mental health

IFTM has always attached great importance to students' physical and mental health development. In order to further understand students' emotions and stress, as well as to introduce the concepts of mental health to frontline teachers, pay attention to the developmental needs of youth mental health and provide timely support to students in need of care, the Student Affairs Division of the Pedagogic Affairs Department earlier organised a "Understanding the Concepts of Emotions, Stress & Mental Health Workshop". A total of 23 teachers participated in the workshop, which was conducted by S.K.H. Macau Social Services collaborative teacher Mr. Lao Sok Kei. In order to help teachers understand students with emotional and stress problems, a stress assessment tool and case studies were presented. Discussions and sharings were also held to help teachers understand students' emotional problems and how to deal with them.

IFTM students'' storey of their fight against the epidemic

In early 2020, the outbreak of the Coronavirus caused an unprecedented global crisis. The Macau SAR Government led all Macao citizens to fight against the epidemic in order to minimize its impact on Macao. IFTM responded to and cooperated with the SAR government's measures to combat the epidemic and responded quickly by implementing online classes since early February and continuing throughout the second semester of the 2019/2020 academic year. It is a new challenge for IFTM, teachers and students to ensure that students can complete their teaching and learning tasks smoothly and maintain the quality of teaching and learning during the three semesters of non-return, non-stop classes and non-stop learning. The second semester of the 2019/2020 academic year will be a very worrisome, challenging and long one for IFTM and many of our students. IFTM is in close contact with the students and has established various communication groups to keep them informed.

IFTM Volunteer Circle undertakes second English teaching project in Guizhou

A group of 30 members of the IFTM Volunteer Circle visited the Second National Senior High School in Congjiang County, Guizhou Province 22 to 29 December, 2019. Students were appreciative of the support of the DSES in Macao. Congjiang County is in the Qiandongnan Miao and Dong Autonomous Prefecture. The poverty rate among inhabitants of the prefecture is high. Macao is assisting Congjiang County as part of its contribution to the national effort to relieve poverty. The Volunteer Circle team was accompanied by IFTM Lecturer Mr. Stephen Sayers, who says: “This was our second trip this year to the same school. The purpose of the trips is to build friendships and assist local Junior High School students with their English learning, an obstacle for many of them trying to enter University. At the same time it provides an excellent opportunity for our own students to improve themselves through real experience. One of our students said: ‘Before I went on this trip, I thought volunteering is doing kind things for the people whose lives are not better than mine... But after I went to Congjiang I realised that volunteering is not just to change them, it will also change myself, my own psychological world. This volunteering made me know how happy it is to give kindness.’”

IFTM students reinventing old brands

Year 4 students from the Macao Institute for Tourism Studies supported Aphelion Media Limited on a project to help Tong Iec Pak Fa Fui, a company that specialises in preserve fruits, soya sauce and vinegar. The project aims to develop ideas for new product development and to rejuvenate its hundred-and-sixteen years old brand. This project belongs to a government scheme initiated by the Economics Bureau to help established old brands to enhance their competitiveness.

In order to provide students with additional space and resources to support their work, a newly opened co-working space called the Hub-Macau offered students free accessibility to their facilities until the end of the project. This project is led by Dr. Fernando Lourenço to enhance students learning at the Macao Institute for Tourism Studies with interesting and industry related projects.

Students’ effort led to a range of fruitful outcomes such as simple modifications of the existing packing, product refinement, new product development and ideas for marketing campaigns. James Luo from Aphelion Media Limited acknowledges that Tong Iec Pak Fa Fui has great potential to become a global brand due to the quality of its products and its heritage. The ideas generated by IFTM students triggered many new directions to be considered for the future.

Towards the end of the project, a number of students had been approached by James Luo to discuss future career opportunities at Aphelion Media Limited. This project in summary, offers fantastic learning opportunities for students, supports the local industry as well as enhances the career prospects of students.

IFT students help local entrepreneurs to pilot a new tourism app

Year-four students from the Institute for Tourism Studies engaged in an industrial project led by Dr. Fernando Lourenço to pilot a new smart-phone application called eTour developed by a local startup company. This smart-phone application (app) is a platform where tour-guides can promote and sell their offerings while tourists can pick their desired services and products. The ingenious part of this app is that it can use artificial intelligence to match up the requirements from the tourists to potential tour-guides who can fulfil their needs.

 Entrepreneurship course is one of the courses for Year-four students, in this project, students were divided into groups to pilot the app by building their own tour company profiles and related tourism offering on the app. Via this project, students learned more about business startups, application of technology to support business development in the tourism industry as well as to learn from successful entrepreneurs. Mr. Armando Amante and Mr. Tony Lee, the co-founders of eTour, attended the final presentations and were very happy with the outcomes. They also offered further piloting opportunities for students to help the company to further refine the app.

The teaching philosophy of Dr. Lourenço is all about bringing five-wins (5W) to various stakeholders. Firstly, the project provides real world experience to students and this can improve their CV (1W). The project must generate valuable outcomes to the clients (2W). When students and clients gain, the quality of the teaching and the degree programme at IFT improves (3W). This will boost up the overall quality of the school (4W) and this will bring positive impact to Macao SAR (5W).

In the academic year of 2018/19, IFT invited guest speakers to IFT to share their experience and to enhance students learning and interest about business startup and entrepreneurship, they include: Mr. Tai Kin Ip, Director of Macao Economic Bureau, Mr. Gregory Kuong from the Macao New Chinese Youth Association, Mr. Timothy Leong from the General Association of Chinese Students of Macau, Mr. Gary Chao Weng Hou from the Bank of China, Mr. André Ritchie, Mr. James Kit Luo, and the Economic and Trade Co-operation between China and Portuguese-speaking Countries.

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