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23 September 2011
Access and transition into higher education in the Geelong region will soon be made easier, with Deakin University and The Gordon announcing a new delivery model, launched today (Friday 23 September) by Victoria's Minister for Higher Education and Skills Peter Hall.
The new Sustainable Tourism Management program starting next year is dual delivered; with students being enrolled at Deakin and The Gordon at the same time.
Among the program's advantages is the ability for students to graduate with three qualifications after three years of study – the Advanced Diploma of Tourism Management and the Diploma of Sustainability from The Gordon, and the Bachelor of Management from Deakin University.
Deakin University's Pro Vice-Chancellor (Business and Law), Professor Gael McDonald, said the course was the result of a great partnership and would look at timely issues confronting the tourism and business sectors.
"This program has been designed to capitalise on the Gordon's expertise in the tourism industry and sustainable practice and Deakin's expertise in sustainability and business management," she said.
"It provides students with a unique opportunity to experience the benefits of both vocational and higher education and is an outstanding example of how two institutions, working in partnership, can serve their local communities, and provide flexible and innovative options for further study in order to increase access and participation."
Professor McDonald said despite some short-term gloom, future growth prospects were bright for tourism.
"Figures from the Department of Resources, Energy and Tourism point to record numbers of short-term visitors to Australia from emerging economies in Asia which are experiencing unprecedented economic growth and a growing middle class eager to travel abroad," she said.
The Gordon's CEO Grant Sutherland says the course is the first joint offering between the two institutions and further supports their role in assisting the region's economy in transition.
"This is the first of a number of similar programs we are finalising with Deakin; a model which the State Government supports in line with their direction to assist students to gain higher education skill sets," he said.
"Given the existing education profile and the future skills needs in the region, The Gordon is a key player in the region's economic development and the expanded partnership with Deakin University further supports this contribution."
Professor Doren Chadee, who will be co-ordinating the program, said there were two key issues confronting business, particularly those working in the tourism industry, internationalisation and sustainability.
Responses to these would be infused throughout the program, he said.
"Businesses have to embrace a global perspective and tourism tends to do this, but operators also need to get to grips with sustainability and what it means for business management practices."
Professor Chadee said some of the wider sustainability issues confronting small tourism businesses included ethical practices, waste disposal, the use of energy, local council regulation and changing consumer and product trends.
"Research shows that small businesses are broadly confused about sustainability, what it means for them and how to manage environmental sustainability in order to gain a competitive edge in the market," he said.
"This new course will provide students with the necessary strategic tools to address these issues for the tourism sector."
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