Strengthening Academic Ties: Benchmarking Visit from School of Liberal Arts, King Mongkut’s Institute of Technology Ladkrabang, Thailand

From September 12th to September 14th, 2023, a significant collaboration unfolded as the Faculty of Hotel and Tourism Management, Universiti Teknologi MARA (UiTM) Pulau Pinang Branch hosted a benchmarking visit from the School of Liberal Arts, King Mongkut’s Institute of Technology Ladkrabang (KMITL), Thailand. The three-member delegation from KMITL was headed by the Dean of the School of Liberal Arts, Dr. Ekkarat Suwannakul, and two senior lecturers, Dr. Pichsinee Soonsap and Mr. Cherdsak Manakitpaisan. The main objective of the program is to help School of Liberal Arts, KMITL uncover innovative practices and best-in-class approaches that can be used to develop their proposed hospitality bachelor degree program.

The visit was marked by a series of constructive activities aimed at fostering collaboration and knowledge exchange. The delegation engaged in a productive meeting with the management of the Faculty of Hotel and Tourism Management, UiTM Pulau Pinang Branch. This meeting provided a platform for sharing insights and best practices in the field of hospitality and tourism education. Roundtable discussions ensued, focusing on the design and development of the new bachelor’s degree program syllabus and curriculum. To gain a firsthand understanding of the teaching and learning environment, the KMITL team also embarked on a site visit, exploring the faculty’s teaching kitchens, hotel rooms, and dining facilities. They were also invited for a welcoming hi-tea session with the Rector of UiTM Pulau Pinang Branch, Prof. Ir. Dr. Haji Ahmad Rashidy Razali.

The benchmarking visit underscored the commitment of both institutions to advancing the field of hospitality and tourism education. It represented a valuable step towards the creation of a cutting-edge bachelor’s degree program that will prepare students for the dynamic and evolving landscape of the hospitality and tourism industry. This collaborative endeavor is a testament to the importance of international academic partnerships in shaping the future of education and equipping students with the knowledge and skills they need to excel in their careers. The exchange of ideas and experiences during this visit promises to contribute significantly to the development of a robust curriculum that meets the demands of the industry while fostering global perspectives in students.