Cinnamon Hotels & Resorts together with the John Keells Foundation announced their partnership with the University Of Colombo (UOC) and the Faculty of Management and Finance for the successful implementation of a Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) degree in Hospitality and Leisure Management at the university. This is a landmark arrangement as it is the first time ever that a hotel chain has partnered a university to launch a degree programme of this nature. Professor Lakshman Dissanayake, Vice Chancellor at University of Colombo and Mr. Ajit Gunewardene, President of Cinnamon Hotels & Resorts officially signed the agreement at a ceremonious event held at the University of Colombo.
Cinnamon Hotels & Resorts will undertake the responsibility of finalizing the curriculum for the BBA in Hospitality and Leisure Management while also assisting with resource personnel and lecturers to facilitate the hospitality/leisure technical modules. The hotel chain will also be responsible for providing sufficient practical training for the course facilitators whilst providing guidance to students pursuing the special degree. During the course, Cinnamon will also provide students three months of industrial training at its properties, as it is a component of all BBA degree programmes of UOC.
Professor Lakshman Dissanayake Vice Chancellor at University of Colombo while commenting on the partnership said, “This was the first MOU signed by me as the Vice Chancellor of the University of Colombo and it was indeed a privilege. As a believer in partnerships, I feel that it is vital to link up the private sector with the University of Colombo as it will not only create more opportunities for our graduates but also improve employability. I am deeply thankful to Cinnamon Hotels & Resorts and John Keells Foundation for joining hands with us for this collaboration and I will extend my fullest support to make this degree program a success.”
The BBA in Hospitality and Leisure Management is a new specialization option that will be offered at the Faculty of Management & Finance, University of Colombo for its undergraduates. Cinnamon Hotels & Resorts believes that this partnership will provide high achievers in universities to join the hospitality and leisure management industry, as the management capabilities is vital for the ever booming industry.
Also expressing his sentiments about the partnership, Mr. Ajit Gunewardene, President of Cinnamon Hotels & Resorts said, “In an environment where the private sector must contribute to creating economic activity which results in significant economic growth, we will need human resources that have the ability to support and add value to such business expansions. This partnership will result in the creation of such resource personnel and we are confident that they together with our organization will have a mutually beneficial relationship contributing towards Sri Lanka’s growth trajectory.
He further added, “Based on our investment pipeline alone we will need to recruit several thousand people into our hospitality business. This partnership will certainly help us achieve our goals whilst creating value and high paying employment opportunities to the students, who in turn will be able to contribute towards ensuring the hospitality industry will be a mainstay of the Sri Lankan economy.”
This initiative is also continuation of the John Keells Foundation’s mission to support youth development, which it achieves through several skills development programmes focusing on empowering youth with necessary skills and knowhow to enter the workforce in the hospitality industry. This partnership with UOC is aligned to the Foundation’s CSR vision of `Empowering the Nation for Tomorrow’.
Cinnamon Hotels & Resorts is spearheading expansion and innovation in the hospitality and leisure industry in Sri Lanka and this is yet another example of its thought leadership. The hotel chain, while ensuring that its product and service offerings are at the cutting edge of the sector, is also at the forefront in sharing its skills and expertise with the rest of the industry. By involving itself with UOC for this hospitality and leisure management course, it promises to ensure a comprehensive degree qualification that will uplift the level of students entering the industry on graduation.