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Hilton Worldwide Signs Strategic Academic Alliance with KDU University College’s School of Hospitality, Tourism and Culinary Arts

Latest signing marks second school partnership in Malaysia to offer aspiring talent best-in-class theoretical knowledge and practical training.

Friday, February 21, 2014
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Hilton Worldwide today announced a school partnership agreement with KDU University College’s School of Hospitality, Tourism and Culinary Arts to develop talents for the country’s rapidly growing hospitality industry. Under the Hilton Class program, Hilton Worldwide will offer students of KDU University College rigorous on-the-job practical training and a theoretical curriculum designed to equip them for successful careers in hospitality.

“This school partnership with KDU University College underscores our global commitment to impact a million young people by 2019,” said William Costley, vice president, Southeast Asia – Operations, Hilton Worldwide. “Through the Hilton Class program which combines our expertise as a leading industry player and the university’s strength as one of Malaysia’s top international hospitality management schools, we want to equip young aspiring talents with the range of skills needed to become the future generation of successful hospitality leaders.”

Hilton Worldwide’s global commitment to impact at least one million youth by 2019, builds upon Travel with PurposeTM, the company’s global corporate responsibility strategy to create shared value for our communities, business and environment in which we operate. It brings together a range of existing programs and company resources around the world that connect, prepare and engage young people including school partnerships, apprenticeship programs and professional development programs.

“KDU University College is honored to be linked with a world-renowned industry player, Hilton Worldwide and this will definitely help boost the employability rate of our students,” said Professor Khong Yoon Loong, vice chancellor, KDU University College. “Our students will have the opportunity to expand their network and learn from the experts of this industry. I believe that our students have the potential to out-do themselves and succeed in life.”

Under the partnership with KDU University College, 30 first-year students will be jointly selected by Hilton Worldwide and the university every year, for the Hilton Class program. Selected candidates must be pursuing any of the following degrees offered by the School of Hospitality, Tourism and Culinary Arts: Bachelor of Arts in International Hotel & Tourism Management, Bachelor of Culinary Management (Honors) in Culinary Operations, Bachelor of Culinary Management (Honors) in Baking & Pastry and Bachelor of Hospitality Management (Honors).

During their three-year coursework, each Hilton Class student will be offered at least one six-month internship at hotels and resorts in Malaysia managed by the leading global hospitality company. In addition, Hilton Worldwide will organize guest lectures, on-site visits and an e-learning program specially designed to prepare students for the workplace. Upon graduation, outstanding students may also be able to secure job offers from properties operated by Hilton Worldwide.

“This collaboration, the second of our strategic school alliances in Malaysia, also reiterates our commitment to developing our portfolio in Malaysia as well as the Southeast Asia region,” continued Costley. “In preparing best-in-class talent to support this expansion, we are confident that this partnership will also support capacity building of local talent, and benefit the growing hospitality industry in this country, as more trained students enter the workplace.”

As outlined in the Malaysia Tourism Transformation Plan (MTTP) 2020, Malaysia Tourism Promotion Board aims to boost tourist arrivals to 36 million by 2020[1]. Furthermore, World Travel & Tourism Council forecasted that international arrivals in Southeast Asia region will total 145.2 million by 2023[2]. The expected growth poses great opportunities for hospitality companies and for young people who have a passion for working in this industry.

Over the next few years, Hilton Worldwide will add a total of 14 new properties to its existing portfolio of 23 hotels and resorts in Southeast Asia. The soonest of these to launch is DoubleTree by Hilton Johor Bahru which is scheduled to open by the third quarter of 2014.

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