The Role of Tourism and Hotels Faculties in Developing Soft Skills for Undergraduate Students in Egypt

Mohammed Ezzat

Abstract


The role of tourism and hotels faculties is not only focusing on academic knowledge and hard skills for students, but also including the development of soft skills in order to improve the quality of graduates and employability. Soft skills development is intended to enable and enhance personal development, participation in learning, and success in employment paths. Soft skills are to be considered as complementary to technical skills (hard skills) and knowledge that students acquire during their university study.
This study aims to exploring the role of tourism and hotels faculties in Egypt in developing soft skills for undergraduate students. A survey tool is designed covering four main study dimensions including: Perception of Soft Skills Importance, Faculty’s Encouragement, Types of Soft Skills, and Practiced Methods for Soft Skills Development. A total of 388 completes are collected from students (255 completes) and faculty staff members (93 completes). The study found that the most serious obstacles for developing students’ soft skill were: lack of clear policies and programs, the absence of interest of students in developing their soft skills, some staff members give more attention to basic technical skills (hard skills) than soft skills.
This study presented few recommendations that can help the faculties and staff members to better develop soft skills for students including: diversification of soft skills using a variety of methods, offering clear policies and programs for soft skills development such as training programs, seminars and workshops, embodying soft skills in curriculums, and increasing the level of students' activities encouraging them to participate in. Moreover, staff members should give attention to both basic technical skills (hard skills) and soft skills.


Keywords


Soft Skills development, tourism education, tourism in Egypt

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