Today, the Swiss School of Tourism and Hospitality (SSTH) and its parent company, EHL Group, opened the new Bachelor Village on its Passugg campus.
In the future, the Bachelor Village will accommodate students who are carrying out the HES-SO Bachelor of Science in International Hospitality Management—designed by the Ecole hôtelière de Lausanne (EHL)—in Passugg. Today’s opening marks the first stage of a comprehensive extension to the Passugg campus and further consolidates EHL’s investment in Grisons, the heart of Swiss tourism. With this expansion, the school is creating room for the constantly-growing number of professionals and students.
Today, the first stage of the new Bachelor Village was ceremoniously opened in the presence of senior Council member and Director of Education Martin Jäger, as well as of other guests from the fields of business, education and politics. In the future, students who are carrying out the HES-SO Bachelor of Science in International Hospitality Management—designed and delivered by EHL—will live and learn in the Bachelor Village in Passugg. With this step, EHL’s subsidiary company is reacting to the constant increase in student numbers. This autumn, 132 new professionals—16 of which are students in the firstever class of EHL’s new Bachelor program—begin their professional training in Passugg.
Over the coming years, the number of students is set to keep rising gradually due to the growing demand for qualified professionals in the hospitality sector. “The expansion in Passugg falls seamlessly into our 2025 strategy of creating educational clusters – on-site in Passugg, in Lausanne, as well as for the first time overseas in Singapore in the near future. The world of hospitality experts is rediscovering itself within EHL Group’s traditionally innovative universe and is designing these worlds anew”, says André Witschi, President of EHL’s Board of Governors.
First stage of the strategic development of the campus
“In Passugg, we offer first-class courses of education at a very high level – with a unique mix of professional training courses which are both practice-based and academic. Today, young talents who have an academic degree in addition to professional training are exceptionally in demand. As part of EHL Group, we thus wish to expand our offer of programs further and, in the future, to provide access to a growing number of students”,
says Michael Hartmann, Managing Director of the SSTH.
The school laid the foundations for the expansion of the campus in 2017 with the renovation of the kitchen, the Campigiana Bar and the canteen – an investment which amounted to 1.4 million Swiss Francs. This was followed by construction measures which were carried out on accommodation, classrooms and restaurants this summer. The main building now comprises 142 rooms and 180 beds. As part of this first stage of expansion, the former Passugg primary school building was also completely refurbished and connected to the main building. What’s more, the school has also constructed ten designer, modular living units. Ten more will be built in 2019 as part of the next phase of expansion. What’s more, with the planned takeover and refurbishment of the Hotel Fontana, the school will comprise a total area of 23,000 m2.
Unique educational ladder for ambitious, professional hospitality staff
In September, the first class of the HES-SO Bachelor of Science in International Hospitality Management also began on the Passugg campus. In the future, this course will be offered twice a year. The course takes place in English. The students complete the first two semesters in Passugg, i.e. in the tourist region which boasts the most four- and five-star hotels in Switzerland and which, at the same time, is the birthplace of the winter tourism local to the country. Moreover, the third semester, which is carried out on the EHL campus in Lausanne, enables students to build up an international network.
“In the future, we wish to considerably reinforce mobility between the two campuses in Passugg and Lausanne. We are the first institution in Switzerland in the hospitality sector which enables students to make this jump from Germanspeaking Switzerland to French-speaking Switzerland, thus enabling them to transcend linguistic barriers. What’s more, we offer a comprehensive educational ladder – enabling students to start from scratch with an apprenticeship and to move all the way up to an internationally-recognized Bachelor and Master degree”, says Michel Rochat, CEO of EHL Group and member of SSTH’s Board of Directors.
The Bachelor of Science degree is the first of its kind in the hospitality sector to be recognised by the Swiss Federation. In total, the parent company has invested around 15 million Swiss Francs in the maintenance and expansion of infrastructure and the development of the business since taking over the SSTH in 2013. In doing so, the support of the canton of Grisons has also been an important factor in its success.