SSupported by cloud hosting provider DigitalOcean – Try DigitalOcean now and receive a $200 when you create a new account!

Sommet Education Creates A Unique Education Group Specialized In Hospitality Management And The Culinary Arts

Listen to this article

Below is our recent interview with Eric Wyttynck, Chief Information, Innovation & Digital Officer at Sommet Education:

Q: Could you provide our readers with a brief introduction to Sommet Education?

A: Sommet Education is a unique education group specialized in hospitality management and the culinary arts, committed to delivering an exceptional student experience and developing future talent for the experience industry.

Its hospitality management institutions Glion Institute of Higher Education and Les Roches, with campuses in Switzerland, Spain, China and the UK, provide undergraduate and graduate students from more than 100 countries with an education built on the Swiss model of academic rigor, skills-based learning and dynamic multicultural exposure. The culinary and pastry schools of École Ducasse offer bachelor’s degrees, courses for career changers and continuous professional training, as well as private courses for food enthusiasts, across three campuses in France and through partnerships with overseas universities.

Moreover, Sommet Education is the only education network with two hospitality institutions – Glion Institute of Higher Education and Les Roches – ranked among the world’s top three for hospitality education and among the world’s top three for employer reputation by QS World University Rankings by Subject 2020.

Recommended: The Legal Profession: Careers Worth Checking Into

Q: You’ve developed virtual access to your campuses and implemented cutting-edge digital content and tools for your students; -could you tell us something more? Why now?

A: Due to the announcements of the public authorities worldwide, we have temporarily closed all classroom teaching at Ecole Ducasse, Glion and Les Roches campuses and have been just providing accommodation and support to Glion and Les Roches students not able to return to their families.

Indeed, to maintain a highly personalised approach for students while switching to remote studies, we have created a dedicated task force at the Group level comprising faculty and IT members, Pierre Ihmle, our Chief Academic Officer and myself. Together we have adapted the Glion and Les Roches study programs by providing full 24/7 access to digital textbooks, videoconferences and online assessments. To keep the content fresh and dynamic we have been adding 100 new videos daily with more than 3000 videos now made accessible to all students via Moodle, a Learning Management System.

Now that our students do not have the physical possibility to approach their teachers, we were looking to maintain the individual study approach and have also created online Q&A sessions for small groups of participants, accessible several times a day taking into consideration various time zones of student locations.

Moreover, to ensure continuous assessments for written exams, we have also applied Artificial Intelligence systems that monitor and analyse student behaviour which allows maintaining the high level of control against plagiarism and exam fraud.

With all the implemented tools combined, we have managed to use digital technology as a way to arrive at a more horizontal method of teaching. Digital learning imparts some of the essential knowledge, which faculty can then discuss, reinforce and validate in a more open and collaborative classroom environment allowing additional focus on mentoring and nurturing the students. Consequently, we have witnessed a staggering student engagement rate of more than 90 percent with our students connecting to the system from 90 countries.

Q: Other than that, how is Sommet responding to the Coronavirus situation?

A: As mentioned, Sommet Education was obliged to either close our campus operations or limit them to strict minimum to provide shelter to the students unable to reach their families, and many of the group’s collaborators have been working from home since mid-March.

The new conditions have not stopped our teams to put their best effort to allow our students continued access to education while providing the maximum safety without undermining the level of excellence the schools and the group have been known for. In a matter of weeks, we have proven our commitment to the students by entirely shifting to distance learning and developing new initiatives such as exceptional online series “Leading Hospitality Through Turbulent Times” to prepare them better to the challenges they may encounter in the post-covid world in their future careers and free additional online courses in Revenue Management, Hotel Valuation and Spa Management enabling them to gain additional certificates to make the most of this remote learning period.

Our teams in France, Switzerland and Spain have also been active in organizing various social initiatives supporting medical and hospital staff. Our chefs at Ecole Ducasse and Glion cooked meals and provided treats for local hospital medical staff while Les Roches Marbella teams and their students provided water, charging power banks and food donations to support the most vulnerable among us during this time and the ones in the front lines fighting for our safety.

Q: Can you tell us something more about your institutions? Where are they located?

A: Glion Institute of Higher Education is a private Swiss institution founded in 1962 and offering bachelor’s and master’s degrees in hospitality, luxury and finance to an international student body across three campuses in Switzerland and London, UK. Glion offers a Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Hospitality, Luxury and Finance to an international student body across three campuses in Switzerland and the United Kingdom, with the opportunity for our students to spend part of their studies in one of our sister institutions: Les Roches, with campuses in Switzerland, Spain, China, or Ecole Ducasse, our culinary and pastry schools in France.

Founded in 1954, Les Roches is a higher education institution based on the Swiss model of experiential learning, offering undergraduate and graduate degrees in the fields of hospitality, tourism and event management. The curriculum combines practical instruction in kitchen, service and rooms operations with theoretical and general management courses across its three campuses in Switzerland, Spain and China. All courses at Les Roches and Glion include internships to enable students to reinforce their learning in a professional context. With a 6-months internship at les Roches, two semester-long internships during the Bachelor’s and one semester-long internship during the Master’s degree at Glion, the future graduates can step straight into a responsible position upon graduation and start work immediately at a professional level.

As to École Ducasse, it is a network of schools founded by multi-starred chef Alain Ducasse, dedicated to the transmission of outstanding French expertise based on excellence in culinary and pastry arts. École Ducasse runs three schools in France – the Paris Studio, the Paris Campus and the École Nationale Supérieure de Pâtisserie. All are united by a desire to share a passion for gastronomy with seasoned professionals as well as food enthusiasts, career changers and students. This broad portfolio of programs aims to meet all training needs: from short programs for experts or food enthusiasts to intensive two-, four-or six-month programs, to three-year undergraduate programs leading to a Bachelor’s degree in culinary and pastry arts. École Ducasse transmits the highest standards of its professions with an exceptional staff, teaching managerial and entrepreneurial skills along with practical training to ensure perfectly mastered techniques.

Recommended: Executive Coaching For Private Equity CFOs, Controllers And VPs

Q: What are your plans for the future?

A: Based on the latest deconfinement measures announced by the governments in European countries, we look forward to re-opening our campuses in the nearest future. With the first openings to come for Ecole Ducasse starting mid-May, we look to welcome our students back in Les Roches and Glion campuses in Switzerland in July.

Due to the current pandemic situation it has been decided to postpone our new intake to October for Glion and Les Roches students. This decision with the primary objective still being the safety of our students has been based on the public authority announcements and the possibility for our students to travel to the campuses from more that 90 destinations worldwide, and of course the recovery of the hospitality sector.

Activate Social Media: