Dr Miguel Moital, Principal Academic in the Department of Sport & Event Management was a guest lecturer at the Viana do Castelo Polytechnic Institute (IPVC), where he delivered two presentations. IPVC’s School of Technology & Management offers both an UG and a MSc program in tourism, delivered by three Faculty of Management PhD Alumni: Dr. Alexandra Correia, Dr. Carlos Fernandes, and Dr. Goretti Silva.
The first presentation, delivered to the in Masters students, focused on the interplay between theory and employability. Miguel drew on his experience with both the Portuguese and the British educational systems to emphasise the differences between them, highlighting the benefits of a theory-based education (as in the UK) as a means to develop valuable employability skills. These include the ability to be comprehensive in analysis, to be able to understand a variety of situations irrespective of context and the ability to step back from specific situations and understand the principles governing them (abstract observation).
The second session was delivered to the undergraduate students, and focused on the benefits of understanding generic processes in addition to specific content. Miguel drew on his experience of studying tourism 25 years ago, and the fact that much of the content he learnt is no longer current. What remains valid over time are intellectual skills you learnt in the form of business and work attitudes, as well as ways of thinking. The latter includes, for example, understanding how to develop strong (counter) arguments, how to evaluate (anything) and how to analyse a situation. He emphasised that a good degree will strike a balance between learning content and critical processes.
In both sessions, students were intrigued and open to the explanation of the UK HE education system and way of viewing the role of a university degree, helping to reinforce the message that BU-educated colleagues already pass on to their students.