At 35 years old, ESGHT from UAlg thinks about digitalization and technological challenges

Alexandra Gonçalves, director of the school, talks about adaptation efforts, to keep up with students' technological habits

Photo: Cátia Rodrigues | Sul Informação

It's been 35 years of a school that «started small», but grew to become «the largest organic unit in the Polytechnic Subsystem» of the University of Algarve. The Escola Superior de Gestão Hoteleira e Turismo celebrated its 22th anniversary on Wednesday, November 35nd and showed that it is focused on digitalization and adapting to the challenges posed by new technologies.

The ceremony, which took place in the ESGHT building, on the university's Penha Campus, in Faro, brought together in the same room Paulo Águas, dean of UAlg - and professor at ESGHT, as he himself made a point of highlighting -, directors of the different organic units of UAlg, professors from this school, current and former, and, of course, students and former students.

On the sidelines of the session, Alexandra Gonçalves, the director of ESGHT, who is simultaneously a teacher, researcher and former student of this organic unit, highlighted precisely this aspect of reunion that the session had.

«It feels great to be here today and celebrate with some who were our teachers, who were our mentors, and to have a different role today: that of guiding, of leading the school with a vision of the future, without forgetting the best of the past, but above all thinking about what we want to do from now on", he told Sul Informação.

And the future has been being prepared for some time, revealed the director of ESGHT.

«We are mainly renewing and thinking about how we are going to face today's challenges, which are increasingly technological, increasingly based on greater computerization. We have tried to adapt our training offer, with new teaching and learning methodologies, also seeking to meet some specialization », he explained.

There is even a new course on the way and scheduled to start in 2024, which will be offered in conjunction with the Instituto Superior de Engenharia at UAlg.

This is the course in Gastronomy and Food Innovation, «which is a specialization, at the same time as an innovation in areas that are already central to our school, such as hospitality. At the same time, we are diversifying the offer and creating new offers for other markets that previously did not have great appreciation and that are now beginning to awaken», he revealed.

Alexandra Gonçalves believes that ESGHT «needs to innovate in its relationship with the Mediterranean diet itself», since this cultural heritage «is a bastion of our region, which we must help to safeguard».

Along the way, teaching must be increasingly digitalized.

Today, students increasingly rely on a base of technological, digital resources, which is why we have had to adapt. We adapted by force (laughs), it's true, but now we have to take advantage of this adaptation and that's what we're doing», said the director of ESGHT, highlighting the offer that was created, at different levels, in the area of ​​Marketing Digital.

In Wednesday's session, it was the rector Paulo Águas himself who drew attention to the strong weight of ESGHT in the effort to recruit new students to UAlg, but he also did not hide the fact that more is always better.

«Yes, there is a tradition of recruiting a large number of students annually, and in fact it is the largest organic unit of polytechnic higher education. Of course, the ambition is always to continue to grow, no one likes to reduce the number of recruits, but in fact we have a very diverse offer and we manage to have broadband courses here, but also specialization courses, which allows us to renew our offers and attract new students every year», said, for her part, Alexandra Gonçalves.

The ceremony to celebrate ESGHT's 35th anniversary featured not only interventions by Alexandra Gonçalves and Paulo Águas, but also the awarding of master's and degree scholarships (in the latter case, financed by the companies EC Travel and Ricky Travel), and with the debate Algarve, Present and Future, moderated by Augusta Casaca, TSF journalist, and had as guests Hélder Martins (AHETA), Hugo Vieira (vice-president of the national board of ANJE), Jorge Cabaço (Dengun), Lizabete Sequeira (Ordem of Certified Accountants – Faro), Isabel Delgado (Zoomarine) Marta Aragão (president of APET), Reinaldo Teixeira (Garvetur) and Vítor Neto (NERA).

In addition to the facilities in Faro, where the ceremony took place, ESGHT also has a hub in Portimão, which turned 30 years old in 2022 and that, like the Sul Informação You've figured it out, get ready to gain new impetus, thanks to the construction of new facilities from scratch, in the city of Portimão.

 

Photos: Cátia Rodrigues | Sul Informação

 

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