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Journal of Further and Higher Education, Vol. 25, No. 1, 2001

Vocationalism in Higher Level Tourism Courses: the British perspective GRAHAM BUSBY Department of Land Use & Rural Management, Seale-Hayne Faculty, University of Plymouth, Newton Abbot, Devon TQ12 6NQ, UK

This paper highlights the extent of vocationalism on higher level tourism courses and outlines a typology of undergraduate degrees. Industry in uence on curriculum content is considered in the light of a few modules on one particular single honours degree programme. Finally, issues are raised for the next decade: ‘credential in ation’ is likely to lead to more graduates, the need for education of cross-cultural communication and host community involvement is raised together with the effect of ‘de-layering’ concomitantly with increasing numbers of graduates is considered. ABSTRACT

Introduction The Ž rst Tourism undergraduate degrees, in Britain, were established in 1986 (CNAA, 1993) at the then Dorset Institute of Higher Education and Newcastle Polytechnic, in conjunction with New College Durham; the latter had run an industry-regarded Higher National Diploma since the early 1970s. Cooper et al. (1994) note that the number of courses at undergraduate level increased more than tenfold in the Ž ve years between 1986 and 1991. However, “by any yardstick the growth … during the 1990s has been remarkable” (Airey & Johnson, 1998). According to the UCAS handbook for 1999 entry, there are now 65 British institutions offering Ž rst degrees with Travel and/or Tourism in their designation. In terms of postgraduate provision, there has also been signiŽ cant growth: “from 2 in 1972, to 10 in 1991, and to 33 in 1998” (Airey & Johnson, 1999, p. 299). This was undoubtedly higher still in 1999 with the recent introduction of the Scottish Agricultural College’s MPhil in Rural Tourism and the University of Plymouth’s MSc Rural Tourism to name just two more awards. Some ambiguity is created by type of search undertaken on the UCAS website: a total of 572 degrees with Tourism and 112 with Travel in their award title exist because of the combined studies options; there are 192 degrees with the designation Tourism Management or Tourism and Management. Using the ‘compact’ search mechanism reveals 510 Tourism degrees, 119 HNDs and three diplomas; in all, there are 632 Tourism higher education awards on offer for entry in the autumn last year, and this excludes the increasing number of higher degrees. Whilst Tourism degree provision in the UK has increased at a dramatic rate ISSN 0309-877X print; ISSN 1469-9486 online/01/010029-15 Ó NATFHE DOI: 10.1080/03098770020030489


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because it attracts signiŽ cant numbers of applicants and is cheap to resource, comparisons are worth noting. In Australia, a few degree-awarding Colleges of Advanced Education offered courses before 1989 when they were converted into universities and, simultaneously, tourism was perceived as a growth industry: “increasing both the quantity and quality of tourism education became formal government policy” (McKercher, 1999, p. 64). Airey and Johnson (1999, p. 229) refer to the growth of provision elsewhere, observing that “in Italy all 14 tourism courses in universities have been introduced since 1992”. This article reviews the term ‘vocationalism’, provides a typology to highlight degree content, considers the in uence of ‘industry’ upon the curriculum at one institution and, based on these considerations, identiŽ es possible issues for tourism education in the period to 2010.

Vocationalism A seminal text by Silver and Brennan (1988, p. 3) argued that the term vocationalism has “no stable meaning” although there is little doubt that there has been a tension between the ‘liberal’ and ‘vocational’ perspectives over time. This section reviews vocationlism in the context of tourism studies. Go (1994) refers to competence-based qualiŽ cations, such as ABTAC, as the ‘acting’ part of a tourism curriculum which need supplementing with ‘thinking’ components. It could be argued that the former is quite clearly vocational, by any deŽ nition, whereas the latter stems from a more general, liberal-humanist education. The degree programme discussed later will illustrate how it is possible to achieve the “appropriate balance between practice and theory” advocated by Go (1994, p. 336). Any consideration of vocationalism requires mention of National Vocational QualiŽ cations. In England, the National Council for Vocational QualiŽ cations (NCVQ), now the QualiŽ cations and Curriculum Authority, was established in 1987 and sets ‘standards’ (NVQs) at Ž ve levels. For the purposes of this article, levels 1 to 3 are not relevant since they do not affect higher education. Interestingly, Collins et al. (1994, p. 6) discuss how level 4 “involves complex technical, specialist and professional work activities including those associated with design, planning and problem solving” stating that “it may be equated with the standards of the Higher National Diploma”. NVQs are essentially about skills and showing competence rather than the inculcation of knowledge per se. However, evidence presented recently to the House of Commons Education and Employment Committee by economics professor Francis Green has “shown that the NVQ had been focussed too narrowly and was not transferable” (Anon., 1998a, p. 2). Even if HNDs are about more than competences, comparing the British HND with the French BTS illustrates a stark difference in content: the latter typically “includes the study of the history of civilisations and the history of art” (Holloway, 1993, p. 112). Beyond ‘technician level’ qualiŽ cations, Bournemouth University offers an ABTA-approved Master’s degree whereby, “if an employer sponsors a student, the GBTA, ABTAC, ABTOC and NVQ qualiŽ cations … are already at the minimum

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level for acceptance on the course” (Beaver, 1999): the ultimate vocational higher degree. The post-Fordist paradigm of industrial production with its emphasis on  exibility and  atter management hierarchies has led Young (1998, p. 74) to recommend a generic core of knowledge and skills which is connected to specialised study. The concept of ‘connective specialisation’, as he terms it, stems from two issues: the opportunity for students “to make choices and combine different kinds of learning in new ways—and improving coherence—the sense of clarity that students need in order to know what they need to learn”. His concept “emphasises the importance of specialists … sharing an overall sense of the relationship between their specialisation and the whole curriculum” (Young, 1998, p. 77). He muses on whether this should be described as an advanced form of vocational education. A Typology of Tourism Degrees and their Content Given that tourism as a “subject sprawls inconsiderately across industrial sectors and academic disciplines” (Cooper & Westlake, 1989, p. 70), it makes the identiŽ cation of content necessary within higher level courses a problem (Cooper & Shepherd, 1997). Furthermore, as Fletcher (1996) notes, teaching staff are reluctant to give up the right as to what is taught and, indeed, many “courses have evolved due to initiatives of individuals” (Cooper & Messenger, 1991). Hunter-Jones (1997a), for example, proposes four criteria for the selection of content—based, in his case, on law relevant to tourism; the Ž rst is “relevance to managers in industry” which, as he notes, may cause problems with the identiŽ cation of law for what sectors? His second criterion is “that the major areas of the tourism industry and their needs must be respected” which for any business-oriented Tourism degree seems reasonable. A stakeholder perspective is illustrated with Hunter-Jones’ third criterion: “that the discipline taught must re ect the obligations of managers to consumers, employees and the community at large”. Admirable but realistic? This needs to be considered in the light of his Ž nal criterion, viz. “that the course taught must re ect the opportunities of organisations to develop and carry out their business”. To summarise, whatever the eventual content happens to be, there is no doubt that “a disciplined process of curriculum planning is essential if we are to be taken seriously as educators” (Cooper, 1997, p. 27). Before considering the UCAS data, the perennial issue of tourism versus hospitality studies requires a brief mention. Stear and GrifŽ n (1993, p. 49) raise the issue of content even within named tourism degrees. Although their research related to Australia (when there were ten courses at Ž rst-degree level), many courses had a “distinct leaning towards hospitality and in one case it is hard to Ž nd any broader tourism content”. Even in the early 1980s, the “variety of courses” (Airey & Middleton, 1984, p. 57) and diversity of “higher educational facilities for tourism” was being noted (Theuns & Rasheed, 1983, p. 42). To some extent, this is a caveat when considering the titles of awards listed in the UCAS handbook. A review of the 1999 Universities and Colleges Admissions System (UCAS)


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handbook shows that 36 (55%) of the institutions featuring the terms ‘tourism’ or ‘travel’ in the designation are provided by post-1992 universities, conŽ rming the view held by Thatcher nearly three decades ago that they (polytechnics) “have tended to provide training for speciŽ c jobs; in modern jargon the courses are vocationally motivated” (Thatcher, 1970, p. 16). However, of the remaining 29 institutions, 25 are colleges of one type or another and just four are pre-1992 universities (Table I identiŽ es the institutions concerned). The post-1992 universities and colleges have always had to deŽ ne “institutional and curriculum purposes in public ways not familiar in the (old) university sector” (Silver & Brennan, 1998, p. 6) and this had led to more employment-speciŽ c qualiŽ cation aims. To make a brief international comparison, Gunn (1998, p. 75) notes that, in the US, “the policies of universities have become blurred, shifting more and more toward career orientation”. Any review of the types of tourism degree must consider the issue of work experience; “in higher level education … training in practical skills is seen as essential by the industry and this is re ected in the integration of an industrial year or professional stage into the majority of degree level course structures” (Cooper & Shepherd, 1997, p. 35) whilst Richards (1995) refers to placements being used on many courses to provide “a vocational focus”. Citing reports by HM Inspectorate (1992) and the CNAA (1993), Airey and Johnson (1999: 230) comment that inclusion, or otherwise, of sandwich placements “may provide a guide to the business orientation of individual courses” whilst noting that Busby et al. (1997) “indicate that this may not be the case”. Swarbrooke (1995) argues that whilst almost all tourism courses “are vocational in nature and focused on the supply side … leisure courses are split between the more vocational leisure management courses and the more academic leisure studies”. This author would query the belief that almost all tourism courses are vocational; referring to Cooper et al. (1994, p. 107), it is possible to differentiate two types, viz. the single honours (e.g. Tourism Management) and “courses which use tourism … to enrich … subject areas” (e.g. the combined studies degrees); the former may well be vocational although the latter are much less likely to be. What is more, there are geography degrees which include a study of tourism and yet, obviously, this does not show up at the UCAS course search stage. Many undergraduate tourism courses are modularised, i.e. the curriculum has been divided into discrete, relatively short blocks, usually lasting one semester. As Swarbrooke (1995) notes, this presents opportunities for credit transfer. The Credit Accumulation and Transfer System (CATS) enables students to move between the large number of participating universities during the lifetime of their degree. Modularisation within many British universities has provided a menu with which to pick a truly diverse range of subjects; this has allowed “students to tailor-make their courses” (Cooper & Shepherd, 1997, p. 46). However, without personal guidance, it is possible to choose a combination that may interest an individual and, yet, is one which does not provide the optimum mix for subsequent employment opportunities. It is worth noting at this juncture that a ‘named degree’, such as Tourism Management, still permits inclusion of some unexpected modules. For example, for

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TABLE I. British Ž rst degrees in Tourism: 1999 entry (listed alphabetically) Anglia Polytechnic University Bath Spa University College Birmingham Coll. of Food, Tourism and Creative Studies Blackpool and the Fylde College Bolton Institute of Higher Education Bournemouth University Bradford and Ilkley Community College Buckinghamshire Chilterns University College Canterbury Christ Church College of HE Cheltenham & Gloucester College of HE Colchester Institute College of St Mark and St John, Plymouth Coventry University Glasgow Caledonian University Herefordshire College of Technology Leeds Metropolitan University Liverpool John Moores University London Institute Manchester Metropolitan University Napier University Norwich City College Oxford Brookes University Queen Margaret College, Edinburgh Robert Gordon University ShefŽ eld Hallam University Solihull College South Bank University Staffordshire University Swansea Institute of Higher Education Thames Valley University Trinity College Carmarthen University College Chester University College of Ripon and York St John University College Scarborough University College of St Mark and St John University College of St Martin, Lancaster and Cumbria University College Suffolk University College Warrington University of Abertay Dundee University of Brighton University of Buckingham* University of Central Lancashire

University of Derby University of Glamorgan University of Greenwich University of Hertfordshire University of HuddersŽ eld Univ. of Lincolnshire & Humberside University of Luton University of North London University of Northumbria University of Paisley University of Plymouth University of Portsmouth University of Salford University of Strathclyde* University of Sunderland University of Surrey* University of Ulster University of Wales, Bangor* Univ. of Wales Institute, Cardiff University of Westminster University of the West of England University of Wolverhampton Writtle College

Note:*denotes pre-1992 university.

1999 entry, Cheltenham & Gloucester College of Higher Education offered 23 degrees entitled ‘Tourism Management with …’—the choices ranged from Computing to History. Middleton and Ladkin (1996, p. 10) are concerned about the fragmentation and “recent blurring of distinctions between courses in tourism,


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FIG. 1. Relationship between degree courses and entry to employment. Source: Silver and Brennan (1988).

leisure, recreation and hospitality” but, surely, this pales into nothing compared to a named award such as Tourism and Biology. Before considering these degrees in the light of Silver and Brennan’s (1988) typology, a Ž nal observation is that students pursuing tourism degrees, in many institutions, also have the opportunity of a year overseas as part of the International Student Exchange Programme (ISEP). This is unlikely to be any more vocational in content but does provide a strong cultural awareness and can enhance employability. This discussion can now be related to Silver and Brennan’s diagram (Figure 1) which illustrates the relationship between degree courses and entry to employment; the typology is shown below: · · · · · · · ·

Type Type Type Type Type Type Type Type

A: Sole regulation to employment and completed training B: Sole regulation and part-training C: Sole regulation and the educational base for training D: Partial regulation and completed preparation E: Partial regulation and partly-completed training F: Partial regulation and educational base for training G: Open market and employment-relevant educational base H: Open market and non-relevant education

Although Silver and Brennan (1988, p. 50) cite graduates of “business studies, public administration, hotel studies” as being represented by Type G and, therefore, where tourism graduates might expect to be positioned, it is argued that single honours degrees such as Tourism Management may accord more with Types F or even E. The argument for this is that, increasingly, employers are advertising for

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tourism graduates—for public sector posts, such as Tourism OfŽ cer, as much as the private sector, i.e. selection is being partially regulated. Furthermore, with regard to the training axis, many, if not all, of the Tourism Management graduates have the ‘necessary base’ or ‘part complete’ training. For example, a 1998 graduate secured employment as the Ž rst Marketing Manager for a North American specialist tour operator, opening a UK ofŽ ce, because of 12 months spent in a tour operation placement in Toronto; this is not an isolated example. There is absolutely no doubt that, for many tourism jobs, graduates have attained at least the ‘necessary base’. The following statements regarding Type F are worth repeating here because of their relevance to tourism degrees: “The professional Ž eld and the academic area will share a common subject matter that will ensure a basic relevance to students with vocational motivations … emphasis on critical academic values may even be subversive of vocational ends … some employers may actually be antagonistic to graduates from this sort of course who will be knowledgeable without having received any occupational training” (Silver & Brennan, 1988, p. 47–48). A number of rejoinders could be made. However, just one observation will be made: the statement noting that academic values might be subversive of vocational ends can be compared with Tribe’s (1998, p. 26) plea for “ communities other than just the business communities … (to be) represented in the process of curriculum framing” is very relevant if we are to consider what he terms “alternative ways of tourism world-making” rather than “a taken for granted tourism world-making” (Tribe, 1998, p. 19). The second type of degree identiŽ ed by Cooper et al. (1994, p. 107) where tourism is used to enrich subject areas is likely to be a Combined Studies or major/minor type of degree. These probably do conform to Silver and Brennan’s Type G where there are “problematic and diffuse links with employment” (Silver & Brennan, 1988, p. 49). What would really enhance this typology is the ‘standing’ of the individual tourism degree and/or the institution. Anecdotal evidence would suggest that there is some sort of league table in tourism employer’s minds when it comes to considering recruitment. The In uence of Industry upon Curriculum Content Despite, allegedly, being the world’s biggest industry, tourism comprises too many sectors for any one, or even a few, professional bodes to control employment as exists for some occupations. In Britain, the following organisations have some level of in uence: the Tourism Society, the Institute of Travel & Tourism, the Chartered Institute of Transport, the Institute of Leisure and Amenity Management, and the Association of British Travel Agents (a misnomer since there are over 500 tour operator members) besides various ‘hospitality’ associations. Evans (1993, p. 245) noted that it was difŽ cult for the industry to state what it wants from education because of differing sectoral requirements and observed that using “the relevant professional bodies … does little more than magnify the diversity of opinion because of the strong education membership of the Tourism Society and the support for the Institute of Travel and Tourism from the travel trade”. In any case, Holloway (1993,


G. Busby TABLE II. Module structure

Stage 1

Stage 2

Stage 3

First semester Tourism Studies 1 Tourism and the Environment Financial Management 1 Information Technology Language Front OfŽ ce Services

First semester Tourism Planning and Management Financial Management 2 Quantitative Methods Language Accommodation Management 1

First semester Tourism Case Study Financial Management 3 Business Strategy Honours Project A Language Sustainable Tourism

Second semester Tourism Studies 2 Tourism Behaviour European Business Environment Tourism and Hospitality Industries Language Accommodation Services

Second Semester Tourism Research Methods Marketing Human Resource Management Language Accommodation Management 2

Second semester Contemporary Issues Integrating Case Study Quality Management Honours Project B Language Advanced Research Methods and Tourism Forecasting

p. 108) argues that providing a dedicated tourism course may re ect “the views of an in uential section of travel employers (but) may prove too narrow in scope for long-term career development”. The Association of Teachers and Trainers of Tourism (a sub-group of The Tourism Society) survey, in 1992, revealed that “the single most important issue … was links with industry” (Busby, 1994). For higher education, this has, to some extent, been rectiŽ ed at national level by the establishment of the NLG: National Liaison Group for Industry and HE. As an example of NLG output, there have been several so-called ‘Guideline’ booklets covering a range of topics from a core curriculum to assistance for industry practitioners newly appointed as external examiners. This author would argue that industry could have an implicit in uence upon the curriculum through frequent involvement with university staff and students. At this point, it is salient to review some of the content, with examples of industry involvement, of the Tourism Management degree modules at the University of Plymouth. First, some explanation of the structure of the degree is necessary. To qualify for the award of BSc (Honours) Tourism Management, a student must achieve 120 credit points at each of three stages. Stages 1 and 2 equate to years 1 and 2 although Stage 3 will not necessarily mean year 3 if a student undertakes a 12-month sandwich placement; the 360 credit requirement is common to most British degree-awarding institutions. Table II illustrates the typical composition of the award. However, more choice is available than this illustrates, for example, heritage modules can be studied on the Exeter campus at Stage 2 level or more modules can be taken from the Rural Resource Management ‘pathway’.

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Modules are organised into ‘pathways’; for example, Business and Management, which is common to all degrees on the Seale-Hayne campus. It should be noted that the Business and Management modules still allow orientation towards the tourism industry. Apart from SPSS software, information technology per se is not taught in any way as programme-speciŽ c; employers would appear to want “graduates to have a good knowledge of basic business programmes such as word-processing, spreadsheets, database and presentation applications” (Daniele & Mistilis, 1999, p. 146). Only a few of the Tourism pathway modules will, however, be reviewed here in order to illustrate content. At Stage 1, modules are concerned with introducing students to the phenomenon of tourism and are, therefore, heavily oriented towards descriptive material rather than substantial analytical reviews. Tourism and Hospitality Industries: taught to both Tourism and Hospitality Management students, the module considers the commercial structure of businesses such as Airtours, the various types of integration, and pricing considerations. However, it does not mitigate against a liberal-humanist viewpoint being incorporated into the curriculum. For example, the question of sustainability is introduced, albeit brie y, together with ethical issues, using research conducted by staff (e.g. Curtin & Busby, 1999). At Stage 2, students undertake two double (20 credit) modules; one of these being: Tourism Research Methods: this module could be considered vocational in the sense that the concepts and software (SPSS) taught permit commercial market research applications, conforming to Buhalis’ (1998) view that technology should be integrated into the learning process; indeed, consultancy carried out over four years is fed directly into this module to illustrate problems and successes. The module leader also incorporates a consumer perspective via his research on tourism and crime (Mawby et al., 1999) and a book (Brunt, 1997) enhances the wider intellectual arguments concerning research methods. For Stage 3, most students pursue the following modules. Tourism Case Study: here students are split into groups of four or Ž ve and conduct what is, to all intents and purposes, mock consultancy. A tourist facility is visited, students can ask questions only on that day and then present progress reports every two weeks before a Ž nal report is delivered, verbally and in writing, to the organisation’s senior management. This module would be considered vocational through and through and yet groups have shown a wider liberal re ection in many cases. Organisations used, to date, include an airline, numerous visitor attractions and an accommodation marketing consortium, with two of these deciding to commission further consultancy. Contemporary Issues in Tourism: unlike the case study module, this is based entirely on the individual; students are allocated one of eight topics and must present a 15-minute literature review together with a 2000-word report. There is also an examination that requires answers on two of the topics. To provide some indication of the level of analysis required, one topic is stated here: “It is well known that the price of inclusive package holidays has been and continues to be very competitive”. Elaborate on this given the phenomenon of oligopoly, or even monopoly, in the UK


G. Busby TABLE III. Core body of knowledge proposed by National Liaison Group (Holloway, 1995) · · · · · · ·

The meaning and nature of tourism The structure of the industry The dimensions of tourism and issues of measurement The signiŽ cance and impact of tourism The marketing of tourism Tourism planning and management Policy and management in tourism

tour operating industry. Besides a review of contemporary developments, students must use such concepts as the kinked demand curve to try and explain this situation to their peers: vocational but drawing on the wider orbit of social science. The Honours Project: this double module represents the pinnacle of a student’s undergraduate work; its production is the result of the individual student assisted by his or her supervisor. It is a classic example of the Process Approach to the curriculum (Pickup & Wolfson, 1986) whereby “the learner and not the institution is central” (Cooper et al., 1994, p. 76). The quality achieved by students is occasionally worthy of a refereed journal; its value is recognised by Travel and Tourism Intelligence who now make an award for the best project. These modules illustrate the combination of what could be considered vocational aspects together with broader intellectual ones, perhaps even ‘liberal’ elements. At the same time, the tourism modules, implicitly, address all seven ‘elements’ of the core curriculum, or core body of knowledge, proposed by the National Liaison Group (Holloway, 1995) and shown in Table III. Whilst a core curriculum does inform ‘industry’ of the minimum content of what tourism students should know, there is concern about imposition of a national curriculum which would work against academic freedom and, as Baum (1997) notes, affect the ability to meet such a diverse range of employer’s curricular needs. On the other hand, Koh (1994, p. 853) argues that “professionalism demands standardisation”, although it is worth bearing in mind that he is writing from a North American perspective. In any event, many tourism courses already incorporate much of the ‘body of knowledge’; Airey and Johnson (1999) identify 93 out of the 99 courses in their survey as covering Ž ve or more of the seven elements. Finally, reference must be made to the sandwich placement: this 12-month period has never formed part of the degree classiŽ cation; a CertiŽ cate of Industrial Experience, based on employer assessment and an academic project, has been awarded separately. However, since 1998, the placement is no longer compulsory. Harvey et al’s (1997, p. 2) extensive survey of graduates stated: “if there was to be a single recommendation to come from the research, it would be to encourage all undergraduate programmes to offer students an option of a year-long work placement”. This view has been reinforced by the Dearing Report (1997, p. 136) which noted “for many employers and graduates, work experience makes a real difference”, and yet, the advent of tuition fees and increasing size of student loans has encouraged students to miss out on the placement. For the Tourism Management degree, there

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was a decline of at least 35% in the numbers on placement in 1999–2000 compared to the previous year; whilst salaries, as Busby et al. (1997) note, are not particularly low, they do not sufŽ ciently entice the student. The depressing feature in 1998–99 was the lack of interest in moderately well-paid posts in Florida and Canada besides the UK. Issues for the Next Decade Closely allied to the growth in tourism degree provision is the concept of ‘credential in ation’. Higher National Diplomas (HND) were viewed as the truly vocational higher education ‘vehicle’ throughout the 1970s and 1980s but, “as Raymond Boudon has revealed (1974), for each generation, more education is required for the same reward”, i.e. there is credential in ation as Moore and Trenwith (1997, p. 63) term it; or in other words, a HND is worth less than it was in the early 1980s—its ‘exchange value’ (Saunders, 1995, p. 208) has been reduced. Hickox and Moore (1990, 1994, 1995) believe “that the process of credential in ation provides a crucial dynamic which, by changing the relationship between levels of qualiŽ cation and levels of employment, progressively draws more and more people into higher levels of education” (Trenwith & Moore, 1997, p. 60). This helps to explain why large numbers of students ‘top-up’ their HNDs with what, until recently, has been one year of study for an ordinary degree or two for Honours—the entry level for many, relatively routine, jobs in the industry has become a degree. To further conŽ rm the concept of credential in ation, but stemming from the need to maintain fee revenue, certain institutions now offer the possibility of obtaining an Honours degree in one year from HND. Twelve years ago, Silver and Brennan (1988, p. 37) commented on the ‘growing instrumentalism’ in students as a result of widening access to higher education combined with unemployment levels. If anything, students (and parents) view a degree even more ‘instrumentally’ today especially as “employers are upgrading to graduate level jobs held until recently by people with subdegree qualiŽ cations” (Anon., 1998b, p. 2). The same study also indicates nearly 25% of the UK workforce as being ‘highly qualiŽ ed’. Perhaps  ippantly, the Bournemouth/ABTA Master’s degree could be considered the epitome of this concept in vocational terms. However, if we accept that this concept does have validity, there is likely to be continued growth in the provision of Master’s level degrees. Given that Bristol University pioneered a ‘taught doctorate’ with the EdD and provision of this award has spread rapidly throughout Britain, it is not unreasonable to expect a tourism-oriented Doctorate in Business Administration. With regard to Ž rst degree provision, it is argued that the number of institutions offering tourism as a named award is unlikely to grow substantially although a comparative review of ‘business’ in the UK is salutory. The UCAS website shows 169 business studies degrees but, when combined with other ‘subjects’, this rises to 2740, and with HNDs/Diplomas added is 3087. A second issue is the need for “effective education of cross-cultural communication, identiŽ ed by Go (1994, p. 335) and, with increasing globalisation, this is undoubtedly a critical issue. Baum (1997, p. A130) observes that this is “lacking


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from the proposed core curriculum”. However, Go (1994) recognises that the ethnocentric character of most tourism courses impedes this communication, i.e. domestic tourism is studied with an international dimension. Anecdotal evidence suggests that this is still the case. Whilst the ISEP programme addresses this to some extent, many students pursuing the Plymouth degree prefer English-speaking nations such as Australia or the US. Closely allied to this is the whole arena of host community involvement and sustainability—the realisation of Agenda 21—which has found its way into the literature. Codes of conduct and examples of good practice, such as TUI’s environmental policy with regard to tour operating (Swarbrooke & Horner, 1999), can be studied. However, Hunter-Jones (1997b) maintains that there is a lack of attention to sustainability in the higher education curriculum and this is an issue which must be addressed. ‘De-layering’ within organisations together with an increased number of graduates of all disciplines has resulted in many relatively routine functions now being undertaken by higher calibre staff, as discussed earlier. The challenge for the future is to sustain the employees’ interest in the organisation unless they are to provide yet more credence to Handy’s ‘portfolio career’ concept. With both temporal and spatial constraints in studying during employment, the increasing trend towards distancelearning, especially utilising the internet, will permit continuing professional development. Given that some corporate MBAs have been developed for speciŽ c businesses, we might yet see the logical extension, for example, Airtours University. Sheldon (1989, p. 502) argues very convincingly that “personnel are the back-bone of the tourism/hospitality industry, and so their development is critical to the professionalism of the industry and so to the satisfaction of the employees themselves”. Conclusion Several years ago, Lavery (1989) and Cooper et al. (1992, p. 236) raised the spectre of ‘over-provision’ of courses creating “negative impacts in terms of recruiting … as well as creating an oversupply of tourism graduates”; this was reinforced a year later by Evans (1993). Looking at tourism graduates from the author’s university, the employment record is extremely good; this must be attributed largely to the acquisition of transferable skills and the experience of the sandwich placement. As recent research has shown, the demand for graduates with vocational skills is on the increase with employment in the ‘personal service sectors’ of tourism, leisure and catering projected, by the Institute for Employment Research, “to increase by 2.5% a year between 1997 and 2006” (Patel, 1999, p. 6). There is now certainly evidence for the assertion that “there is an emerging recognition that competitive advantage begins in the classroom” (Go, 1994, p. 332). What also needs to be considered is that having a Tourism Management degree and not proceeding to tourism industry employment should not be seen as failure. In fact, if this is as a result of the placement, as suggested by Waryszak (1997) and Charles (1997), or general cognition over the degree course, it suggests that only

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those particularly interested in the industry are being recruited, which is all well and good. In any case, as Ryan (1995, p. 98) has commented, “for much of the 1980s … about 40% of employers were not speciŽ c as to the degree that their potential graduate trainees should study”. If we accept that the study of tourism is a ‘Ž eld’ rather than a discipline (Tribe, 1997), this implies—axiomatically—that study of the phenomenon will always be spread across such a diversity of named degree programmes that the ‘over-supply’ issue, in particular, is simply not relevant. “Whilst there are obvious quality and standardisation beneŽ ts” associated with curriculum guidelines, such as the NLG’s Core, “there are concerns that innovation will be sti ed (and) that tourism will be further driven towards a vocational imperative” (Cooper & Shepherd, 1997, p. 47). As has already been noted, by Airey and Johnson (1999), many of the core elements are already incorporated into British degrees but is it a slow drive to the ‘vocational imperative’? In any case, there should be no contradiction in having a vocational education which is broadly based and which also encompasses ‘a sound liberal education’ (Holloway, 1993, p. 103). References AIREY, D. & JOHNSON , S. (1998) The ProŽ le of Tourism Studies Degree Courses in the UK: 1997/98, National Liaison Group Guideline No. 7 (London, NLG). AIREY, D. & JOHNSON, S. (1999) The content of Tourism degree courses in the UK, Tourism Management, 20(2), pp. 229–235. AIREY, D. & MIDDLETON, V.T.C. (1984) Course syllabi in the UK—a review, Tourism Management, 5(March), pp. 57–62. ANON (1998a) NVQ failure ‘triumph for the market’, The Times Higher Education Supplement, 11 December, p. 2. ANON (1998b) Jobs upgraded to grad. level, The Times Higher Education Supplement, 11 December, p. 2 BAUM, T. (1997) Tourism education—is it at a crossroads? Tourism Intelligence Papers, Insights, English Tourist Board, pp. A127–131. BEAVER, A. (1999) Travel intermediaries—signposts towards the education and training required. Paper presented at the 2nd Tourism Education Exchange, University of Westminster, 10 February. BOUDON, R. (1974) Education, Opportunity and Social Inequality (New York, John Wiley). BUHALIS, D. (1998) Information technologies in tourism: implications for the tourism curriculum. Paper presented at ENTER—International Conference on Information and Communication Technologies in Tourism, Istanbul, Turkey. BRUNT, P. (1997) Market Research in Travel and Tourism (Oxford, Butterworth Heinemann). BUSBY, G. (1994) Tourism education or tourism training for the 1990s, Journal of Further & Higher Education, 18(2), pp. 3–9. BUSBY, G., BRUNT, P. & BABER, S. (1997) Tourism sandwich placements: an appraisal, Tourism Management, 18(2), pp. 105–110. CHARLES, K.R. (1997) Tourism education and training in the Caribbean: preparing for the 21st century, Progress in Tourism and Hospitality Research, 3, pp. 189–197. CNAA (1993) Review of Tourism Studies Degree Courses (London, Council for National Academic Awards). COLLINS, S., SWEENEY, A.E. & GEEN, A.G. (1994) Training for the UK tour operating industry: advancing current practice, Tourism Management, 15(1), pp. 5–8. COOPER, C. (1997) A framework for curriculum planning in tourism hospitality, in: E. LAWS (Ed.) The ATTT Tourism Education Handbook (London, Tourism Society).


G. Busby

COOPER, C. & WESTLAKE, J. (1989) Tourism teaching into the 1990s, Tourism Management, 10(1), pp. 69–73. COOPER, C. & MESSENGER, S. (1991) Tourism education and training for tourism in Europe: a comparative framework. Paper presented to the International Congress for Education and Training in Tourism Professions, Milan, Italy, May. COOPER, C. & SHEPHERD, R. (1997) The relationship between tourism education and the tourism industry: implications for tourism education, Tourism Recreation Research, 22(1), pp. 34–47. COOPER, C., SCALES, R. & WESTLAKE, J. (1992) The anatomy of tourism and hospitality educators in the UK, Tourism Management, 13(2), pp. 234–242. COOPER, C., SHEPHERD, R. & WESTLAKE, J. (1994) Tourism and Hospitality Education (Guildford, University of Surrey). CURTIN, S. & BUSBY, G. (1999) Sustainable destination development: the tour operator perspective, International Journal of Tourism Research, 1(2), pp. 135–147. DANIELE, R. & MISTILIS, N. (1999) Information technology and tourism education in Australia: an industry view of skills and qualities required in graduates, in: D. BUHALIS, D. & W. SCHERTLER (Eds) Information and Communication Technologies 1999 (Vienna, SpringerVerlag). DEARING REPORT (1997) Higher Education in the Learning Society, Report of the National Committee (London, National Committee of Inquiry into Higher Education). EVANS, J. (1993) Tourism graduates: a case of over-production, Tourism Management, 14(4), pp. 243–246. FLETCHER, A. (1996) A national measure for minds, The Times Higher Education Supplement, 3 May, p. 11. GO, F. (1994) Emerging issues in tourism education, in: W.F. THEOBALD (Ed.) Global Tourism— The Next Decade (Oxford, Butterworth-Heinemann). GUNN, C. (1998) Issues in tourism curricula, Journal of Travel Research, 36(4), pp. 74–77. HARVEY, L., MOON, S., GEALL, V. & BOWER, R. (1997) Graduates’ Work: Organisational Change and Students’ Attributes (Birmingham, Centre for Research into Quality, University of Central England). HER MAJESTY’S INSPECTORATE (1992) Higher Education in the Polytechnics and Colleges, Hotel, Catering and Tourism Management (London, HMSO). HICKOX, M. & MOORE, R. (1990) TVEI, vocationalism and the crisis of liberal education, in: M. FLUDE & M. HAMMER (Eds) The Education Reform Act: 1988 (Lewes, Falmer), cited in MOORE & TRENWITH (1997). HICKOX, M. & MOORE, R. (1995) Liberal-humanist education: the vocationalist challenge, Curriculum Studies, 3(1), pp. 45–59, cited in MOORE & TRENWITH (1997). HOLLOWAY, J.C.R. (1993) Labour, vocational education and training, in: W. POMPL & P. LAVERY, P. (Eds) Tourism in Europe—Structures and Developments (Wallingford, CAB International). HOLLOWAY, J.C.R. (1995) Towards a Core Curriculum for Tourism: A Discussion Paper (London, National Liaison Group). HUNTER-JONES, J. (1997a) Developing a methodology to identify the content of disciplines on tourism degrees, in: E. LAWS (Ed.) The ATTT Tourism Education Handbook (London, The Tourism Society). HUNTER-JONES, P. (1997b) Paper presented at The Environment Matters Conference, Glasgow Caledonian University, April 1997 (title not available), cited by D. LESLIE (1998) Conference Report, Journal of Sustainable Tourism, 6(4), pp. 339–342. KOH, Y.K. (1994) Tourism education for the 90s, Annals of Tourism Research, 21(3), pp. 853–854. LAVERY, P. (1989) Education and training in tourism, in: S.F. WITT & L. MOUTINHO (Eds) Tourism and Marketing and Management Handbook (Hemel Hempstead, Prentice-Hall). MAWBY, R., BRUNT, P. & HAMBLY, Z. (1999) Victimisation on holiday: a British survey, International Review of Victimology, 6, 201–211. MCKERCHER, R. (1999) Tourism and hospitality research in Australia. A critique of the 1995 to 1997 CAUTHE Conferences, International Journal of Tourism Research, 1(1), pp. 63–67.

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MIDDLETON, V.T.C. & LADKIN, A. (1996) The ProŽ le of Tourism Studies Degree Courses in the UK: 1995/96, National Liaison Group Guideline No. 4 (London, NLG). MOORE, R. & HICKOX, M. (1994) Vocationalism and educational change, The Curriculum Journal, 5(3), pp. 281–293. MOORE, R. & TRENWITH, J. (1997) The intergenerational dimension of credentialisation and its implications for vocational change in education, Journal of Education and Work, 10(1), pp. 59–71. PATEL, K. (1999) Graduate jobs predicted to rise, Times Higher Education Supplement, 26 March, p. 6. PICKUP, T. & WOLFSON, J. (1986) Strategies for effective adult learning in: FEU/PICKUP Report, Module 2, Adult Learners and PICKUP (London, Longmans). RICHARDS, G. (1995) Introduction, in: G. RICHARDS (Ed.) European Tourism and Leisure Education: Trends and Prospects (Tilburg, Tilburg University Press). RYAN, C. (1995) Tourism courses: a new concern for new times? Tourism Management, 16(2), pp. 97–100. SAUNDERS, M. (1995) The integrative principle: higher education and work-based learning in the UK, European Journal of Education, 30(2), pp. 203–216. SHELDON, P.J. (1989) Professionalism in tourism and hospitality, Annals of Tourism Research, 16(4), pp. 492–503. SILVER, H. & BRENNAN, J. (1988) A Liberal Vocationalism (London, Methuen). STEAR, L. & GRIFFIN, T. (1993) Demythologizing the nexus between tourism and hospitality, Tourism Management, 14(1), pp. 41–51. SWARBROOKE, J. (1995) Tourism and leisure education in the United Kingdom, in: G. RICHARDS (Ed.) European Tourism and Leisure Education: Trends and Prospects (Tilburg, Tilburg University Press). SWARBROOKE, J. & HORNER, S. (1999) Consumer Behaviour in Tourism (Oxford, Butterworth Heinemann). THATCHER, M. (1970) The role of the polytechnics, The Guardian, 17 February. THEUNS, H.L. & RASHEED, A. (1983) Alternative approaches to tertiary tourism education with special reference to developing countries, Tourism Management, 4(1), pp. 42–51. TRIBE, J. (1997) The indiscipline of tourism, Annals of Tourism Research, 24(3), pp. 638–657. TRIBE, J. (1998) Community and commercial interests in the tourism curriculum: whose world is it anyway? in: G. RICHARDS (Ed.) Developments in the European Tourism Curriculum ATLAS (Tilburg, Tilburg University). WARYSZAK, R.Z. (1997) Student perceptions of the cooperative education work environment in service industries, Progress in Tourism and Hospitality Research, 3, pp. 249–256. YOUNG, M.F.D. (1998) The Curriculum of the Future (London, Falmer Press).

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