THEi University in Sardinia – Another great achievement of Beyond Thirty-Nine
Providing a complete view and new insights into the Sardinian structure of Management and Hospitality Industry, including the University and its departments dedicated to food, nutrition and management, the number of Istituti Alberghieri with kitchen facilities and international chefs, and the chain of villages that act as a campus for lessons and workshops on traditional Sardinian cuisine – that was the main goal of the week that Beyond Thirty-Nine organised from 28 June to 4 July 2015 in Sardinia.
Our distinguished and prestigious guest was Professor Ray Pine (*), Dean, Faculty of Management and Hospitality Technological & Higher Education Institute of Hong Kong, and his exquisite wife Ruth Long.
The Technological and Higher Education Institute of Hong Kong (THEi) is a member institution of the VTC, which provides vocationally-oriented degree programmes. Its programmes cover the faculties of Design, Science and Technology, and Management and Hospitality, featuring a fine balance of theory, practice, general education and industry/profession-specific modules. It aims to develop caring, competent, creative and ethical professionals with an international outlook. The programmes include real-life projects and industrial attachment. Starting from 2014, THEi admits higher diploma graduates with advanced standing.
Established in 1982, the Vocational Training Council (VTC) is the largest vocational education, training and professional development group in Hong Kong. VTC provides valuable credentials for some 250,000 students each year through a full range of pre-employment and in-service programmes with internationally recognised qualifications. VTC draws strength from the number of Member Institutions, breadth of programmes and variety of accredited qualifications to provide a new world of opportunities to learners of all ages and abilities. Championing a teaching and learning approach that is practical, hands-on and outcome-based, our ultimate aim does not only centre on the acquisition of knowledge and skills, but equally on action itself. The “think and do” approach cultivates the passions for learning while imparting the necessary skills and know-how for success.
During the week in Sardinia, other time has been spent visiting the research centres dedicated to the peculiar Sardinian genetic asset, nutrition and lifestyle. A number of activities, as usual in our organisation, has been planned to understand Sardinian culture in situ and the possibility of fruitful interchanges.
I warmly thanks (in order of appearance): Professor Carlo Marcetti, Corso di Laurea in Economie e Imprese (Carlo Marcetti was our extraordinary host in Gallura, so much that our guests called him “the very king of Gallura”); Mr Paolo Piquereddu, former GM of the Ethnographic Sardinian Institute ISRE; the Assistant Professor Giacomo del Chiappa and all the other faculty and students; Mr Silvio Pippobello, CEO Geasar spa, società di gestione dell’aeroporto Olbia Costa Smeralda; Mr Lucio Murru, Commercial and Operational Director Geasar; Mr Francesco Cossu, Manager Operation & Security Eccelsa Aviation; On. Gianni Giovannelli, Mayor of Olbia; Mr Mario Pinna, chef at the Olbia airport; Vigne Surrau and all the staff; Vigne Piero Mancini and all the staff; Mrs Fabiola Martini, Dirigente Istituto Alberghiero Arzachena; the Teachers Antonello Leoni, Gavinuccia Derudas, Salvatore Mendula and Fabrizio Piras; Mr Alberto Ragnedda, Mayor of Arzachena; Consorzio Vini Vermentino and Mr Antonello Muscau, Marketing Manager; Professor Massimo Carpinelli, Rettore dell’Universita’ degli Studi di Sassari; Professor Luca Malfatti, Laboratorio di Scienza dei Materiali e Nano Tecnologie D.A.D.U. Università di Sassari, and all the other faculty and students; Professor Giovanni Antonio Farris, President of Parco Naturale Regionale di Porto Conte and all the gentle staff of the Park; Mr Franco Mottoi; Mr Marco Mottoi; Mr Giovanni Santo Porcu, Mayor of Galtellì, Ms Marzia Gallus and all the Committee; Mr Andrea Soddu, Mayor of Nuoro, Mr Sebastian Cocco and all the Committee; the chef Dina Galante; the kind staff of the laboratory of the Museo Etnografico di Nuoro; the Grazia Deledda chorus and the Grazia Deledda tenors; Mr Giovanni Bassu, Ente Foreste della Sardegna, Servizio Territoriale di Nuoro; Professor Gianni Poggiu, President of ERSU; Mr Bruno Murgia, President of ISRE: Professor Plinio Innocenzi, Science and Technology Counsellor Embassy of Italy, Beijing; my friends Andrea Porcu, Rita Ladu and Giuseppe Rendini.
My special personal thanks to Carlo Marcetti, Paolo Piquereddu, Franco Mottoi and Antonello Muscau for their precious help in the organisation of the week, and, last but not least, to Professor Ray Pine and Mrs Ruth Long for their kind visit to Sardinia. See you soon, my friends!
(*) Prof. Pine started his career in education in 1977 working on and developing the first UK Polytechnic-based degree in the area of hotel/catering management. He was then involved in the CNAA validation system of many of the subsequent degree programmes in the field. He came to Hong Kong in 1987 to write and oversee the validation of Hong Kong’s first degree in hotel and catering management, at that time accredited by the UK CNAA. He subsequently was course leader of that degree and worked on the development of a tourism degree, created a part-time version of the hotel and catering degree and led the development of an MSc in Hotel and Tourism Management at Hong Kong Polytechnic University. He was Head of the PolyU’s Department (now School) of Hotel and Tourism Management for three years. During that time he took the MSc programme into partnership with Zhejiang University, China, where it still operates successfully. He joined Hong Kong’s Vocational Training Council in August 2011 as Head of the Department of Hotel, Service and Tourism Studies at IVE-Chai Wan. From September 2011 he also had the dual role of Acting Dean of the Faculty of Management and Hospitality and has been substantive Dean since March 2012. During this time as Dean he has taken four honours degree programmes to successful accreditation (Sports & Recreation Management; Culinary Arts & Management; Hotel Operations Management; and Professional Accounting). In 2014 he was invited to be the Academic Advisor to Hotel and Tourism discipline of the College of Professional and Continuing Education of Hong Kong Polytechnic University.
Before starting his career in education Professor Pine had extensive working experience in all areas of hotel and catering operations and management, with his first job in a restaurant at the age of 13. His final industry-based post before starting life as an academic was as a manager in a prototype food production facility involving the full-scale application of cook-freeze catering technology to providing food for 10 hospitals. At that time he was also a member of the Institute of Food Science and Technology. He is currently a Fellow of the UK-based Institute of Hospitality and sits on the executive committee of its Hong Kong Chapter and for many years he was also on the executive committee of SKAL (Hong Kong). He is a registered hotel and tourism specialist for the Hong Kong Council for Academic Awards and Vocational Qualifications.