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Dusit Thani College has recipe to go global under first foreign rector


Dusit Thani College (DTC), Thailand’s premier hospitality education institution, has recently organized the relaunching event in the theme “Dusit Thani College…MOVING FORWARD” to showcase and update its development.

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The purpose of this event is to refresh Dusit Thani College brand, update of its offers and curriculums, all the facilities upgrading and presenting the new Rector, Frouke Gerbens who brings with her 25 years of higher education management experience under her belt.


Frouke joined the Dusit Group two years ago to help launch the Dusit Hospitality Management College in Manila, a pioneering hospitality education concept fully integrated with the new 125-room dusitD2 The Fort hotel. She now brings her expertise to the Thai hospitality industry, a key driver of the country’s economy.

Dusit Thani College has recipe to go global under first foreign rector

What do you think of Dusit Thani College, and will there be any changes?
It’s a pleasure to arrive in Bangkok and start my new role as college rector. I am a great admirer of Than Phu Ying Chanut Piyaoui, who founded the Dusit Thani College in 1993. It is an honour to realise that, after 28 years, I am the first foreign rector of this college. This is a big change, not only for me, but all students and people working here. We have to adapt to the change with new ways of working. The language issue automatically comes up since I don’t speak Thai, which means communicating will take extra effort. In the future, our college will gradually become a bilingual college and an international educational institute.

Do you have any specific strategies to promote excellence at Dusit Thani College?
Striving for excellence has always been at the core of the Dusit Thani’s values, including in education where we aim to be a hospitality educational hub in the Asia region. There are four key agendas to move us forward: sustainability, integration, digitisation, and nationalisation. On sustainability, before Covid-19, hospitality and tourism accounted for 20 per cent of the Thai economy. Now the globe is conscious of the importance of taking care of resources. At some point, they will run out. Consumers and travellers are now increasingly demanding that what they consume is sustainable and will not destroy nature. We should point out that sustainability is not just about the planet or environment, but how we utilise resources from nature and from people who prepare such products. These people should also be treated in a sustainable way so that in the long term they will continue to be passionate to contribute.

As a non-Thai, are there any challenges or obstacles in running the college?
As I said, being a non-Thai speaker, the language becomes a barrier to communication. However, it’s an opportunity for the college to go beyond Thai borders, allowing us to grow and bring in more diversity with people from different backgrounds around the world.


How does Dusit Thani College prepare itself to produce a young professional workforce for the industry?
I feel what makes Dusit Thani College unique among hospitality colleges is the “head, hand, heart” principle that governs all our courses. Hand is the technical skill, head is the cognitive skill, and heart refers to the value and passion that people have. All these skills determine whether guests will come back. Apart from that, the quality of infrastructure and lecturers is vital since they have real industry experience to share with students. They integrate learning to help student productivity since they already have real-world experiences.

Alumni receive flower bouquet and award from the college to celebrate their success in business and food competition.

How will the tourism and hospitality industry change after Covid-19?
I think we were already seeing a transition before the Covid-19 outbreak. The business is renewing its focus on wellness and health. People will look for more healthy options and want to experience something that benefits them. Covid-19 underlined unsustainability in our industry, and young travellers will now demand [sustainable practices] from hotels and restaurants they visit. Technology will also play important roles in change, including smart farming, plant-based food, and mobile delivery and hotel-booking apps.

Do you think about sustainable development in hospitality? Can it happen?
As people in the hospitality industry, we don’t have a choice. Younger clients like millennials are demanding it. It is in our own interest. The resources we use are not endless. If we use them in a wise way, we can continue to make a living and profit from this planet. Sustainable efforts have already come a long way at Dusit Thani College since we introduced a green concept by aiming to cut out plastic products – plastic bottles, cutlery and plastic bands. Unfortunately, Covid-19 has led to the reintroduction of plastic for hygiene reasons. I hope that when the crisis ends, we can continue the green initiative toward the goal of a plastic-free college.
In our business, we follow the “Four Ps” sustainability approach – Planet (the source of all resources), People (employees and others we work with), Purpose (the reason for being), and Passion, which when combined will help our business profit.

Executives of Dusit Thani College.

What will we see from Dusit Thani College in the future under your leadership?
I feel fortunate because we have many strengths in the quality of our faculties and facilities. We have just completed Bt300 million investment in infrastructure and facilities. We have fantastically talented and award-winning students. I’m looking forward to building on these strengths that underpin the Dusit Thani Colleges’ reputation, and taking the college to neighbouring countries. We would also like to attract students from outside Thailand. In the US, Thailand ranks as the 10th most attractive country for study abroad. I do believe that Thailand is an attractive destination for study, which combined with the local hospitality sector makes it the ideal place to learn. Dusit Thani College is the country’s oldest college of culinary arts and hotel management, which should attract more students [to Thailand].

Published : December 01, 2020

By : The Nation