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27 July 2011

Edge Hotel School welcomes new partner

Colchester Campus

Edge Hotel School Board members view restoration work

The transformation of the eighteenth century Wivenhoe House into the UK’s first hotel school based entirely in a fully operational hotel is gathering pace this summer.

Based on the Colchester Campus, Wivenhoe House is currently undergoing a £10 million refurbishment and will open next year. It will combine a luxurious country house hotel and innovative hotel school, where the future leaders of the hospitality industry will learn their profession.

The Edge Hotel School, a partnership between the independent education foundation Edge and the University of Essex, today announced that the hospitality education would be provided by the University’s academic partner Kaplan Open Learning.

The practical and vocational learning, gained entirely within the hotel, will lead to work based fast-track degree-level qualifications in hotel management and culinary arts.

The unique programmes will be delivered by academic and industry experts, allowing students to graduate within two years equipped with the skills and experience employers want. The Edge Hotel School is working closely with key partners in the hospitality industry to ensure the education is relevant, up-to-date and reflects the needs of the industry.

Vice-Chancellor of the University, Professor Colin Riordan, said: “This extension of our existing partnership with Kaplan Open Learning enables us to deliver innovative, high quality hospitality education within the working environment of the hotel. Together we will develop a new flexible learning model which combines academic quality with employability.”

Alan Jenkins, Kaplan Director responsible for hospitality programmes, said: “We are delighted to extend our excellent partnership with the University of Essex and to join Edge in developing this innovative two-year programme. Students will earn both a BA (Hons) and a qualification accredited by the Institute of Hospitality, giving them excellent career prospects. The programme integrates theory with practice-based learning and students will have a unique opportunity to work in the School’s luxurious country house hotel, equipping them with the skills needed in a diverse and changing industry.”

Refurbishment of the Grade II listed Wivenhoe House, which will restore much of its Georgian and Victorian finery and provide 16 individual suites and bedrooms, is progressing. Demolition of the 1980s extension has also commenced, making way for a new garden wing with a further 24 bedrooms, a bar and brasserie for up to 100 people and conference and meeting rooms. To link the historic house with the new wing the design takes the form of a Victorian garden wall, viewed from the outside, while internally it comprises a long gallery. 

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