Leura hospitality school now part of a university

Busy but happy: Student Sophie Chigwidden outside the Leura campus of Torrens University Australia.
Busy but happy: Student Sophie Chigwidden outside the Leura campus of Torrens University Australia.

It has been a long process but the Blue Mountains International Hotel Management School has marked its first year as part of Torrens University.

Torrens, a private university, acquired the Leura school in 2009 but it took until 2016 to gain all the proper accreditation as a tertiary institution.

Jerome Casteigt, general manager, hospitality, at Torrens University Australia, said the idea of the partnership was to keep the essence of the Leura college, which has been going since 1991.

“We didn’t want a vanilla university where everyone was looking the same,” he said. So Torrens has  partnered with a range of existing colleges to provide a modern, careers-focused education.

For Sophie Chigwidden, the school offers all she wants: the theory of hotel management along with the practical.

Ms Chigwidden, who has just started her Bachelor of Business (International Hotel and Resort Management), moved from Wagga Wagga to attend the school.

“There’s a lot of high quality schools around Australia but knowing that this school is internationally recognised within the global hospitality industry made it appealing to me,” she said.

“It had all the qualities I was looking for – an important balance between the theoretical and the practical. Students are able to reinforce what they learn in the classroom.”

The fact that it is now part of Torrens University also helped, offering the prestige of acquiring a bachelor’s degree, as well as the connections of its partner institutions – it is connected with over 80 universities around the world.

“The school has a lot of partners. They’re able to help us find an industry placement,” Ms Chigwidden said.

“It’s attractive because we can use their network and it helps cement our future careers.”

Mr Casteigt said the university connection meant students from the Leura campus are also able to go on to do higher degrees.

“It’s tertiary education quality and brings the prestige of the academic world.”