Selecting the right partner when developing an education program is a challenging process. For the education partnership to be sustainable, several factors must be met.

Certain qualities distinguish the right candidates and taking them into account can greatly help directors of educational and training centers finding and teaming up with the ideal partner. It is also paramount for an education partnership to be sustainable by creating a long-term vision. To that end, investing in an education partnership means on the one hand, that people are going to learn something worthwhile and, on the other hand, that there will be an impact on the society or economy of the area.

Here are a few criteria that educational and training centers should look for in a partner:

A sustainable education partnership starts with a shared vision and values

One of the main criteria is to find a partner who shares the same vision. It’s very important to understand the core vision of any new partner or institution. For example, if the main vision of your training center is to make an impact on the hospitality sector of your country and region in the long-term, you should be searching for partners who also want to make a long-term impact on society.

It is equally important to share the same values as your partner. These values affect all aspects of the value chain of an institution or a training center, from the infrastructure to the way the faculty is selected and the way the curriculum is developed. Core values of an institution could include excellence, integrity, innovation, teamwork, responsibility and many more.

At EHL, excellence is a key value, so we always search for partners who are not only going to invest in an educational program but are determined to reach the required level of excellence. There is no doubt that all service sectors benefit from this type of institution. For example, even though EHL is a hospitality school, only 50% of students work in the hospitality industry afterwards; the remaining 50% follow a career in various industries including real estate, banking, private hospitals, airlines and retail.

Long-term commitment & longevity of the partnership

Investing in education is a long-term process and one should look for a partner who is committed to the longevity of the partnership, which requires time and effort. This common understanding means that both parties will work in the same direction and the partnership will start on the right track.

It is important to acknowledge that an educational and training center is not just a profitable business but an institution that will make an impact on society by responding to a real need, both in the short-term and the long-term.

Assessing the partner’s reputation

When searching for the ideal partner to help you develop your education development program, it is useful to look at any awards they have previously received, their former client list and any testimonials that might be relevant.

Strong network

The network of a prospective partner can indicate whether they are well-positioned in their industry or not and to what extent they can help you achieve your own goals. For example, if a partner has a strong alumni network, they also have a strategic advantage when it comes to researching a specific market and region because they can gain access to inside information quickly and efficiently.

At the same time, the relationship that a prospective partner has with the industry is very crucial.

Academic expertise in the field you teach

To help you create your optimum education development program, the partner needs to have academic expertise in your specific education field. For instance, if your educational and training center focuses on hospitality management you should be searching for a partner who has proven academic expertise teaching this subject.

A strategy and approach that fits with your ambition

Like in any relationship, the partners need to match. Having a partner that understands your ambition means that it will be possible to build your education program based on the most relevant strategy using an approach that best serves your goal.

How EHL advisory supports educational institutions

At EHL Advisory, when the possibility of a new partnership arises, we follow many of the above-mentioned criteria to make sure that it’s the right partnership, a process that involves two separate phases.

  1. The advisory process. During this first phase we meet with the partner, consider which stage they are currently in and advise them on what they need to improve. For example, for a partner to achieve the value of excellence there might be a need to focus on their infrastructure, to train the faculty in a certain way or to revamp the curriculum in a new direction.
  1. The certification process. Once a partner completes the advisory process, EHL can then proceed to its certification, making the school part of the EHL family.

Throughout this two-step process, EHL works strategically to find the right direction to serve the partner’s needs in the best possible way.

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Written by

Senior Consultant, EHL Advisory Services

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