Dr. Luciano Lopez has been Assistant Professor of Macro & Microeconomics at EHL Campus Lausanne since 2018. As an economist, his research focuses on applied economics, particularly on circular economy practices in the hospitality industry. His outstanding teaching skills were recognized with the Credit Suisse "Best Teaching" award in 2016 and the EHL "Best Distance Teaching" award in 2020.
Recently promoted to the deanship of the newly-launched EHL Campus Singapore, Dr. Lopez shares his hopes and visions for what this extension of the EHL teaching ethos implies to students, faculty and local industry.
What exactly does the role of dean entail?
LL: The main role of a dean is to be the intellectual and academic leader of the faculty. Said otherwise, the dean is the guardian of outstanding research and teaching quality. The dean is therefore in charge of setting up a program for students that fulfils all the explicit requirements (from accreditation bodies for instance) but also the implicit ones (students’ expectations). The dean is just the so-called "leader", whereas faculty members are the ones making everything possible. Thus, the main challenge for a new campus is to build up an exceptional team ready to devote time and energy to unarguably one of the most important causes on earth, education.
Furthermore, a key role of a dean in an applied university such as ours is to put faculty members in contact with industry and vice-versa. Indeed, the more contacts we can create with industry professionals, the more our students will be able to benefit from concrete examples and case studies, enriching their learning experience. Since our faculty members are experts in their research and teaching field, they can be of great added value to regional industries and vice-versa. Local companies can be the source of research projects conducted by our faculty members and can be beneficial for all parties.
The new campus in Singapore is set to open its doors to its first intake of student in Q3 2021.
LL: We have several programs/courses already established and without a doubt there are more to come. Firstly, our worldwide renowned Bachelor of Science in International Hospitality Management. The first cohort will start in September 2021 and the second one in February 2022. The Bachelor program is fully aligned in terms of quality with the program in Lausanne while integrating the culture and the modus operandi of this part of the world. Secondly, our highly reputed executive MBA (EMBA) will also start in September as an 18-month part time and blended program.
Since early 2021 we have been offering short courses on different topics, led by experts in the field, (Luxury Brand Management; Designing Hotel & Restaurant Concepts; People Analytics; Hospitality Finance Leadership).
As mentioned, the offer is set to expand with more graduate programs and short (or less short) courses over time. In a nutshell, the EHL Campus Singapore aims at being the Asia-Pacific reference in world-class hospitality education.
Why do you think the city of Singapore was chosen as an extension of the EHL campus?
LL: Hospitality education is about being at the service of people. Singapore is located in the middle of the Asian continent where more than half of the world's population live and where the culinary culture is without a doubt the most diverse and innovative one can find. In a few years, Singapore has become a hub for game-changing and circular companies, being now well ahead of its time.
Interestingly, Singapore and Switzerland have a lot in common: a passion for hospitality, high education standards, a sense of civic duty, safety and order, and the love of diversity. Both campuses share common values while at the same time constantly learn from each other. Another striking similarity worth mentioning is the standard business model of hospitality-related companies that show an outstanding attention to details and customer/clients desires.
What do you plan on bringing to the Singapore campus over the next 4 years?
LL: Some people are passionate about tennis, others about birds, I am passionate about higher education. For a student, attending a lecture should be a unique learning experience every time. My wish is for the campus to exude a sense of purpose, creativity and critical thinking in the learning process - but above all, for the learning to be immediately applicable.
I would like students, professors and industry professionals to partner up in order to reach the common goal of attaining levels of knowledge that allows everyone to better understand our economy. And, as I like to say to my students, "make tomorrow a better world". Bringing professionals into the classroom allows students to understand the importance of what professors teach. To strengthen the ties of this trio - professor, students, industry - is one of my main objectives.
What can students expect from studying at EHL Singapore?
LL: Students can expect an outstanding learning experience and a variety of courses based on innovative teaching approaches while residing in an urban oasis with plenty of leisure activities, natural beauty and culinary delights. The continuous link throughout the Bachelor program with regional industries provides our students with an understanding of the hospitality industry that will make them coveted workforce talents on the job market.
EHL students are encouraged to enjoy the local cuisine.
Personally, I cannot wait to be part of the Singaporean environment. I already feel, just through video-conference meetings, the positive energy of our new campus and the excitement of all the staff to welcome students and executives in joining this exciting hub of world-class hospitality education.
Sentosa is a sunny island in Singapore, home to exciting events, themed attractions, award-winning spas, lush rainforests, golden sandy beaches. The Gardens by the Bay is a nature park spanning 101 hectares in the Central Region of Singapore, both of these natural wonders are easily accessible for EHL students studying at the Singapore Campus.
Expand your horizons with an international study experience that will prepare you for the future of hospitality and business around the world. This campus offers Swiss-quality education and Singapore lifestyle, for the perfect balance between convenience, calm and big-city vibes.