|The Escola Superior de Hotelaria e Turismo do Estoril (ESHTE) – Estoril Higher Institute for Tourism and Hotel Studies – was founded in 1991 by the Law-decree 374/91, dated from the 5th October. It is a state polytechnical school tutored by the Ministry of Science, Technology and Higher Education.
The statutes were approved by the Normative Decree 44/2008, dated from the 02nd September, and state that ESHTE is a non-integrated polytechnical school. According to these same statutes, ESHTE should aim at creating and transmitting knowledge related to high skilled professional activities in the areas of tourism, hotels and restaurants, focusing particularly on:
– the “interaction with the job offer market, as far as learning, training and adapting to the opportunities of performing those jobs are concerned”;
– the “creation of a unit, which would support the development of tourism and hotel activities in a professional and entrepreneurial way”;
– the “implementing of major researches”.
ESHTE is hence a higher education institution in the fields of culture and technology, whose purpose is that of preparing skilled professionals, who are able to cope with all challenges facing the tourism sector, in its entrepreneurial and institutional areas.
The learning at ESTHE is a technical and scientific one, being based on the needs of this very sector. Those who graduate at ESHTE will be the real actors of change, as they will act as professionals who are capable of facing opportunities and challenges in uncertain and competitive environments.
ESHTE aims at preparing high skilled employees in the areas of tourism, hotels and restaurants. It offers five degrees, according to the Bologna Process criteria, two Master degrees and five Specialised Technology Courses
The high quality of these courses has recently been recognized by the World Tourism Organization, through the TEDQUAL Validation, which is a validation system for programmes for teaching tourism. Nowadays ESHTE is the European higher studies institution that offers more validated degrees in this area.
In order to assure the quality it aims at, ESHTE’s teaching staff is made up of 110 persons. This group includes not only teachers, but also professionals of the sector, hereby encouraging a live teaching – the practical knowledge of these teachers will promote a permanent updating and the creation of a vital adjustment to the area of tourism, hotels and restaurants.
ESHTE is located in the tourism area of Lisbon / Cascais / Sintra. This location does stress and enhance the offers for teaching and research made available by this school. One should also consider the importance of ESHTE being integrated in a school centre, which includes unique structures in the area of the higher studies in tourism, hotels and restaurants.
The curricular plan of the courses at ESHTE is very much enriched by the compulsory professional apprenticeships, which take place either in private companies or in public tourism entities. The structure of these apprenticeships sets clear pedagogic purposes, and manages to implement a deep partnership between ESHTE and the job offer market. One of the goals of these apprenticeships is that of keeping a permanent updating of the teaching subjects and of the tools used in real situations, which are vital to the needs of the sector.
ESHTE keeps a close relation with the outside community. This is accomplished through the several educational trips made throughout the year, as well as through the organization of theme conferences, seminars, congresses and workshops run by skilled professionals, who represent the most diverse areas of tourism, hotels and restaurants.
ESHTE also sets protocols and partnerships with several public and private institutions, such as hotels, travel agencies, restaurants, entertainment companies, city halls and other public local, regional or national entities, like the Instituto das Empresas para os Mercados Externos (ICEP), the Direcção Geral de Turismo (DGT), the Instituto de Turismo de Portugal (ITP), the Instituto Português do Património Arquitectónico (IPPAR), the Associação de Directores de Hotéis de Portugal (ADHP), the Instituto do Emprego e Formação Profissional (IEFP), the Associação da Restauração e Similares de Portugal (ARESP), the Agência Portuguesa de Segurança Alimentar (APSA). These agreements create the opportunity for joined activities and the real occasion that allows students to be in a work environment.
By creating this strong link with prospective employers, there is a permanent partnership based on an efficient system, whereby students are able to apply in real life (ie. In the companies and entities where they practice) all the knowledge acquired at ESHTE. Back to ESHTE they will relay their feedbacks and concerns, as a result of their practices. There is also a Consulting Council, which is composed by representatives of different institutions, companies and many other professionals. It aims at keeping a formal and permanent relationship between ESHTE and the above-mentioned entities.
The will to keep a link with the community outside school is also reflected in the studies (Applied Research), which have been developed thanks to the scientific structure of ESHTE. These studies are supported either by European Community programmes or by the setting of protocols with public tourism entities.
As far as the European territory is concerned, ESHTE has so far set approximately 11 bilateral partnership protocols for teachers and students exchange, as a way of implementing the Socrates/Erasmus and Leonardo da Vinci Programmes. There are also 4 bilateral agreements with universities in Brazil and Macau.
“Getting International” at ESTHE means also being a member of several entities of the sector and sometimes participating in their directive boards. Some of the entities, with which ESHTE has developed similar associations, are AMFORHT, ATLAS, EURHODIP and EUHOFA. ESHTE is also a member of the AULP (Association of Universities of Portuguese Language).