We asked John Scrimgeour, the course leader for BSc (Hons) Global Hospitality Management, for his thoughts on what sets Birmingham apart as a great place to study ahead of a career in hospitality.
Birmingham, the second city of the UK, is truly unique. It has been a melting pot of cultures and creeds for centuries, and this is nowhere more obvious than in its approach to hospitality.
Famous for its large Indian, Pakistani and Bangladeshi communities, this variety is reflected in the plethora of diverse hospitality businesses operating in Birmingham. From street food at the Digbeth Dining Club to restaurants at all levels - including the only Indian Restaurant with a Michelin star outside of London - Birmingham will always challenge perceptions.
The city also boasts a vibrant China town, Irish quarter and some of the best African cuisine outside of London. Not to mention a further four Michelin starred restaurants and a strong presence from some of the most renowned brands in the UK, including “Restaurant to the Stars”, The Ivy. The bar and nightclub scene is equally well serviced with an array of attractive offers. So, the opportunities for the budding hospitality professional to gain excellent experience here is limitless.
Another big attraction of studying Global Hospitality Management here at Birmingham City University is that the Commonwealth Games will be coming to Birmingham in 2022. This will potentially deliver amazing opportunities for students to be involved in one of the biggest events on the planet, as Birmingham will play host to a huge influx of visitors. In 2014, Glasgow was host to 689,000 visitors over the two weeks of the Games and tourism revenue increased by £282m.
The Greater Birmingham Area’s hotels are also booming. In 2019, 48.1m visitors came to Birmingham and the hotels here enjoyed a 75% occupancy level – figures so good that a further 80 hotels are in the pipeline. People who do not know Birmingham may be concerned that COVID-19 may have a long-term effect on the city and its hospitality industry, but history has shown that both will bounce back, just like they have done time and time again.
The teaching team for Global Hospitality Management at BCU is another reason why coming here is a good idea. Made up of hospitality professionals, our teaching team all come from strong industry backgrounds. They range from published hospitality academics to senior industry figures who have held senior management positions in top hospitality organisations. This is further backed up by yet more senior industry figures coming into the University for masterclasses and guest lectures, as well as student trips to hospitality companies nationwide.
Above all else, we want to ensure that those who graduate with us are equipped to be the industry’s professional operators of today and its leaders of tomorrow.