University of West London awards Peter Jones honorary doctorate

Peter Jones degree
Professor Peter A Jones MBE, Dean of the eHotelier Academy

At the recent awards ceremony in London, the University of West London awarded to Professor Peter A Jones MBE, Dean of the eHotelier Academy, the honorary degree of the Doctor of Science (Hon DSc) for his international contribution to the hospitality industry and education.

In making the award, the university’ s Dean of the London School of Hospitality and Tourism, Professor David Foskett MBE, read a citation that highlighted Professor Jones’s work in maintaining the importance of professional practice and “learning by doing” as an integral and essential part of the hospitality curriculum. He highlighted his influence on the concept behind the development of the Edge Hotel School of which he was the project director and how that work has now been taken forward into a number of new projects. These include the integration of education and training within upscale commercial hotels, as a range of new hotel projects being developed by the Hotel Future Foundation, of which he is a director.

In his response Professor Jones expressed his grateful thanks to the University on behalf of himself and his fellow honorary graduates. He highlighted the importance of the University of West London and its proud heritage, as an institution that has developed and maintained, over its history of more than 100 years, a set of core values that recognises and promotes the importance of ‘applied learning’ and ensuring its relevance to the industry. The very strong relationships the University has developed with industry over those years of its history allows it to properly understand the “real world of work” and to ensure it remains valued by the industry as a beacon of excellence in professional education and training.

Professor Jones went on to emphasise the importance of applying learning in a professional and realistic way to ensure that the students of the future are well equipped to take their place in this complex and diverse industry. He expressed his personal concerns that, a developing “educational monoculture” is not serving either the industry or the students well. The pressures towards academic conformity and increasing standardisation do not recognise the importance of creativity and innovation nor the importance of being able to use “intelligent hands”. The ongoing process of active engagement in thinking and then applying that thinking through intelligent action is essential to be able to respond to constantly changing circumstances and the complexity and demands of the hospitality industry.

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To all of the students at the ceremony Professor Jones encouraged them to grasp the opportunities that the industry offers. He concluded that it is an industry without parallel as a major economic and social force for good across the world, and an industry that brings people together because at its heart it is about being ‘hospitable’.

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