UCSI Seals Education Partnership With Hard Rock Hotel Penang

UCSI seals education partnership with Hard Rock Hotel Penang


KUALA LUMPUR: UCSI University (UCSI) continues its collaboration with leading brands around the world with its recent engagement in an education partnership with Hard Rock Hotel Penang. 

Senior Professor Dato' Dr Khalid Yusoff, Vice-Chancellor and President of UCSI University and John Primmer, General Manager of Hard Rock Hotel Penang inked a Memorandum of Understanding on behalf of their institutions, officiating an arrangement that will see the Hotel selecting a group of students for internships each semester – starting with 12 in January next year – from UCSI’s Faculty of Hospitality and Tourism Management. 

Standing out for its niche approach to travel and tourism, Hard Rock Hotel Penang will offer students insights into the hospitality and entertainment industry. 

"Ours is certainly not your typical hotel," said John Primmer, General Manager of Hard Rock Hotel Penang, who oversaw a multimillion dollar refurbishment on the property in anticipation of a busy year in 2017. "Music is in the DNA of our brand and we are known for our fun and vibrant culture. We work hard and we also play hard.” 

“Young students these days are adventure oriented and I believe that working with Hard Rock will give them the colourful experience that they’re looking for,” said Associate Professor Dr Kashif Hussain, Dean of the Faculty who shared that interns will receive a monthly allowance, housing allowance, airfare, meals and medical coverage. 

Depending on their specialisations, students will be honing their skills in the culinary, F&B service, front office and housekeeping divisions at the four-star luxury resort. The Hotel also allows their staff to pursue part-time work as merchandisers at their retail outlets.

“Students can come to us expecting not only a high energy environment centred on live music, but also lots of charity work which is just as important to us as reaching our financial goals,” said Primmer. “It’ll be a great learning experience for them.” 

The first of its kind in Malaysia, Hard Rock Hotel Penang is part of one of the world’s most iconic brands known for celebrating the popular culture that changed the face of music, fashion and arts. It owns more than 500 pieces of memorabilia that belong to artistes and bands like Lady Gaga, Madonna, Elton John, Madonna, Elvis Presley and The Beatles. It is also well-known for its music events with Zainal Abidin, Sheila Majid, Ella, The Wailers, Mizz Nina, Andrew Netto and Amy Search having played live shows at the beachfront hotel. 

This partnership is result of UCSI’s ongoing efforts to strengthen its signature Co-operative Placement Programme. UCSI was the first in the region to facilitate industry placements for its students and to this day, is running the largest university-industry network of over 4,000 corporate partners. The list includes city-type hotels in Kuala Lumpur such as Concorde Hotel (HPL Group of Hotels & Resorts) and Traders Hotel by Shangri-La. 

Assoc Prof Kashif noted that tourist arrivals in the Asia Pacific region have been projected to increase by 330 million in two decades – from 204 million in year 2010 to 535 million tourist arrivals in 2030. This will usher in numerous opportunities for industry players to invest in the tourism and hospitality sector. 

“There will up to 500 new hotels and resorts available in the region, leading to 50 million new job opportunities with 500,000 within Malaysia itself,” he said. 

“Our collaboration with Hard Rock Hotel Penang will provide a greater learning platform to our young students so that they may graduate well prepared for future senior management and executive positions.”