On Monday, 7 November 2022, the Association for Tourism and Leisure Education and Research (ATLAS), hosted a postgraduate student webinar in collaboration with the University of Pretoria on the theme “University of Pretoria Campus Tours: Living live projects!”.
In this session the University of Pretoria Campus Tours (UPCT) team of 2022 outlined the concept of “live projects” from a touristic point of view. They presented on the meaning, importance, accessibility, applicability, and best practice principles from both a global North as well as global South point of view.
The UPCT team defined “live projects” as the “negotiation of a brief timescale, budget and product between an educational organization and an external industry collaborator for their mutual benefit”.
In the presentation the UPCT team explained that a “live project” is structured to ensure that students gain learning that is relevant not only to their educational development, but also to their training needs, especially considering the complex yet ever-evolving tourism market.
During the webinar the team also emphasised why UPCT should be considered a “live project” given its unique experiential learning component. The group explained how UPCT aims to simulate this real-life experience by way of a tourist guiding work environment. Honours students are exposed throughout the academic year to archival research, marketing, finance, business management, human resources, public relations, office administration and planning, all whilst conducting contact and virtual tours through the various campuses of the University of Pretoria.
This webinar also outlined how this award-winning educational initiative, founded and coordinated by Professor Karen Harris, the current Head of Department, has for almost two decades doubled up as a Work Integrated Learning (WIL) mechanism, while at the same time offering the yearly honours student cohort a tourism internship and a year of work experience.
The group concluded by noting the importance of embracing “live projects” especially within the tourism industry as it strives to meet and adhere to the objectives and requirements of the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as well as the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
This virtual event was well-received with over 100 participants from 14 countries. A recording of this year’s ATLAS UPCT event can be found on YouTube and here below.
UPCT is integral to the postgraduate Honours degree in Heritage and Cultural Tourism offered at the University of Pretoria.
UPCT Team of 2022
*Back (left to right): Gert Nel, Victory Banda, Lindokuhle Magagula, Thabang Mamburu, Innocentia Nkosi, Keneilwe Songwane, Selinah Dube, Samukelisiwe Mkwanazi, Omphile Mantu, Joslinah Mkatshwa.
*Centre (left to right): Phumzile Mahlangu, Mavis Cossa, Angela Clarke
*Front (left to right): Ethani Moliwa, Marcia Ntsie