Thursday, April 26, 2007

Travel Scholarship for Women

With the growth of Australia as a tourist destination and the advancement of Australian women as leaders in the industry, MasterCard and U21Global have announced today the second annual MasterCard-U21Global Scholarship Program for Women in Travel and Tourism.

“MasterCard’s important role as facilitator of travel and our commitment to domestic and international travel is the motivation behind our involvement in the scholarship program.

“MasterCard understands the value of travel and tourism to the entire Australian economy and wants to ensure that those working in the industry are provided with the best possible support and training needed to provide an outstanding service,” said Leigh Clapham, executive vice president, Australasia, MasterCard Worldwide.

The scholarship, launched last year, is for women professionals across the travel and tourism industry. It offers a solid platform for women wanting to further their career in this industry and meet the sectors’ demand for better trained professionals, empowering them to stay ahead of industry trends and realise their full potential.

Last year’s Australian scholarship winner was Vanessa Weigall, Regional Manager for STA Travel in Western Australia and South Australia.

The call for entries for the online graduate program received a significant response from a wide spectrum of the industry last year, from hotels and airlines to travel and tour operators in the Asia/Pacific. With the success enjoyed by the program last year, it has now been extended to South Africa, Saudi Arabia and UAE.

The program comprises 20 scholarships for the U21Global Executive Diploma of Business Administration and is intended for graduates who want to develop skills in the management and marketing of tourism and travel. The course can articulate into the University of Nottingham MSc in Tourism and Travel Management which has been developed by Christel DeHaan Tourism and Travel Research Institute, a part of Nottingham University Business School, and U21Global, a leader in quality graduate online education for working executives and professionals.

Organisations from the travel and tourism industry across Asia/Pacific, Middle East and Africa will be invited to nominate female employees who they believe will most benefit from the learning and exposure offered by such a scholarship. MasterCard and U21Global will institute a distinguished panel of judges to choose the 20 worthy recipients.

“We are excited to extend the reach of this scholarship to South Africa, Saudi Arabia and UAE to allow more women in travel and tourism to benefit from our premium curriculum in business and to stay abreast of industry trends while also managing work commitments and family life,” said Dr Helen Lange, Dean, Business Management Programmes, U21Global. “The overwhelming response to the inaugural program in 2006 gives us reason to believe that this second year of the MasterCard-U21Global Scholarship Program will once again be a resounding success.”

“MasterCard has been long committed to women’s advancement and with the tourism industry being one of the most dynamic economic sectors in Asia/Pacific, Middle East and Africa, we would like to encourage women in the industry to take this opportunity to upgrade their skills to stay ahead in the evolving tourism landscape,” said Georgette Tan, vice president, Communications, Asia/Pacific, Middle East & Africa, MasterCard Worldwide.

“Recent MasterCard research shows that despite positive economic growth and the tightening of labor market conditions, women still perceive themselves as not getting the same opportunities as men when it comes to managerial positions and median income. Women from the inaugural program last year have found the course extremely beneficial and we hope more women are able to meet their professional goals through this scholarship,” added Tan.

Women from the program have benefited not only from learning about the diverse aspects of tourism management and its practices but also the special online learning community that is in place, allowing the scholars to have access to a wide range of speakers and mentors, and enhance networking with each other.
Recipients of the scholarship can enjoy the benefit of studying online and can hence better manage their work and educational commitments. Those interested in more information on the scholarships and course components can log on to U21Global’s website