Students' perspective of internship in vocational higher education
Research Question: This study aims to determine students’ satisfaction, experience and attitude toward internship in hospitality higher education. Motivation: Work integrated learning in the system of vocational higher education should enable young people, who have acquired theoretical and practical knowledge, to increase their employability, develop expertise through the process of socialization in the workplace, as well as to develop work habits and have a better understanding of the work culture. According to Hussien and La Lopa (2018), well-organized internship with detailed feedback, flexible working hours, adequate institutional support, and the ability to acquire a diverse range of skills, can increase satisfaction of all stakeholders. Idea: The main idea is to examine students’ experience, attitudes and satisfaction with internship, in order to propose practical implications for internship improvement. Data: The data were collected by means of a questionnaire during the summer term of 2017/18 academic year. The survey involved 189 students of The College of Hotel Management. Tools: Collected data were analysed and interpreted using some descriptive statistics techniques, as well as non-parametric tests such as Mann-Whitney U Test, Kruskal-Wallis H Test and Spearman's Rho. Findings: A vast majority of students were given employment opportunities during internship, which has increased their satisfaction. Gastronomy and hospitality students most often worked in the profession, while junior and senior students find the curriculum to a lesser extent consistent with the internship program. Students were most satisfied with the mentor’s objectivity in the assessment, and least satisfied with the school support during internship. Student satisfaction is also affected by better alignment of theory and practice, adequately rewarding overtime and doing the job for which they have been trained. Contribution: This study contributes to the identification and understanding of factors affecting satisfaction of hospitality students with internship and proposes measures to better internship organization.
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