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Pioneer business degree programme integrating hospitality and real estate in the Asia–Pacific region

The Hospitality and Real Estate (HRE) programme is positioned as the preferred business programme with a focus on the hospitality and real estate industries. It offers an integrated curriculum that will put you in high demand in both industries. You will develop a keen eye for asset investment and service standards and gain a holistic ability to steer high-level projects that bring value to your clients.

Diversified career path with a competitive edge

HRE nurtures tomorrow’s leaders in various industries such as lodging, MICE, theme parks, travel and tourism, valuation, leasing and transaction, consultancy, real estate development, and finance and asset management. HRE offers two major streams for students. The Real Estate stream focuses on planning, developing, and investing in assets (e.g., buildings and properties). The Hospitality stream focuses on service marketing: improving service quality, ensuring customer satisfaction, and optimising organisational performance.

Nurturing leaders with professional accreditation (RICS)

With a rich curriculum that marries theory with experiential learning opportunities, HRE puts students in the heart of the fast-paced hospitality, tourism, and real estate industries. HRE is also an RICS-accredited degree. RICS is a globally recognised professional institution of chartered surveyors. Through connections with key professionals and real service environments, as well as participation in high-level lectures and presentations led by experienced practitioners, you will learn the latest trends while building your dynamic professional network.

Developing visionary and caring leaders for the hospitality and real estate industries

CUHK’s HRE programme is the only business programme in Hong Kong and Asia that integrates hospitality and real estate education.

‘We have created a unique programme in the Asia–Pacific region. To the best of my knowledge, no other university except Cornell offers programmes that integrate these two concepts,’ said Prof. David Chan, Director of the School of Hotel and Tourism Management.

SoHo is a student society representing School of Hotel and Tourism Management

SoHo hosts and organises school activities for HRE students (taken on Graduate Photo Day)

He pointed out that the programme is designed to develop professional leaders in the hospitality and real estate industries. In particular, the school’s vision is to capture emerging business and career opportunities as the two industries become more connected through property planning and development, business operations, marketing and customer relationship management, technologies, talent training, and many other ties. ‘On the one hand, running a hotel nowadays is not just about understanding customers and employees – it also requires knowledge and skills in managing the expectations of hotel investors and property owners. On the other hand, many real estate developers are keen on building hotels, serviced apartments, shopping malls, and all kinds of commercial properties. To get higher returns from these hospitality assets, property developers and investors also need to understand how people-oriented sectors work,’ said Professor Chan.

The programme aims to help students develop critical thinking and a strategic vision for industries that balance business profitability and the market’s need for innovation and sustainability. The courses offer a strong and innovative business education to the students. In addition to business foundation courses, the programme offers industry-focused courses taught by faculty members and industry senior executives, such as Real Estate Investments, Real Estate Valuation, Management of Lodging Facilities, Shopping Mall Investment and Management, Food and Beverage Management, Hospitality Revenue Management and Analytics, and Facilities Development and Management. Professor Chan further emphasised the importance of embracing innovation opportunities in the hospitality, tourism, and real estate industries and designing creative learning activities for students to develop their leadership competencies. ‘A strength of our programme comes from the reputation and resources of the CUHK Business School,’ Professor Chan commented. ‘We offer a strong academic curriculum.’

Prof. Lisa Wan, David Hanson’s team and Prof. Sungwoo Choi are active researchers in service robots

‘In the meantime’, Professor Chan continued, ‘we have an extensive and close industry network and have taken great efforts to engage our students with industry business practices, ensuring that our students are well-recognised among industry stakeholders.’

Through the Distinguished Speakers Series incorporated under the HRE curriculum, senior executives, including CEOs, directors, and presidents, are invited to share their business insights with students. Through the series, students not only gain knowledge from business insiders but also experience a networking opportunity for their career engagement.

All HRE students attending the Distinguished Speaker Series (DSS)

Professor Chan explained that the internship is incorporated into the curriculum to equip students with real-world work experiences. Students are required to complete two credit-bearing summer internships before graduation. These learning experiences are generally for three months but may last for six months or longer. Many international internship opportunities are also granted to students.

Most students are placed in globally branded hotel chains, theme parks, property developers, real estate and hospitality consulting firms, events and tourism-related companies, and banks.

In addition, four exclusively designed exchange programmes are offered for students to study in the Asia–Pacific region and North America. The programmes include the Asia–Pacific Hospitality Management Programme, a partnership programme with Thailand’s Mahidol University International College and Australia’s Queensland University, and exchange arrangements with Cornell University, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech), National University of Singapore, and Ritsumeikan Asia–Pacific University in Japan. All of these institutions provide globally top-ranking hospitality and real estate programmes. The HRE programme has also arranged theme-based study trips and short-term summer courses to Taiwan, Japan, and Australia in the past two years and continues to explore new destinations for cross-cultural and experiential learning.

HRE students won the 2nd place in the Cornell International Real Estate Case Competition 2021

To increase students’ international exposure and challenges in the Real Estate stream, the school has supported our students to participate in the Cornell International Real Estate Case Competition organised by Cornell University for consecutive years, with our team winning the championship in 2016. The school also hosted the Cornell CUHK Regional Real Estate Competition, Asia, in 2018. Six HRE students won second place in the Cornell International Real Estate Case Competition in 2021. This is another valuable opportunity for students to interact with overseas students, teachers, and industry experts.

Managed by students and supported by professional chefs and service team members, Food &Beverage outlets (The Gastronomy Club and a café named ‘The Stage’) are other special features of the programme. Students have many opportunities to apply their marketing, finance, and HR knowledge and skills to real business situations to solve problems.

Published: Summer 2017
Last Updated: Summer 2022