Learning Success
The students of this school have more victories than most of the sports clubs. They have driven from the throne world masters of culinary art of Italy and France, bringing medals from Russia, Estonia, Italy, Turkey, and England... One student of the college, during official practice in the London ”Claridge’s” Hotel, was declared to be the best cook in Great Britain! Why does not anyone offer them more acceptable options to stay in Serbia?

The usual thing is that athletes come back to Serbia from world and European competitions with medals. We became accustomed that they represent Serbia, to make us happy, to make us proud. There is one school in which student learn to be successful and they are making Serbia famous. They have driven from the throne world masters of culinary art of Italy and France. If you did not know, we are talking about the College of Hotel Management in Belgrade, where skills of one of the most profitable professions are learned for more than three decades: hotel management, restaurant management and gastronomy. In 2007, on the competition of European schools of hotel management and tourism from 32 countries, this school was declared to be the one with most trophies, from the European Association of Hotel and Tourism Schools (AEHT).         
Basic professional studies last three years, and graduates acquire higher education and they get a title: professional manager of hotels, professional manager of restaurants and professional manager of gastronomy.
It is a unique school in Serbia, with the longest tradition of practical studies and professional practice in the field of higher education. During practice, students will not only obtain knowledge but they will love their future job. Practice is realized in famous hotels and restaurants in Belgrade, Serbia, Montenegro, England, France, Greece, Russia, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia, Turkey, Germany, Italy and USA. That kind of dynamic studies enables international mobility and quick employment in the country and abroad. International cooperation contributes to more successful working, through student’s exchange and attending international congresses and seminars across Europe. Around fifty students per year go to practice abroad.


The school was the first to organize three international congresses of hotel management in Serbia called ”Hotelplan” (2003, 2005 and 2007) in the Belgrade hotel ”Hayat Regency”.
Besides many results in previous years, hotel managers in Serbia are still complaining on the lack of experts.
– Many of the, are going abroad – says the Director of the school Mr. Slavoljub Vićić (Ph.D.). – I am glad for that because they work in excellent hotels, which have great experience, which earn very well. But, on the other hand, I am sorry for that because we need those people in Serbia. For example, Marko Zečević worked in ”Claridge’s” hotel in London, and now he works in the airline company of the United Emirates; Jovanka Tomašević works in the restaurant of ”Burj Al Arab” hotel in Dubai; Marko Petrović is the manager in the Spanish hotel chain ”Sol Melia”... They are better paid, respected and enjoying complete confidence, they have the freedom of deciding and they can show more creativity. In Serbia, Zdravko Gavrilović, the winner of the golden medal on the competition in Istanbul, is the manager of the pastry shop in ”Continental” Hotel. Zoran Mišković, the golden medal winner in Moscow, is the chef in ”Hayat” Hotel...
The list of successful people is very long, even just a part of it, which we are adding here.
On the European Championship of schools of hotel management and tourism in Estonia, where there were students from 32 countries, the student of the second year, Milan Lekić, won the gold medal (with his colleague from Ireland, Avril O’Connor) in the category of pastry making. Marija Miladinović failed in winning the gold medal for only 0.3 points in the category ”House keeping and room service”, so she returned to Belgrade with a silver one.
In October of 2007, on the European championship in Italy, students won three gold medals, one silver and one bronze, and the College won in the general competition, winning the ”Casanova”. That is how the tradition which lasted for several years was interrupted, when the winners were only Italian and French schools. Medals went to: Goran Kovačević (gold medal in the category of culinary art), Lajoš Čaki (gold medal in the category of pastry making), Nikola Bušić (gold medal in the category of flambé dishes), Jadranka Suljić (silver medal in the category of recepies) and Marko Tošić (bronze medal in the category of cocktail making). This victory enables Serbia and Belgrade to be the hosts of this competition in 2014.
As a student on practice in the London ”Claridge’s” Hotel, Goran Kovačević was pronounced the best cook in Great Britain in 2003! On the same competition in 2005 he won two silver medals.
Petar Gajić, a student of gastronomy, won a gold medal in 2006 and a cu on the Balkan Championship in Niš, as well as the special medal on the competition AEHT in Ireland. On the International Festival of Gastronomy in Istanbul in 2006 and 2007 he won bronze medals.
On the International Festival of Gastronomy in Istanbul in 2007, the junior team from Serbia was very successful, including students of gastronomy Mladen Ranković (bronze), Nikola Biševac (bronze) and Milan Lekić (medallion).
– Student of this school are going around the world where big companies and hotels follow their students through their studies, supporting them and getting themselves first-class personnel – says Vićić (Ph.D.). – Why wouldn’t it be like that in Serbia? The College is inviting hotel managers and private accommodation managers to support talented students, to give them scholarships, to get themselves future professional collaborators.


The congress and the magazine
– The International hotel management congress ”Hotelplan” is organized every second year in Belgrade, under the patronage of the Ministry of Education, Ministry of Economic Development and Regional Economy and the Chamber of Commerce of Serbia, with the support of the Tourist Organization of Serbia. Scientists and experts from nay European countries are present as well. We publish the magazine Hotellink, the first of the kind for the territory and the practice in the field of hotel management in Serbia – says Slavoljub Vićić (Ph.D.), the Director of the College of Hotel Management.


Vuk and the Flower
Among many social recognitions given to this eminent school, we singe out the ”Order of Vuk Karadžić”, of the third degree, for 30 years of successful work and the ”Tourist Flower” for the contribution to development and promotion of the tourist offer of Serbia (2005).


Serbia - National Review - No 48
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