The International Centre of Excellence in Tourism and Hospitality Education (THE-ICE) is an independent international accreditation body that specialises in tourism, hospitality, culinary arts and events education. In addition to accreditation, the main activities of THE-ICE are confidential benchmarking and raising awareness of the quality of our accredited members to future students.
What We Do
Our Standards of Excellence and accreditation system offer a rigorous and independent review of an institution’s courses. Using our Standards of Excellence accreditation system, members have to progress through a two-stage accreditation process that involves self-review, peer review, site visit and evaluation.
Once accredited, each member participates in our annual benchmarking analysis. Working with our strategic partner i-graduate, we use their International Student Barometer survey, and this allows members to confidentially benchmark against one another based on student satisfaction. Last year over 10,000 students studying tourism and hospitality across our membership network were surveyed.
The goal of THE-ICE is to help students identify their ‘Best-Fit’ study options – by helping students to match their preferred study experience with what our members offer. THE-ICE does not itself engage in the ranking of institutions or courses, rather we seek to help future students to develop ‘personal rankings’ that would relate to their individual education needs and circumstances. Working with our other strategic partner i-studentgroup, we have also developed a range of resources to help future students, parents and counsellors. In addition to THE-ICE website, we also produce an e-Magazine and two newsletters. Currently, our iStudent News is distributed to some 24,000 prospective students, and our eBulletin is designed to keep educators up to date with what is happening in tourism and hospitality education internationally.
THE-ICE also regularly organises an International Panel of Experts Forum, which attracts a range of high profile educators who address important issues and trends relating to tourism and hospitality education.
Who We Are
THE-ICE was originally established by the Australian Federal Government in 2003, but it is now registered as an independent not-for–profit organisation. Managed by an Executive Team, all activities are over sighted by a Board of Directors elected by its members. The members of THE-ICE are institutions offering accredited courses in tourism, hospitality and events. We currently have Accredited Members as well as Associates and also ‘Observers of THE-ICE’ in a range of countries that include: Austria, Switzerland, France, Germany Italy, Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, Fiji, Australia etc. THE-ICE is also a full member of the International Network of Accreditation Agencies in Higher Education (INQAAHE). Through our corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiative, THE-ICE and its members also support underprivileged students in highly respected NGO hospitality training institutions in Cambodia and Vietnam.
The International Centre of Excellence in Tourism and Hospitality Education (THE-ICE) is an international accreditation body specifically for tourism, hospitality, events and culinary arts and education (THECA). Our main activities are focused on accreditation, benchmarking and the promotion of excellence. THE-ICE is registered as a not-for-profit organisation and governed by an elected Board of Directors. We are a full member of the International Network for Quality Assurance Agencies in Higher Education (INQAAHE), and have members in Europe, Asia and Australasia.
THE-ICE supports its member institutions through a range of education development initiatives, and seeks to provide relevant 'Best-Fit' information to future students about their study options. For our members, THE-ICE delivers a recognised marque of accreditation excellence, confidential benchmarking, increased marketing exposure, and a network of like-minded quality institutions to collaborate with. For prospective students, THE-ICE and our website, e-Magazine and e-Newsletter offer a single touch-point of accredited institutions who offer hundreds of quality-endorsed THECA courses.
THE-ICE was originally established as an international education initiative of the Australian Federal Government in 2004. It operated as a unit of the Sustainable Tourism Cooperative Research Centre (STCRC) under the leadership of Professor Beverly Sparks at Griffith University. At that time the focus of THE-ICE was to (1) recognise excellence in tourism and hospitality education in Australia, (2) to help in furthering the development of that excellence, and (3) to aid in the promotion of that excellence to future international students. Following the appointment of Associate Professor J.S Perry Hobson from Southern Cross University to the role of Director in 2006, THE-ICE started to establish a national network that included not only public universities, but also private hotel schools and state owned vocational colleges. Following the end of the government seed-funding period in mid-2008, THE-ICE began to expand internationally. Today, THE-ICE has accredited members in Europe, Asia and Australasia.
Registration and Board of Directors
THE-ICE is a not-for profit organisation registered with the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC), governed by an elected Board of Directors, who are leaders at our member institutions. Representing both the higher education and vocational training sectors, the Directors provide strategic advice and guidance to THE-ICE drawing on their extensive experiences and expertise in the THECA fields. The Foundation Chair of the Board was Professor Brian King from Victoria University (2008-10).
The current Chair is Mr Guy Bentley, CEO of the Blue Mountains International Hotel Management School (which is a part of the Laureate Hospitality Education Group http://laureate.net/). The current Managing Director is Associate Professor J.S. Perry Hobson, from Southern Cross University.
Institutions interested in accreditation can initially apply to become an Observer of THE-ICE. They can then formally apply for Pre-accreditation assessment, and if successful they are initially recognised as an Associate of THE-ICE. An institution then has up to three years to apply for full accreditation, and if successful will then be recognised as an Accredited Member of THE-ICE. Only institutions with accredited programs/courses can become full members of THE-ICE. The working language of THE-ICE, and all our course and program assessments are conducted in English.