The Department of Foodservice and Tourism was established by the Senate of the University of Agriculture, Abeokuta in year January 2009 to be located in the College of Food Science and Human Ecology (COLFHEC). The first intake of students was slated for October, 2010. The programme is meant to complement the collective goals of other established programmes namely; Food Science and Technology, Home Science and Management and Nutrition and Dietetics.
The catering industry derives its services from the food chain in all segments of the economy since food is a major requirement for healthy living. The tourism business is growing steadily in the country, in the areas of historical/traditional/modern tourism involving arts, leisure and entertainment. This programme puts the training needs of both industries as an integrated package. In recent years, the foodservice industry, otherwise, known as catering and hotel services have changed considerably as a result of changing market trends, in terms of food composition, safety requirements, selection of food packaging materials, labelling and preparation procedures for ready-to-eat foods and wide variety of food choices by consumers. These changes have therefore, influenced considerably the activities and nature of foods available in the sector such as traditional foods, street foods, fast foods, restaurant foods, the direct consumption of take-away foods and tourists’ foodservices outfits. The Foodservice and Tourism programme will provide an appropriate training medium for human resource development and wide-scope exposure of graduates in the frontiers of knowledge needed to solve the problems of this sector.
The programme has the following focus on broad based interdisciplinary specialisations:
(i) Catering and hotel/hospitality management
(ii) Food composition, preparation and preservation
(iii) Food safety and quality assurance
(iv) Marketing and consumer education
(v) Tourism development
(vi) Tourism transportation services
(vii) Tourism laws and tourist management
The philosophy of the programme is to produce graduates in catering, hotel and tourism management that will excel in a dynamic business world. The graduate will be active in their community and have knowledge of entrepreneurial principles and be competent in technology, communication, presentation, teamwork and critical thought across disciplines.
• To provide the training skills and facilities required to produce graduates in the catering, hotel and tourism sectors of the Nigerian economy
• To train graduates that will develop the required leadership and entrepreneurial skills to manage and operate profit oriented businesses based on strategies for cost-effectiveness and management of human and material resources.
• To train graduates with sound knowledge of developing home-based services and those suitable for the export market in order to attract foreign exchange earnings and investors.
• To train graduates to be self employed or employers of labour, as well as being engaged in the service needs of both private and public organizations.
• To promote scholarship and high quality research aimed at solving the problems confronting the catering, hotel and tourism industries.
• To equip graduates with high standard of academic and professional competence in the pursuance of higher degree programmes.
Employment / Career Opportunities in Foodservice & Tourism
A number of career opportunities are available to graduates of the programme:
i Self employment:
• Entrepreneurship in hospitality industry
• Fast food centres
• Health facilities’ Catering/Hospitality Institutions
ii. Consultancy Services
iii. Public/Civil Service
iv. Aviation and the Armed Forces
• Teaching in tertiary institutions
• Research centres, extension services
Linkage services between tertiary institutions and industries