The official launch of the aha Hotels & Lodges Lecture Room at the University of Johannesburg- School of Tourism & Hospitality (STH) took place on April 9, 2018 at the Auckland Park, Bunting Road campus. The collaboration between aha and STH started a year ago, largely due their mutual passion for the industry. For aha, one important aspect of this collaboration is to afford the learners an opportunity to potentially develop a career path within the organisation once they graduate.

 “This collaboration gives us an opportunity to tap into the emerging talent in the tourism and hospitality space and connect with the learners, as they are the future contributors to the industry,” says Neil Bald, aha Hotels and Lodges CEO. Bald, an alumnus of STH, also presented a guest lecture and underlined the industry’s positive impact on SA’s economy.

Dr. Diane Abrahams, Director of the School of Tourism & Hospitality says it is important to partner with key industry players and is pleased that aha is exposing students and other parties to its brand. “We are very excited about this partnership. It will expose our learners to this dynamic brand and in the near future be able to assist the learners with Work Integrated Learning (WIL) programme, which is an important aspect of their studies.”

Dr. Abrahams says STH graduates are known for their skills, competencies, knowledge and attributes, allowing them to excel in the tourism and hospitality sector.

On June 28, 2017, the University of Johannesburg (UJ) was ranked 34th globally among 100 ranked institutions for research in Hospitality and Tourism Management, in Shanghai Rankings 2017 Global Ranking of Academic Subjects. UJ is the only South African and only African university ranked for Hospitality and Tourism Management and also came first in Tourism and Leisure studies by QS World University ranking.