The history of Hotelschool The Hague

1 January, 2015
  • 5 min read
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In 2014, Hotelschool The Hague celebrated its 85 year anniversary. Over the years Hotelschool The Hague developed from a very small vocational school to an international renowned hotel school with 2 campuses, 2000 students and over 7000 successful alumni. It was a long and exciting journey with many relocations, changes in school governance and even a World War. There were years of great fortune and prosperity and times of struggles and misfortunes. What kept the school running was the limitless ambition of staff and students and above all, the passion for hospitality.

Hotelschool The Hague was founded and funded in 1929 by the industry to create a central place where industry partners could gain and share new insights, skills and knowledge in the field of hospitality. The first programme contained 15 courses including French, German, English, accounting and meat products knowledge and 17 students were selected to follow this programme.

The years during the Second World War were of course very challenging. During the war provisions became more and more scarce. For restaurant owners this meant they first had to remove rice dishes from the menu, afterwards all egg dishes and also oatmeal was no longer available. To be able to provide so called coupon-free dishes they tried to use more potatoes, but this proved to be very difficult. 

The 60s were for the students a decade of solidarity as well as a time of disciplined regime. From the late 70s the school grew tremendously, from 400 students to nearly 900. The school changed its name, from Higher Hotel School to Hotelschool Den Haag, University of Applied Science in Business Administration. The focus moved from a Dutch Business oriented school to an international centre of hospitality knowledge. For more than 30 years, this has enabled our students to go on international placements instead of internships within The Netherlands.

At the beginning of the 80s a new curriculum was implemented, centered around thematic education in modules. We can see this as the base of the unique education system we have today, called Entrepreneurial Learning. This means our students are responsible for their own learning process, so they learn to take initiative and to be proactive. In short they ‘learn by doing’. 

In the 80s also a change in the general hospitality attitude was visible and in the 80s we saw a change in attitude towards hospitality in general. Before the students were required to work in dress suit or tuxedo (with white gloves borrowed from the Kurhaus), but in the 80s a more relaxed attitude became visible that better suited hospitality in the 20th century.

In the 90s our Bachelor programme became completely international. All courses were and since then, all our courses are taught in English and students from all over the world choose to study at Hotelschool The Hague. This development continued and at this moment, students from over 40 nationalities study at our university.

Over the years our students proved to be very dedicated and they developed themselves to be hospitality professionals with great management skills combined with hands on mentality. We are extremely proud of our alumni who over the years filled top positions in over 100 countries. Our alumni are not only successful in the international hotel industry, in various industries you will find our graduates in top positions, such as banking, large international retail companies and property development. 

To emphasise our international character the name of the school recently changed to Hotelschool The Hague, Hospitality Business School. Under the leadership of our President Susanne Stolte we look forward to the future with great ambition. While keeping our heritage in mind we continue to educate the successful managers of the future!

About the author

Hotelschool The Hague

Hotelschool The Hague was founded and funded in 1929 by the hospitality industry to create a central place where industry partners could gain and share new insight, skills and knowledge. Since its foundation, Hotelschool The Hague has become an international hospitality business school specialised in hospitality management, offering a 4-year Bachelor in Hospitality Management. This degree course is also available as the accelerated International Fast Track programme. Our 13-month MBA in Hospitality Management is designed to deliver the next generation of hospitality innovators.

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