By Angela Green, Content Executive, H&C News: Edge Hotel School launches centre for hospitality and tourism research.
Edge Hotel School has launched itself as a centre for hospitality and tourism research with the arrival of its first ever researcher, Dr Weizheng Zhang.
The School, which delivers higher education degrees for students who assist in the operation of Wivenhoe House, a fully commercial hotel, will now diversify into research projects that will aid the learning of future generations of hoteliers and hospitality professionals.
Dr Zhang, who completed his PhD at the School of Hospitality and Tourism Management at the University of Surrey, is an expert in hospitality entrepreneurship, risk and uncertainty, and migration within the industry.
In April 2022 he published a paper which looked at uncertainties caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and the impact on small-and medium-sized (SME) bed-and-breakfast enterprises in Zhangjiajie in China. It found that changes in uncertainty and capital shaped how hospitality entrepreneurs responded, especially in terms of product and marketing innovations, which in turn created new uncertainty.
On this new venture, Andrew Boer, Head of Edge Hotel School at the University of Essex, said: “Over its first decade, Edge Hotel School has developed a reputation for excellent industry-engaged education. At the start of its second decade the School is commencing its next challenge – excellence in research.
“Having Weizheng join us is an important and exciting first step on this journey. Over the next months we will be appointing a significant number of colleagues to join him and the team so that, before the end of our next decade, the School will have an international reputation for excellence in both research and teaching.”
On his new position, Dr Zhang said: “Edge Hotel School is excellent in education and ambitious for research. As a research-based educator, I am looking forward to contributing to the research and education plan of the School and making an impact on the tourism and hospitality industry.”
His arrival at Edge marks a new chapter in the School’s history as it embarks on developing a research profile, with several members of professional teaching staff also completing PhD research.
Find out more about Edge Hotel School here.