New Zealand, 20 May 2009 - MasterCard Worldwide and U21Global today announced the fourth year of the MasterCard-U21Global scholarship programme for women in the travel and tourism industry.
The MasterCard-U21Global scholarship programme was launched in 2006 to empower women executives through education to realize their full potential. It comprises 20 scholarships for the U21Global Postgraduate Diploma of Business Administration.
Last year New Zealand was awarded four of the 20 scholarships – the highest number for the market since the programme's inception. The recipients were: Maryann D'Sa, Team Manager, Sue Mercer, Account Manager and Marie-Michele Aubeelack, Customer Services Agent, all from Air New Zealand, and Julia Watson, General Manager for Spookers Ltd.
"Being awarded the MasterCard U21 Global scholarship in 2008 has already benefited both my personal and professional life in many ways," says Julia Watson. "It's a challenging programme but extremely beneficial. I have learnt a great deal about many different subjects already and it is fantastic to be able to share and learn from the other students around the globe.
The U21 faculty is extremely supportive and knowledgeable, as are my fellow students. I am so grateful to both MasterCard and U21 Global for the opportunity. Everything I have learnt so far, I have already used or incorporated into my daily professional life, so I would really encourage women in the industry to apply for it."
The programme is intended for graduates who want to develop skills in the management and marketing of tourism and travel products and programmes. It is designed to provide participants with a solid foundation in core management subjects and equip students with a firm grounding in basic management capabilities. Core subjects include general management subjects such as Organizational Behavior, Finance, Marketing Management and Strategic Management as well as tourism-specific subjects like Service Quality in Travel and Tourism and Understanding the Tourism Consumer.
The course was developed by U21Global, a leader in quality graduate online education for working executives and professionals in conjunction with the Christel DeHaan Tourism and Travel Research Institute, a part of Nottingham University Business School. Students completing the Diploma can qualify for the University of Nottingham Master of Science in Tourism and Travel Management.
"As the industry works to deliver enhanced value and service to customers, this programme is designed to equip female travel and tourism executives with the latest in training and knowledge. The positive response by businesses over the last three years demonstrates the programme's close alignment with industry requirements and hot-button issues and trends," said Nick Hutton, CEO, U21Global.
The 20 scholarships are made possible by a grant from MasterCard Worldwide. Since its inauguration, 60 women have been awarded the MasterCard-U21Global scholarship programme for women in travel and tourism. The scholars are professionals from a broad spectrum of the industry, from hotels and airlines to travel and tour operators. Recipients of the scholarship can enjoy the benefit of studying online and can hence better manage their work and educational commitments.
"As women take on leadership roles within the travel and tourism industry, they can upgrade their skills and fast-track their career development through the MasterCard-U21Global scholarship programme. We are happy to be supporting the programme again this year as a part of our broader commitment to women's advancement and strongly encourage women in New Zealand to apply for the scholarships," said Michelle Pilot, vice president Brand Marketing, MasterCard Worldwide.
Dr Jason Fitzsimmons, Director of MBA programme added, "We are very proud to be partnering with MasterCard to be able to provide these scholarships to women in the travel and tourism industry. Travel and tourism is a very important industry sector and developing skills and abilities in this area will be of great benefit as regions recover from the current global financial crisis."
Organizations from the travel and tourism industry across Asia/Pacific, South Asia, South Africa, Saudi Arabia and UAE are invited to nominate female employees. MasterCard and U21Global will institute a distinguished panel of judges to choose the 20 worthy recipients. The deadline for nominations is 30 June 2009.Those interested in more information on the scholarships and course components can log on to U21Global's website
Established in 2001, U21Global is the world's premier online Graduate School that offers globally recognised graduate programmes. The graduate school is backed by an international network of leading research-intensive universities in 11 countries. U21Global combines the traditional quality of its founders with innovative modes of delivery on the Internet, providing students with substantial learning advantages, while balancing work, travel and family life.
U21Global's affiliated universities include: North America: Tecnologico de Monterrey, University of Virginia; Europe: Lund University; University College Dublin, University of Birmingham, University of Edinburgh, University of Glasgow, University of Nottingham; Asia: Fudan University, Korea University, National University of Singapore, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, University of Delhi, University of Hong Kong, Waseda University; Australia & New Zealand: University of Melbourne, University of Queensland.
About MasterCard Worldwide
MasterCard Worldwide advances global commerce by providing a critical economic link among financial institutions, businesses, cardholders and merchants worldwide. As a franchisor, processor and advisor, MasterCard develops and markets payment solutions, processes approximately 21 billion transactions each year, and provides industry-leading analysis and consulting services to financial-institution customers and merchants. Powered by the MasterCard Worldwide Network and through its family of brands, including MasterCard®, Maestro® and Cirrus®, MasterCard serves consumers and businesses in more than 210 countries and territories. For more information go to www.mastercard.com.