On the back of its pioneering educational approach and links to the Lithuanian Spa Association, the college received EU funding to develop a BSc in Wellness Service Management. To enable the development of the programme, the college proposed to send key team members on a study visit to gain an insight into the UK spa industry.
What we did
Klaipeda State College approached Aspiration to organise the entire study visit, which gave 10 of their lecturers a comprehensive insight into the UK spa industry. Our extensive management included:
- delivering three knowledge sessions covering spa philosophies, facilities and modalities as well as industry trends and wellness education, with contributions from distinguished specialists
- arranging visits to leading spa businesses and educational establishments
- accompanying the lecturers during both study visit weeks
- preparing and providing a detailed itinerary
- organising hotels, restaurants and transport
We ensured the organisations visited provided a balanced overview of the many facets that comprise the thriving spa industry. The study visit was separated into two weeks with the following focuses:
Educational visits to the University of Derby Buxton, where they learned about the structure and implementation of its international degree programmes and the successful combination of practical and theoretical learning. We also visited the City of Bath together with Warwickshire and Barnfield colleges, all key players in providing spa education in the UK. Industry awarding body ITEC was visited to gain information on curriculum structure, best practice student needs and spa operator requirements.
Operator visits to develop greater understanding of spa and wellness philosophies and concepts, UK trends, spa modalities and spa and wellness management. The Roman Baths, in Bath, brought home the essence of a spa and how it contributes to wellness. Visits to Champneys and its Academy, Center Parcs’ Aqua Sana, Thermae Bath Spa, Nirvana Spa, Pennyhill Park and Agua Spa at the Sanderson, provided contemporary examples of the UK spa industry.
Product house visits to Grafton International and ILA to gain information on how product suppliers work with spa operators.
Further visits were arranged to Hilton Worldwide Head Office, K.I.S Lifestyle, Profile Recruitment, the Institute for Optimum Nutrition and SpaFinder The visits gave UK spa educators, operators and product suppliers the opportunity to share best practice and forge connections within the Baltics and its emerging spa market.
The study visit provided a thorough knowledge-base from which to build content for a degree programme in-line with the college’s approach to student-focused learning.
The visitors gained the following key learnings to build into the programme:
- combining practical and theoretical education
- forging partnerships between industry and education
- building commercial spas for students to implement their learning
- organising and supervising internships
- innovative marketing
- taking a commercial approach, with business awareness
The aim of Klaipeda State College is to develop and launch a Wellness Service Management Joint Study Programme as a professional bachelor degree.
“Aspiration has shown their professionalism and enthusiasm during our study visit to the UK. The quality of the training programme and all supporting materials were of great importance and ensured the training was delivered to a consistently high standard. The possibility to experience everything Aspiration has offered us in helping to better understand the spa industry was outstanding. We have made good contacts and relationships with Aspiration for our future co-operation.”
Nijole Galdikiene, Deputy Director for Strategic Development, Klaipeda State College