Among other things, the success of the college is based on international research and development, which is also reflected in the vision and mission of the college. International success is measured by the involvement of both – the college itself and the participation of Pärnu County in international development cooperation and entrepreneurship. The aim of international cooperation is to expand the network of contacts and the geography of knowledge to be a significant player in its focus areas especially in the Baltic Sea region, and also assuming the role of a regional leader.
At the core of international cooperation are:
- cooperation with strategic partners and participation in networks with strategic partners
- exchange programs for staff and students
- research and development projects
- study cooperation
- international traineeships for students
International cooperation is broadly divided into two main directions: participation in networks and cooperation with specific partner organizations.
Participation in networks
La Fondation pour la Formation Hôtelière is an independent charity founded in 1973 and registered in Switzerland. The Foundation is committed to the education and training of staff in the hospitality industry in Central and Eastern Europe in cooperation with partner institutions (hospitality and tourism schools, colleges and universities and international professional organizations). It offers practical assistance in training, gives grants for the development of the learning environment and infrastructure, and provides assistance to teachers and trainers for ensuring their future. As of autumn 2021, the Foundation has 34 partner institutions in 18 countries in Central and Eastern Europe.
The University of Tartu Pärnu College has been a member of the ECSB since 2006, and is represented by Associate Professor Arvi Kuura and Lecturer Margus Kõomägi. ECSB is the largest, oldest and most respected business promotion organization in Europe, with almost 400 members from around 30 countries and it is also a member of the world organization International Council for Small Business (www.icsb.org). The ECSB/ICSB brings together both practitioners and theorists. Arvi Kuura is the Vice President of the organization in Estonia.
The University of Tartu Pärnu College is a member of IPMA since 2008, represented by Associate Professor Arvi Kuura. IPMA is the largest, oldest and most respected project management professional organization in the world. IPMA is an umbrella organization for national professional organizations, bringing together more than 50 national organizations from all continents.
Pärnu College has been a member of SDN since 2010. SDN is an international network of organizations that brings together companies and universities interested in the field of service design and its development. SDN was established in 2004 and has been operating as an NGO since 2008, being an active community that hosts service design conferences, seminars, publishes a magazine, etc. Membership in this network has helped the college to develop its competence in service design and to be a developer of the field in Estonia.
ATLAS was established in 1991 to develop cooperation between educational and training institutions in the field of tourism and leisure. Through ATLAS, faculty and student exchanges are organised, transnational research projects are carried out, curriculum development and professional development of teachers are supported. The organization currently has members from more than 70 countries.
ATLAS members can choose from 11 research groups to jointly implement research and development projects supporting the development of the sector. The results of the research are published with the support of internationally recognized publishers. Pärnu College has been a member of ATLAS since 2011.
As a member, the college participates in the annual conferences with articles and presentations, as well as in the work of various research groups.
The organization aims to support the travel and tourism sector, the development of education in the field by publishing research findings and promoting networking among members. The main objective of TTRA is to promote tourism research. For this purpose, annual scientific conferences are organised, research scholarships are awarded to both students and academic staff, webinars are organised on research methods and specific topics.
Pärnu College is a member of TTRA since 2012. As a member, the college participates in annual scientific conferences with articles and presentations.
EuroCHRIE is the association of representatives of the international organization ICHRIE in the European, Mediterranean and African regions. EuroCHRIE has a membership of 169 hotel and tourism schools and universities. The organization works closely with the public and private sector to shape the future of the tourism sector.
EuroCHRIE offers its members the opportunity to exchange information by organizing conferences, producing publications and supporting networking.
Pärnu College has been a member of the organization since 2003 and the staff of the tourism department participates in the annual conferences with articles and presentations. Thanks to EuroCHRIE, a large number of very good contacts have been established with tourism researchers and educators in Europe and the rest of the world. They are often invited to Pärnu to teach students and representatives of the sector; together with them research projects are carried out and joint research articles are produced. In turn, our staff is involved in teaching in other schools.
EUHOFA was founded in 1955, it brings together the world’s leading hotel and tourism schools. Currently, there are more than 200 members worldwide. Members of the organization are obliged to provide the highest level of education in the school. The aim of the organization is to contribute to the networking of hotel and tourism schools, exchange of ideas and bringing new development projects to life.
Pärnu College has been a member of the organization since 2003. The representative of the school participates in the annual global congress and in the meantime discusses curriculum development, traineeship and innovation-oriented projects. In 2011, Pärnu College, in cooperation with the Estonian Tourism and Hotel University, was honoured to organize the 50th Jubilee Congress of the organization.
Pärnu College is also a partner of the Estonian Travel and Tourism Association that is a voluntary association of employers engaged in tourism, comprising 80 members.
Pärnu College belongs to the Estonian Hotel and Restaurant Association that is a representative organization of employers in the hotel and restaurant industry with almost 200 members.
Pärnu College is also a founding member of the Estonia Tourism Education Association that stands for the interests of tourism education and its providers.