A String of Shiny Medals
”Whichever side of the world you head towards, you will build a global reputation through our gates of knowledge!” says Slavoljub Vićić PhD, the manager, in a welcome word addressed to his students. For those who adhere to quality principles, which create the basis of CHM’s operation, this soon proved to be true. This may be supported by a large number of gold medals in all occupations falling under this profession, ranging from hotel and restaurant, to gastronomy and confectionery business and knowledge of wine

They fall in the group of most wanted professionals at labour markets all over the world. They have good salaries, and managers literally fight over them. This is understandable as they successfully graduate from the ”College of Champions”, which is an unofficial name of the College for Hotel Management in Belgrade. The College is the only one of this kind in the country, and it is a state college, incorporated in 1974, and represents the highest level of education in hotel management in Serbia. It admits foreign students, but it also sends its domestic students to study abroad through programs of study, predominantly to gain practice in the most representative European hotels and restaurants. The College has the longest tradition of practical training and professional practice in Serbian higher education. This creates a basis for obtaining specific practical knowledge in hotel business and tourism, and also a chance to pursue a serious career in the field. CHM's education model ensures fast and professional employment, both in the country and abroad.
– Whichever side of the world you head towards, you will build a global reputation through our gates of knowledge! – this is how Slavoljub Vićić PhD, CHM manager, addressed the freshmen in a welcome word. – At the beginning of our three-year friendship and studies, at the time of high working standards and technology, I want you to remember this: you carry within yourselves the energy of our common roots, which is reflected in famous local hospitality. Let the traditional joy of receiving guests and their satisfaction together with a high service standard become an inherent part of your professionalism. If you hold on to this, you shall succeed – personally, professionally and economically.


That students understand these rules well and comply with them is proved by many years of outstanding success worldwide. For example, a junior, Mina Majstorović, won a gold medal in the Wine Service category at the European Championship in Lisbon, Portugal, in 2010. Participants came from 150 schools and 32 countries. Zlatna Mina, a CHM student, who was professionally trained as a sommelier in the London hotel ”Westbury”, competed together with an Australian girl in a team. They won competitors from famous wine regions like France, Italy, Spain...
– You can participate in this competition organised by the European Association of Hotel and Tourism Schools only once, and this is your only chance to show what you know. There is no second chance or defence of the medal – says Mina Majstorović.
Participants in the competition are not only students in the second and third year, which is a normal duration of studies, but freshmen as well. Last year in Italy, in a place called Giulianova, freshmen from the Hotel Management Department won a champion title in a competition in which colleagues from ten countries participated.
A year before, at the International Fair of Food and Drink in Thessaloniki, all six students from CHM Gastronomy Department and Confectionery Department won medals. A gold medal was won by Aleksandar Stanković (for a hot dish made of vegetables), silver medals were won by Danijel Marković (for a hot dish made of sea fish) and Slobodan Čavić (for a hot dessert), and bronze medals were won by Branislav Krstić and Vanja Puškar (also for a hot dish made of fish), and Milan Lekić (for a hot dessert).
The year 2008 was also successful. In Kuressaare, Estonia, among 700 students-competitors, the gold medal was taken to Belgrade by Milan Lekić (Confectionery Business), and the silver medal by Marija Miladinović (Hotel Business).
In 2007, CHM students showed that the College deserves to be called the ”College of Champions”, when they won five medals (three gold, one silver and one bronze medal). They were awarded with a special recognition as a college which won the largest number of medals. With this victory, students Goran Kovačević, Lajoš Čaki, Nikola Bušić, Jadranka Suljić and Marko Tošić ensured Serbia and Belgrade to be the host of the European Championship in 2014. If we add that Goran Kovačević, who works in the London hotel ”Claridge’s”, was named the best chef in the United Kingdom by the Royal Academy of Culinary Arts, then the series of successes, victories and medals seem even more impressive. Practically, there is no field in this profession in which CHM students have not won the highest awards.


The College trains highly educated professionals for production, service and manager jobs in hotel, restaurant, gastronomy and confectionery-bakery business. However, they also acquire knowledge of information technology, and seriously study foreign languages; two languages are mandatory, and they have an option to study more languages, free of charge and without evaluation (English, French, Italian, German and Russian, and optionally Greek and Spanish). Curriculums and syllabuses are adjusted to related institutions in touristically most developed countries. What distinguishes the College from other institutions is practical training.
– Practical training is organised in small groups, for example in renowned Belgrade hotels and restaurants (”Hayat”, ”Continental”, ”Moskva”, ”Majestic”, ”Jezero”...), hotels in the provincial parts of Serbia (on Zlatibor, in spas, at lakes...), as well as abroad – says Slavoljub Vićić PhD, for the magazine Nacionalna revija. – During three months of a summer holiday, students work in those hotels and restaurants, they have accommodation and meals provided, and they can even earn some money. If they work, they get a monthly allowance which may range from one hundred to several hundreds of Euros. The amount depends on student’s practical skills, but also on the facility where the student works. Apart from the neighbouring countries, students have practice in the UK, France, Italy, Germany, Russia, Greece, Poland, Slovakia, Turkey, Cyprus and the USA. Many of our students work on ships, in restaurants and hotels throughout the world, and most of them got the job by distinguishing themselves in practice and being noticed by managers. There is particularly good cooperation with the ”Claridge’s” hotel in London, which employs about 120 of our students.
Since its incorporation, CHM has fostered good partnership relations with many businessmen and at their request implemented specialised professional training programs, says manager Vićić. The program of exercises and professional practice for students also involves professionals in respective fields.
– We are a member of International Associations of Hotel and Tourism Schools (like AEHT, AMFORTH, ATLAS). In October 2014, we will be the host of the European Championship and AEHT Annual Conference, where we expect representatives from 32 European countries.
CHM has significant experience in organising such events. Since 2003, it has initiated and organised four international hotel management congresses ”Hotelplan” under the auspices of the Ministry of Education, Ministry of Economy and Regional Development and Serbian Chamber of Commerce, with the support of the National Tourism Organisation of Serbia. The last congress, which took place last year, and whose main topic was ”Tourism and Hotel Business – Holistic Approach”, was attended by 272 authors and co-authors from 19 countries all over the world and 113 from Serbia. This was a good opportunity for CHM students to show what they had learned. More than a hundred of them, from all departments, took care of the guests. Cocktail reception specialties were prepared by students from the Gastronomy Department, and guests were served by students from the Restaurant Department. The congress was held in a congressional, cultural and business center ”Sava Center”, and cocktail in the ”Continental” hotel. Guests from abroad were particularly impressed with a visit to Beli Dvor, and the whole event was supported by a concert of folk music and folklore dance.


Upgrade of College
College of Hotel Management is located in a green oasis of Košutnjak, in the vicinity of the ”Golf Club” and sports grounds, surrounded by two more faculties of the University of Belgrade. The College admits about 400 students and, as the fields of studies extended, its capacities became small for the growing number of students. For this reason we started to expand capacities last year, and a whole new floor was constructed. Once works have been finished, students and professors shall have about 2,500 square meters at their disposal, equipped with modern cabinets, two amphitheaters, new classrooms ... All of this was put under a new roof, and the next thing is furnishing of the premises. Construction works were partially financed by the College itself, with the help of the Ministry of Education. People at the College hope that they will manage to provide sufficient funds and finish works by the beginning of the following academic year.


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