We have been pioneering research and teaching in hospitality, tourism and events management for over 60 years. We were the first university to receive the Tourism Society Award in recognition of our commitment to excellence in the tourism industry and the first institution in the UK to receive UNWTO TedQual certification for our undergraduate and postgraduate courses.
Professor Rik Medlik was the founder of our School and was Head of School between 1967 and 1977.
After fleeing the communist government that seized power over his native Czechoslovakia, Medlik sought refuge in the UK, graduated as a Bachelor of Commerce and dedicated his life to studies in the service sector. He recognised that Britain could have a prosperous future in the hotel and tourism industry at a time when the country solely saw itself as the manufacturing workshop of the world.
Medlik pioneered tourism and hospitality as subjects of serious study. He was responsible for the first degree courses in the field in 1966 and the first research degrees in 1971 – all inaugurated at the University of Surrey. He wrote the first books on the subject, established the first academic journals and created the first tourism professional body.
Timeline of progression
|1966||BSc (Hons) Hotel and Catering Administration receives approval as the first such degree in the UK.|
|1967||Rik Medlik appointed Professor of Hotel Management, the first such appointment in the UK.|
|1967||Tourism introduced as a subject of study on the BSc (Hons) Hotel and Catering Administration course.|
|1971||First research students recruited for PhD and MPhil courses.|
|1972||First major textbook on hotel and catering published, Profile of the Hotel & Catering Industry, written by Professor Medlik.|
|1972||First PhD Tourism awarded.|
|1972||First PDip Tourism and MSc Tourism introduced.|
|1974||First major textbook on tourism published, Tourism Past, Present and Future, by AJ Burkart and Professor Medlik.|
|1981||MSc Tourism Planning and Development introduced.|
|1983||MSc International Hotel Management introduced.|
|1984||MSc Tourism Marketing introduced.|
|1993||MSc Tourism and Hospitality Education introduced.|
|1999||Recognised by the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) for our promotion of responsible and sustainable tourism.|
Undergraduate courses reorganised and extended to include:
|2007||MSc Event Management introduced.|
|2013||Recipient of the Tourism Society Award for outstanding contribution to the development of tourism in the UK.|
|2015||Graduation of our 10,000th student.|