Building Economic Sustainability through Tourism Project

USAID supports Royal Academy of Culinary Arts to promote culinary studies to students beyond Amman

17 Dec 2019

USAID BEST is supporting the Royal Academy of Culinary Arts (RACA) to promote its culinary programs to attract students, including women, from touristic areas around Jordan. Awareness sessions will be implemented in local communities, secondary schools and VTC centers in these areas. The campaign, which runs from December 15 to 26, 2019, will broaden the academy’s reach. It will allow them to attract students from governates beyond Amman and offer opportunities to youth who would not otherwise consider the option of studying culinary arts at RACA.

Chef Jacques Rossel, Director of RACA notes that, “Currently, about 76% of our students are from Amman. We hope to extend our reach outside of Amman to attract students from other governorates. We feel it is our duty as an institution to let the nationwide public know that there are opportunities in culinary arts and in the tourism and hospitality industry at large. We want to give students outside of Amman the opportunity to learn the trade, develop a passion, and then practice the profession.”

Furthermore, RACA is focusing on attracting women to study the profession. “As of today, the gender ratio of RACA students is 40% female and 60% male. We are very proud of these numbers as they align with the vision of His Majesty in terms of women empowerment,” Chef Jacques added.

USAID BEST is providing guidance to the culinary institute’s outreach team on how to conduct impactful information sessions and build the capacity of the academy to plan and execute innovative approaches to spreading awareness about RACA. The barrier of program costs is a critical topic and funding opportunities will be discussed at the awareness sessions.

Chef Jacques notes that, “One of the obstacles potential students face is that the program is seen as costly, so this is a concern we are addressing. We have a strong scholarship program, with some students receiving scholarships to fund up to 100% of their program fees. A person who comes from outside of Amman to study at RACA could graduate and find a job in Amman or even work abroad, thus creating economic opportunity and a way to support their families. Others with an entrepreneurial spirit may return to their communities and start something there.”

RACA is conducting the awareness sessions across the Kingdom, including the Dead Sea, Jordan Valley, Petra, Tafileh, Aqaba, As-Salt and Madaba. USAID’s support to RACA helps the need to attract students from communities outside of Amman, secondary schools and VTC centers to consider careers in tourism and to study culinary arts at RACA.