Alumni donor supports the School of Hospitality and Tourism

Investing in education and training

The support of alumni in providing opportunities for our students to reach their full potential and increase our reputation in the world is invaluable, and a generous donation pledge from graduate Robert Earl will enable the School of Hospitality and Tourism Management to enhance facilities, and improve the Surrey experience.

Robert, founder and CEO of Planet Hollywood, is a long-term supporter of the University, providing scholarships to undergraduates from low-income families to support their overseas travel for an exchange or professional training placement. A strong believer in the benefits of international experience, he has recently increased the Robert Earl Scholarship Fund by 50 per cent to enable more students to take part.

Robert is committed to helping the School provide the best hospitality and tourism education in Europe and his recent donations have also funded a new post to increase engagement and support for the School, and a major refurbishment of the training kitchens in our Lakeside restaurant, which will take place next summer.

Undergraduates on our hospitality and event management programmes gain the practical skills to run a busy restaurant through six-week placements in the kitchen and front of house. With Robert’s support the School will be able to transform the kitchen environment, giving students a true experience of how a production kitchen works.

Rhian Jones, Acting Director of Hospitality and International Hospitality and Tourism graduate, said:

“We have been working with Robert’s team on the refurbishment plans and are very excited about the changes. We will be able to accommodate more students during their practical sessions and we will be using the latest technology to broadcast from the kitchen to the restaurant and classrooms. We will also introduce a greater learning experience through providing a wider variety of services, dining options and products. I would have loved working there when I was student!”

With more than 40 years in the hospitality and food and beverage industries, Robert Earl says the education and training he received at Surrey has been pivotal in his career.

“I am very grateful for the opportunities university opened up for me and want to ensure that current and future students have the same chance. By investing in the restaurant and funding scholarships I can help the School continue to provide the best hospitality and tourism education in Europe and create the next generation of leaders in the field.”