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ITC moves to a four-day study week in 2021

Posted on 15/12/2020 by

ITC is moving to a four-day study week in 2021.

The International Travel College (ITC) has announced that it will shift to a four-day study week for students in 2021.

All ITC courses in levels 3, 4, and 5 covering a range of qualifications in the travel, tourism, and aviation industries will move to a Monday to Thursday schedule. This move also includes an update to study times, now running from 9am until 2.30pm each day.

Primarily, the goal of the change is to improve the study-life balance of students, allowing them more time off from study to spend with their friends and family, gain work experience, or relax and unwind from their studies.

This move has been three years in the making, with Chief Executive Claire Huxley sharing that she was inspired by US surf board company that trialled a four-day work week, and found zero loss of productivity, but better staff retention, welfare, and outcomes.

Claire was further inspired by her time working at a UK company where Fridays were half days, and she noticed even that even the small change of a few hours resulted in feeling like each weekend promised a real break.

For the shift in ITC hours, she hopes that it will give the students the same quality education, with less stress and time spent at college.  

“I’ve focused on outputs and results, not hours present. It seemed very old fashioned and I think you have to challenge the status quo in order to effect real change,” she explained.

Why now?

 With the global pandemic throwing education at all levels into disarray, ITC recognised the time to make a drastic change was right now.

“After the year we’ve had it just seemed like the right time,” said Claire.

“We sought feedback and valued the opinions and feedback of our staff, our students, and our stakeholders, and after researching this extensively we decided that now was indeed the time.”

While some educators have moved to a four-day week just for students, the shift to a four-day study week at ITC will begin from day one with both the teaching team and students. In time, ITC aims to have everyone in the company down to working shorter days on Fridays, if at all, by mid to late 2021.

“I am so excited to trial this in our sector. I feel it will be hugely beneficial to our students and their lives, and also for my team, who we love and care about passionately, and I want to give them something that is so valuable – time.”

The only exception to the move to a four-day study week at this stage is the ITC Schools Team, a group that works with high schools around New Zealand to offer travel and tourism courses in schools and community centres for high school students. This reflects the status of high schools working on a traditional Monday-Friday schedule.

“I really hope others take the leap of faith,” said Claire, “and stop accountants telling us that hours equal value – they really don’t!”

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