Hospitality Management alumnus makes significant donation to support student learning

Friday, 08 September 2017

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Robin Sheppard, Founder and Chairman of Bespoke Hotels, has made a significant donation to the Oxford School of Hospitality Management at Oxford Brookes University to support student learning.

His generous donation will give students access to a range of co-curricular activities that will strengthen their management competencies.

Angela Maher, Interim Head of the School at Oxford Brookes University commented: “Our reputation for delivering an excellent student experience is founded, in large part, on co-curricular activities that develop students’ confidence and get them ready for challenging and fulfilling management careers. 

“Robin and Bespoke’s hugely generous donation will strengthen our capacity to deliver this kind of innovative learning.”

Robin and Bespoke’s hugely generous donation will strengthen our capacity to deliver this kind of innovative learning.

Angela Maher, Interim Head of the Oxford School of Hospitality Management, Oxford Brookes University

In 2016 Sheppard launched the Bespoke Access Awards, an international design competition that recognises innovative architectural design that improves access and enhances the experience for hotel guests, particularly for those with disabilities. 

Reflecting his passionate support of access issues, part of his donation will fund the Bespoke Access Scholarship, to cover the research costs for one master’s student who undertakes their dissertation on this important topic.  In addition, the Bespoke Access Lunch will give students and industry leaders the chance to hear from a keynote speaker about the challenges faced by hotel guests who have disabilities.

Robin Sheppard’s donation will also support a volunteering programme in Romania, through which students contribute to a range of community-based projects.  
The Oxford School of Hospitality Management’s involvement in the FT Weekend Oxford Literary Festival will be extended, providing students with the opportunity to conceptualise and manage high profile events, as well as looking after VIP guests.

Many of these learning activities will be delivered by the Oxford Cultural Collective, a new educational and cultural institute established by Donald Sloan, former head of the Oxford School of Hospitality Management.

Before establishing Bespoke Hotels, Robin Sheppard was General Manager of several acclaimed properties including The Lygon Arms, The Royal Berkshire and The Bath Spa. He is a graduate of the Oxford School of Hospitality Management and in April 2017 he received the Bacchus Alumni Award for Major Contribution to Industry.  

The Oxford School of Hospitality Management is a leading provider of higher education in the field of international hospitality and tourism management. It has achieved an international reputation for teaching excellence and innovation, as well as strong links with business and industry. The School is ranked in the top three hospitality schools in the world by the Worldwide Hospitality School Awards 2016. 

Information about studying hospitality courses at Oxford Brookes University can be found on the Oxford School of Hospitality Management webpages.