By Press Office 31 August 2016

An International Hospitality and Tourism Management graduate from Kelso in the Scottish Borders has won a prestigious innovation award from the hospitality industry.

Hayley Martin, 21, who attended Kelso High School, graduated with a BA (Hons) International Hospitality and Tourism Management from Queen Margaret University (QMU), Edinburgh earlier this year.

Hayley has won the annual Dakota Award for Innovation in Hospitality Dissertations for her research into the impact of outsourcing on job satisfaction within Edinburgh’s Splendid Hospitality Group.

It is the first time this topic has been researched by an undergraduate student and the results have already been used by the Splendid Hospitality Group to improve their employee satisfaction.

Commenting on her graduation achievement and Dakota Hotel award, Hayley said: “I’m truly honoured to have received this award, and without the support of my lecturers at QMU, I would not be standing here today as a graduate with a first class honours degree.

“My time at QMU has provided many opportunities to not only develop academically as a student but also as a young independent woman.

“My experience highlights that no matter where you come from or what you have, you will get back whatever you put into university life. I’m really excited about the opportunities the next chapter of my life will bring.”

Hayley is planning to move to London next year, where she hopes to use her knowledge and skills to gain graduate employment with the UK Government.

The Dakota Award for Innovation in Hospitality Dissertations is part of Dakota Hotels’ financial sponsorship package for talented students studying on QMU’s hospitality and tourism degree programme. QMU has joined forces with the high profile boutique hotel group to provide its students with outstanding employability opportunities and financial support. This partnership development makes an important contribution to QMU's links with industry and helps to strengthen its already robust employability strategy.

QMU's hospitality division has been working with Dakota Hotels for several years. The University awarded Ken McCulloch, the group's founder and chairman, with an honorary doctorate in 2007. Dakota Hotels has also provided undergraduate internships to several hospitality and tourism students and, more recently, has welcomed QMU graduates onto its Graduate Development Programme.

Notes to Editor

For further media information contact Jonathan Perkins, Press and PR Officer, E: jperkins@qmu.ac.uk T: 0131 474 0000.

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