The Faculty of International Relations of the University of Economics in Prague (VŠE) will launch a new course titled Introduction to Shopping Centre Management. The course, starting in February, will be co-organised by CPI Property Group, the largest owner of shopping centres in the Czech Republic. Notably, the course will provide the first-ever opportunity for students in the Czech Republic to gain academic education in the sphere of commercial real estate.
The intensive course will focus on practical training in the administration and efficient management of commercial properties in general, with a special emphasis on shopping centres. “The course’s main benefit lies in the fact that the lecturers involved include professionals who actually manage these types of properties on a daily basis,” says Radek Čajka, the Faculty’s Vice-Dean for International Relations and PR.
The lecturers will include, inter alia, the following members of CPI Property Group’s team: Petr Brabec, responsible for the management and development of shopping centres portfolio, Ondřej Šohaj, who works on developing shopping centre concepts and designs, Ondřej Křivanec, responsible for the operations of selected centres, and Aleš Navrátil, shopping centre marketing specialist. “Using live and pre-recorded video links, some of the course’s chapters will receive input even from our suppliers and tenants, providing students with 360-degree insight,” adds Petr Brabec.
The course’s concept and contents are the result of several months of work. “Although the country’s retail market is one of the most developed in Central Europe, there has not, until now, been an institution in the Czech Republic that can cater for those interested in an academic education in the field of commercial real estate. An MBA programme in property valuation may be taken as the sole exception,” says Petr Brabec, explaining the reasons for the creation of the new university course. “What’s more, valuable information will flow both ways. We will not only communicate our knowledge and expertise, we will also acquire plenty of fresh views on the needs and expectations of the young generation,” adds Brabec. “People interested in finding a job in this area have had next to no opportunity to acquire knowledge and practical experience in the field while studying. We aim to change that,” explains Gabriela Škodáčková, the project author and coordinator.
Four full days of lectures, delivered in English, will take place from 25-28 February at VŠE. The course is currently available for up to 25 students. “If the course proves a success and receives a positive response from the students, we will collaborate with CPI Property Group to develop a semester-long course in Commercial Real Estate that could be made available as soon as the 2019/2020 winter term,” says Čajka, who also acts as the course’s guarantor at the university and serves as the academic director of one of the educational programmes at its Faculty of International Relations.