Trends in Dining Services. Study Visit to Prague. 18-20 March 2024

18-20/03/2024 in Prague.

Ladies and Gentlemen, Dear colleagues,
Vegan and vegetarian options in university dining services in Europe is a trend, but it also places special demands on employees and requires further measures such as extended recipe development, changes in food purchasing, targeted further training for university dining services staff and new food offerings in the snack area.
In light of the sharp rise in the number of international students, Charles University in Prague – one of the oldest universities in Europe – has introduced a vegan menu in all university restaurants and cafeterias on all working days since September 2023. In Germany and other countries, too, vegan and vegetarian options have been firmly established in the menu for some time, but there is often a lack of exchange of experience between specialists across national borders.
In cooperation with the European Council for Student Affairs (ECStA) and Charles University, the DSW invites you to a study trip to Prague from 18-20 March 2024 to exchange experiences and work together on solutions to existing challenges in the design of a plant-based food offer.
Further information can be found in the attachment. If you are interested in the study trip, please register online by 25 February 2024 at the following link:

The study trip will be held in English, but we do not want to keep anyone away from the international exchange due to language barriers. Therefore, please get in touch if you would like to take part in the exchange with little or no knowledge of English, we will certainly find a solution!

We look forward to welcoming you to Prague in March!


Practical information

Who? The study visit is open to the leadership level in public student services organisations or the concerned departments in higher education institutions in Europe, particularly the interested staff in the fields of dining services, product purchasing, student health, student well-being, sustainability, international relations and communication.

When? The study visit has a 2-day-program, arrival on the day prior to the programme start is highly recommended.

Registration Please register by 25 February, 2024:

Please, register as soon as possible, since the number of places is limited to a maximum of 45 participants. Please, note that participation is limited to a maximum of 2 persons per institution. You can register more colleagues, but we will put them on a waiting list in the order of your registrations or by seniority if required.

Participation fee 290,- EUR per person (with accommodation in a university hotel for two nights); 190,- EUR per person (without accommodation in a university hotel)

The participation fees include full cost of meals during the study visit. Travel and accommodation costs (in other hotels in the city) are to be paid additionally by the participants if they do not wish to stay at the university.


University Hotel Accommodation

Hotel Krystal José Martího 2/407,

162 00 Praha 6-Veleslavín

Underground stop Veleslavín – A line (green line)

Check in from 2p.m. Check out till 11 a.m.

45 single rooms are available (double rooms on specific request)

Please, note that you also have the possibility to extend your stay at Charles University accommodation for 60 Euro / night (breakfast included)

Opitzův dům – University hotel Celetná 559/14, 110 00 Praha 1

Grandior Hotel Prague Na Poříčí 1052/42, 110 00 Praha 1-Florenc

Ibis Praha Old Town Na Poříčí 5, 110 00 Praha 1 Website: here

Dinner on 18th March 2024 – arrival date Hotel Krystal José Martího 2/407, 162 00 Praha 6-Veleslavín

Event venue The event takes place at Charles University Celetna 13, 110 00 Praha 1 underground stop Můstek – A line (green line)

Conference languages Conference languages are Czech language and English language. The working language of the study visit is English. All presentations and information during the campus tours is provided in English or translated consecutively from the local language.We recommend a B2-level of English for all participants, but we do not want to exclude anybody based on language competencies. Please contact us before the registration deadline by e-mail if you are interested but have the feeling that you need special support. We will find a solution!

WI-FI WiFi is available at the university and the hotel via the eduroam-network.

Meals The participation fees include the full costs of meals during the study visit.

Networking opportunities and cultural program Participants will have ample opportunities for networking with student affairs colleagues within the group during the informal program parts such as meals, dinners, and campus visits. Additionally, participants are invited to precede or extend their stay in Prague. ECStA will be pleased to provide suitable suggestions for an extended cultural program.

Traveling from the airport bus no.: 119 from the airport to the first underground stop Veleslavín A line (green line)

Traveling by the train line C (red line) directly at the main train station

Travel information Connection : Fare – price list:

InvoiceAn invoice in Euro-currency for the conference participation fee will be sent to you after the visit at the latest.

Cancellation Cancellations must be received at least two (2) weeks before the start of the event. A cancellation after that will be charged 80% of the participation fee.

Study Visit Coordinator and HostsThe study visit is coordinated by Charles University Prague and Deutsches Studierendenwerk (DSW) and in cooperation with the European Council for Student Affairs (ECStA). During the visit, the group will be accompanied by Charles University and DSW staff.

Coordinator: Sven Engel, Director of International Relations (DSW), E-mail or mobile phone +49 175 5497916

Contact person in Prague: Miroslava Hurdová, Director of Student Services (Charles University), E-Mail

Questions Sven Engel, DSW, +49-175-5497916 Miroslava Hurdova, Charles University



Monday, March 18, 2024
PM arrival in Prague, check-in to university accommodation or hotel
19:00 informal dinner


Tuesday, March 19, 2024

8:30 meet at the lobby for travel to Charles University (public transportation)

9:30 Welcome and Introduction
– Welcome by Miroslava Hurdová, Director of Student Services, Charles-University – Welcome by Sven Engel, Director of International Relations, German National Association for Student Affairs (DSW)

– Welcome by representative of European Council for Student Affairs (to be confirmed)

– Tour de table: Introduction and Expectations of participants

10:30 Student Services at Charles-University Prague
– Introduction to Charles University and the student services – Questions and answers

11:00 Coffee break

11:30 Development of Vegan Meals in Dining Services in Europe
– Presentation by Nikola Rusová, Charles University Prague: Introduction of vegan meals on all days of the week, challenges and possible solutions from the Czech experience (title of presentation to be confirmed)

– Presentation by Sarah Schmied, Director of Dining Services in DSW: Plant-based food trends in student restauration

– Experiences from Germany

– Questions and answers

13:00 Networking Lunch

14:00 Campus tour of Charles University Prague
– Special focus on student dining halls

17:00 return to hotel & free time

20:00 Dinner


Wednesday, March 20, 2024

8:30 meet at hotel lobby for travel to Charles University (public transportation)

9:30 Thematic Workshop
Expert input & exchange by members of the group on the following key themes (speakers and exact focus to be confirmed):
1. How to develop tasty vegan and vegetarian meals and build up a database of recipes

2. Challenges in staff training: how to motivate kitchen teams for new ways of cooking?

3. Challenges in product purchasing: how to acquire the necessary (and sometimes rare) ingredients?

4. Communication and marketing efforts around new offers: how to win the customers?

5. Incorporating research and empirical data into dining services: use of available data (e.g. on allergens, energy consumption etc.) and cooperation with universities and research institutes

Flexible Coffee break

12:00 Networking Lunch

14:00 Lessons-learned, evaluation and follow-up
– Transfer of knowledge and adaptation to local needs

– Evaluation

-Follow-up and possible further projects

15:00 Departure