Wine and Spirits Qualifications Break New Record

A WSET candidate studying spirits.

© Photo provided

A WSET candidate studying spirits

A WSET candidate studying spirits.

© Photo provided

Record student numbers

The world’s largest provider of wines, spirits and sake qualifications has reported that a record number of students took its professional qualifications in the last academic year. The Wine & Spirit Education Trust said 108,584 students took qualifications in 2020/21, a 12% increase on the previous year and just breaking the previous record of 108,529 candidates the year before. 

French candidates double

The increase was felt across all wine qualifications offered, but spirits candidates also broke a new record with more than 9,000 candidates. The biggest increase in candidates was recorded in France, double the previous year, while there was a 23% rise in the US. Despite having to suspend teaching temporarily in mainland China, Asia still showed a 4% increase.

Student support

Ian Harris, chief executive of the WSET, said: “I am humbled that, thanks to the dedication and support of our global network of course providers, more people than ever before in a single year have been able to take a WSET qualification. I am also extremely proud that we have been able to support over 3000 students, primarily from the beleaguered hospitality industry across the world, to take a WSET qualification through charitable schemes in association with several of our corporate partners.”

Professionals and enthusiasts

The London-based WSET was founded in 1969. Its courses are available through more than 800 course providers in more than 15 languages and over 70 countries and are open both to industry professionals and consumer enthusiasts. There are now 37 course providers in 21 countries offering WSET’s prestigious Level 4 Diploma in Wines.