ABSTRACT Several studies suggest that graduates lack the critical thinking skills required for problem-solving and effective financial decision-making in the hospitality industry. Since higher education may not be able to meet all the demands and needs of the hospitality industry; such institutions struggle to provide students with the necessary critical thinking skills. Authentic assessment is one possible strategy, which is recognized, to develop critical thinking skills amongst hospitality graduates. Hence, the purpose of this research is to explore to what extent authentic assessment enables critical thinking skills amongst first-year students in hospitality financial management. This article employed a qualitative case study research design within an interpretative lens. Twenty-four, first-year, hospitality financial management students, were purposively engaged in online reflections and semi-structured interviews. The findings of the study presented three themes that resonate with the critical thinking frameworks.

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