Professor Jane Turner OBE
During 2018, Teesside University Business School will be at the forefront of Teesside University’s role in building skills and knowledge in our region, says Professor Jane Turner OBE, Pro-Vice Chancellor for Enterprise and Business Engagement.
The government’s new industrial strategy pinpoints the critical role that innovation and skills must play in securing future economic growth for our country, together with the importance of building prosperous communities and the extent to which universities are key to making that happen.
At Teesside University, we have long understood how deeply these two key drivers of prosperity can influence the fortunes of the Tees Valley and the wider region. That’s why one of our core strategic goals is to provide organisations with the knowledge and tools they need to succeed as they start up, grow and adapt to the change and disruption that characterise our global economy.
We are bolstering this capability even further by making Teesside University Business School a focal point for the way we work with individuals and employers. We’re not only investing £21m to create a 21st century home for the School, but we have also brought in a fresh leadership team, new programmes and new ways of working with employers.
Leadership for the future
For our new Dean, Dr Susan Laing, who is leading the Business School, a central part of her work is to deliver on our mission to transform lives and economies. This means ensuring that all learners on all courses don’t only acquire knowledge about business, but also develop the behaviours and skills they need to apply that knowledge and to be successful in the workplace.
Our approach is based on our core Business School philosophy: that if we are truly to make a difference, we must develop people who are enterprising in attitude, collaborative in action, global in outlook and civic in thinking.
Dr Laing’s background in entrepreneurship and her knowledge of innovation in learning and assessment are already helping us reshape the courses we offer to meet the needs of today’s workplace, for managers and leaders at all levels in all organisations.
A New MBA – beyond the academic credits
In early 2018, our new MBA will launch both as a full-time course and in a flexible / blended mode for local, national and international leaders.
Our programme is aimed at leaders with experience in management and the workplace, who appreciate that to lead teams and stay ahead in our turbulent fast-paced global economy, they need new tools and skills. Chief among these is the ability to be an entrepreneurial leader.
To get the best ideas for our MBA, we have looked to Babson College in the United States, an institution that we consider to be among the leaders in this field, working with Babson’s Professor Danna Greenberg in the creation of our innovative programme.
The MBA incorporates the Business School philosophy of enterprise, by exposing students to complex business issues in differing geographical and economic landscapes. Each cohort will undertake an international learning journey involving study alongside MBA students in a host University – we plan to partner with universities in Dubai, Singapore and Shanghai in the first instance.
Closer to home, organisations who pay the apprenticeship levy will be able to take advantage of the new MBA through the Level 7 Professional Manager Degree Apprenticeship, incorporating Chartered Manager Institute competences.
The Chartered Manager Degree Apprenticeship
Our Business School also has to work for the wider needs of employers in the Tees Valley for learning in the workplace.
In early 2018 we will see a third wave of new entrants onto the University’s growing portfolio of degree apprenticeships, which provide an opportunity to combine employment with study to achieve a work-based higher education level qualification.
Our Chartered Manager Degree Apprenticeship (CMDA), which launched in 2017, is a unique work-based degree, aligned to the standards laid out by professional bodies and driven by industry. It combines excellent business education, learning in the workplace and professional development to support the growth of graduate-level managers.
As with our MBA, we expect every learner to develop the skills to identify organisational problems, assimilate new knowledge, and collaborate to find solutions. Each assessment provides our students with the opportunity to apply knowledge and learning directly to the workplace.
On completing the CMDA, successful apprentices will also achieve the accolade of Chartered Manager, an award underpinned by the Chartered Management Institute (CMI).
Levy-payers can make use of their training “pot” to cover costs, while employers with annual wage bills under £3m can take advantage of at least 90% government funding for the course.
Tees Valley Scale-Up Programme
A third major focus for the Business School this year will be the delivery of a new initiative to identify and support “Scale-Ups”: the companies in the Tees Valley with the capability to grow.
Partnering with Tees Valley Combined Authority, we have created this programme based on the insight from the 2016 Scale-Up Review on Economic Growth, which found that Tees Valley has a higher than average number of these businesses who have the potential to make significant impact to our employment and the economy.
Our Scale-Up programme will provide the support these firms need to reach their growth potential through mentoring, support in getting access to finance and new markets, leadership programmes, skills and knowledge transfer.
Never just “business as usual”
The direction, ambition and innovative new products of the Business School in 2018 are at the heart of a longstanding University-wide strategy to help businesses innovate and grow. This strategy means we are continually developing new approaches and partnerships to strengthen the University’s economic anchor role and keep it at the forefront of driving business growth. From our ground-breaking DigitalCity programme, creating and supporting tech companies and embedding digital technologies in other sectors, to the National Horizons Centre now under construction at our Darlington campus, aimed at providing UK bioscience businesses with the skills, knowledge and innovation for growth, we’re focused on helping organisations of all sizes realise their potential.
This ambitious agenda is borne out of the recognition that in the people and businesses of our region we have the talent, creativity and the will for economic success. Our role at Teesside University is to be the driving force in ensuring we achieve it.