Preparing to shoot a video this month that will illustrate some of the ways in which businesses can work with us here at the Business School has focused my mind firmly on the topic of business-university collaboration.
Since Richard Lambert’s review in 2003, higher education institutions have been working hard at developing new and innovative ways of collaborating with the business community.
We’ve all seen the fruits of those efforts in different areas over the last decade, ranging from applied research and bespoke degree programmes developed in partnership with the private sector to the rise and rise of the science park. There have also been the tailored training programmes to increase the skills of business owners and staff plus start-up business support as well as a range of intern and apprenticeship opportunities.
A series of further evaluations culminated in the recent Wilson Review, which urges universities to look again at the way they work with businesses in order to maximise opportunities for knowledge transfer, to increase the employability of graduates and postgraduates and to enhance skills at all levels within the workforce.
Business schools sit in an enviable position at the coalface of both academia and business. As such, we’re ideally placed to combine our understanding of the needs of businesses with our knowledge of everything happening within the university walls to identify and exploit opportunities for collaboration.
The team here has spent some time looking back at some of those collaborations over our relatively short (four-year) history, in preparation for a short film that we hope will help businesses understand some of the ways in which they can engage with us. The footage will tell the stories of a number of the business owners with whom we have collaborated.
When it came to selecting three case studies we really were spoilt for choice and it fills me with pride to see just how the team’s hard work and commitment has paid dividends in delivering some fantastic results for us and for the businesses we’ve worked with.
So, as I sign off and re-read the script one last time, spare a thought for the dean who – despite being incredibly camera shy – is very much looking forward to bringing the stories of some of those collaborations to life.