‘Our School’s purpose is to widen access to quality management education that empowers people to make a difference to the community.’
Head of the School of Management at the University of Bradford
One of the key challenges for the School of Management at the University of Bradford is to respond to the changing needs of learners and the business world and continuing to create a meaningful impact that makes a difference to their students and wider community.
At the School, the commitment to ensuring all students achieve their potential and go on to achieve success, irrespective of their background is fundamental.
Thus, there is a focus and need to allow more people to access the opportunities offered by the School; scaling business and community engagement initiatives; providing more diverse, work-ready talent for both small businesses and large organisations, bridging the skills gap and enabling businesses in the region and globally to access School resources and thereby supporting their development.
The subsequent challenge is getting students to be equally committed to the mission and staying engaged with various programmes that have been developed to empower them, including participating in the existing skills development programme such as Career Booster workshops to enhance employability, seizing study abroad opportunities or taking on a job placement for a richer learning experience, and challenging themselves through business and community engagement activities to enhance transferable skills and confidence as well as to start building professional networks.
Diversity of the staff, alumni, faculty members and advisory board members is one of the School’s biggest strengths that needs further leveraging to the School’s advantage in overcoming the challenges.
One of the solutions recommended from BGA for the School is to reflect on the existing initiatives alluding to the attainment of its goals and overcoming the challenges, that they are equally available for all and suit the demographic background of these students. A big pool of alumni and a great connection with local, regional, and central businesses, corporations, as well as private and public institutions are another strong suit that needs to be capitalised.
The BGA’s Continuous Improvement Metrics (CIM) is a powerful tool that enables effective monitoring of progress in this aspect, hence having the potential to become one of the key instruments for the School.
The BGA accreditation has influenced the School’s offering in many ways, including inspiring direction of travel as a School that is committed in making an impact on their students and the wider community it serves. Internally, the process has improved organisational buy-in and governance, especially with the use of CIM to track and monitor progress across different dimensions and the key priority areas.
Externally, it has helped to enhance the quality of programmes as well as other initiatives offered, which has enriched the students’ learning experience and values that the School delivered. It also acknowledged that the support provided to the accredited School students and alumni (i.e., consultancy services and materials) for their professional and personal development are overwhelmingly positive, especially in helping them to secure employment as well as to grow their career.
BGA has also broadened opportunities for members of the School to disseminate their research, enabling a far-reaching audience through webinars and magazine articles, putting the School in a much desirable spotlight.