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Business School takes up the innovation and business challenge

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Published on 25 November 2021

Dr Derek Watson, Associate Professor in Cultural Management, and Professor Monika Foster, Head of School of Business and Management
Dr Derek Watson, Associate Professor in Cultural Management, and Professor Monika Foster, Head of School of Business and Management

In the post-pandemic times, the challenge for Business Schools more than ever before is to articulate clearly their impact on preparing students for the world of work. Typically, Business Schools achieve this through professions facing activities in the curriculum and the School of Business and Management at the University of Sunderland is no different. We offer both physical and virtual placements on undergraduate and postgraduate programmes, we provide Apprenticeship programmes, generic and bespoke consultancies, most recently through the Sunderland Marketing Hub. Our School community is unique, as it embraces our academic staff and students, many of them industry experts, as well as businesses. This helps ensure we embed in the curriculum the skills for the post-pandemic world of work including analytical skills, technological skills, ‘human skills’ to conduct business and ‘innovation fitness’ skills.

Prior to the pandemic, working with students and employers, the School embarked on the curriculum transformation journey in 2019. The new curriculum in place from September 22 develops students’ emotional and innovation fitness, to be resilient and flexible through company input in every module, ranging from employer input into teaching, learning and assessment, student live projects, company visits and consultancies. Students experience the world of work from Stage 1 and build their ‘innovation fitness’ skills on their CV. In Stage 3 we apply further business exposure, whilst as the same time imbue students to work up innovative solutions for the commercial sector, thus, providing a win win situation in which businesses are provided with commercially viable solutions and students aquire much needed ‘can do’ tangible employability evidence.

To celebrate our professions facing curriculum in terms of supporting SMEs, student entrepreneurship and engagement in the local economy as a Business School, we are eligible  and actively seeking Small Business Charter accreditation. The award has numerous attributes such as a nationally recognised kitemark award to promote our expertise, access to a network of business schools focused on enterprise and small business support, staff development forums, a gateway to engaging with governments across the UK, entry to a research network to convert our best practice into internationally recognised journal papers. The collective benefits will certainly enhance the Business School’s brand and in doing so further enrich our student learning experience.

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