Public Value Leadership Academy
The Society and Economy module, delivered to all first-year Business Management (BSc) students, teaches value-led leadership and looks at what grand challenges mean to our local community.
The module incorporates the Public Value Leadership Academy (PVLA). The PVLA takes learning out of the classroom and students engage with and take action on local community issues. Student-led actions as part of the PVLA, have resulted in social change within the Cardiff community.
The module aims to explore the complex relationships between society and the business economy.
In semester 1, lectures address theoretical underpinnings which help students understand different capitalist societies, how they are governed, and the actors who can affect change within them.
In semester 2, the module switches from a theoretical to an applied, empirical approach. Sessions on cutting-edge research are delivered, focusing on grand challenge issues such as low pay, gender mainstreaming, institutional racism, and environmental movements. These help students understand key challenges within the systems discussed in semester 1.
Public Value Leadership Academy
Whilst the lectures speak directly to public value and challenge students to begin to think about the types of value they feel businesses could or should pursue, it is the tutorials where the public value strategy really comes to life.
The fortnightly tutorials have been named the ‘Public Value Leadership Academy’ (PVLA).
The PVLA has been co-created with Citizens Cymru Wales and local community members, based on the principles found in community organising.
Social change and community organising
The PVLA helps students understand the relationship between the abstract grand challenges that are discussed in the classroom with the practical local issues being experienced on a daily basis by many living in Cardiff.
Students learn about the 5 steps to social change. They look at key leadership skills: active listening, teamworking, planning and project management, communication, and negotiation. They are asked to apply their learning and develop these skills in practice focused on a community issue in semester 2, with the aim that they will undertake action for change.
Students listen to and work with community members to co-create activities that speak to their interests and local community need.
So far, students have:
- campaigned for more local employers to pay the real Living Wage
- set-up voter registration drives amongst the student population
- organised litter picks with local councillors to discuss collaborative long-term solutions to issues of litter in the area
- organised neighbourhood walks with councillors to discuss solutions on improving the area for young people
- organised community walks to campaign for safer streets
- run a large-scale accountability assembly
In some cases, our student’s actions have started to help to create change. For example, there has been:
- an increase in the number of registered voters in the Cathays ward for local elections
- an increase in the accreditation of local employers as Living Wage employers, leading to a pay rise for over 2000 local people
We offer a wide range of degree programmes at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels.