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University’s Business School announces radical overhaul of business education

14 October 2015

Postgraduate Teaching Centre

Moves to re-define business education marked with new “challenge-led” approach to delivering public value

Cardiff University’s flagship Business School will today (14 October) unveil moves to radically re-define its offering for students and society as part of a drive to become the world’s first public value business school to place social improvement as well as economic development at the heart of its teaching and research.

The School - ranked 6th out of 101 in the UK Government’s 2014 Research Excellence Framework – is to shift its focus to embed social as well as economic value at the heart of its multi-disciplinary teaching and research, to address the grand challenges facing organisations and management today.

The School is reviewing its research and teaching to implement a multi-disciplinary, challenge-led approach to the improvement of social as well as economic conditions.

For students, this will mean course content delivered around global themes and grand challenges, with the introduction of new angles, perspectives and views from other disciplines to create a rounded syllabus attuned to modern societal demands. This will also help to improve students’ employability and critical thinking skills.

From a research perspective, the new public value model will see the School pool its expertise and build stronger links with other disciplines, such as medicine and engineering, to develop ground-breaking solutions to the most pressing issues facing industry and society.

For example, the School will look to emulate the success of previous innovative collaborative research projects, such as one which saw economists from the Business School working with dentists to tackle alcohol-related violence. The project resulted in a halving in the number of violence victims treated in Cardiff Emergency Departments between 2002 and 2013 and has delivered £5m in annual savings to Cardiff’s health, social and criminal justice systems.

Similarly, the new model will also see the School deepening its links across industry, building on projects such a recent piece of work which saw its logistics experts working with the School of Engineering to improve the productivity of Welsh manufacturing.

The new approach will also see industry involvement in research design and conduct and the design and delivery of teaching. The School will also take a lead role in the establishment of the world’s first Social Science Research Park – a development hub enabling multi-disciplinary research and collective working.

The Business School’s expertise will also be developed to non-business students, through the establishment of an ‘Innovation Academy’ at the University to provide a programme for aspiring entrepreneurs and start-ups.

Professor Martin Kitchener, Dean of Cardiff Business School, said: “The University’s flagship Business School already has a world-leading reputation and a firm standing in the economy of Wales, contributing some £85m annually.

“But as a School, we’re implementing a new strategic approach that aims to produce public value that includes, but goes beyond just promoting economic growth.

 “To the wider society we will fulfil our mission to drive both economic growth and social improvement. As a School, we have committed to developing theory and turning it into practice in order to achieve real and tangible economic and social improvement.

“We have the skills, resources and resolve to make a major impact. In pursing this progressive and innovative agenda, we will become globally recognised as the first business school dedicated to the delivery of public value.

The new strategy will be launched today an event at the School’s new Postgraduate Teaching Centre attended by Professor John Brewer (Queen’s University Belfast), a leading voice on public value, Anne Kiem (Chief Executive of the Chartered Association of Business Schools), Edwina Hart (minister for Economy, Science and Transport) and Roger Lewis (WRU and Chair of the School’s International Advisory Board).

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