WIL – Work Integrated Learning
The ideal is that there is a practical, work based element to everything we teach in a business school ensuring students are well versed and ready for the work force (and all it has to throw at them) on graduation.
Every effort is made to ensure this focus
Teaching staff are chosen carefully – not only with regard to qualifications – with regard to workplace experience and expertise. The careful matching of professors with subjects has paid dividends at UBSS in recent years. Prior to COVID-19 the School was at capacity with in excess of 1,000 full time MBA students. The pandemic has shattered many programs – but we are seeing a re-emergence of postgraduate students in recent times flagging the return of students.
For more detail on current teaching staff see here
The Centre for Entrepreneurship
A dedicated Centre with a focus on entrepreneurship was established in 2018 and Adjunct Professor Andrew West was appointed as Foundation Director. In more recent times Adjunct Professor Art Phillips has taken the reins as Director, and has placed considerable emphasis on the issue of WIL.
For more detail on the CFE see here
Fellows of the CFE
It was quickly realised that attracting suitable Fellows to the Centre was fundamental (in fact critical) to the cause. Having highly skilled, experienced and specialised supporters meant being able to provide support through the School committee system and at the same time support the WIL effort. It is worth noting numerous CFE Fellows have also contributed to the impressive scholarship effort of the School over the last few years in particular.
For profiles on the Fellows of the Centre for Entrepreneurship see here
Bringing industry into the classroom
Pre-COVID, when classes were conducted on campus in a F2F manner, Fellows were invited on campus to speak to classes of students on matters pertaining to the real world. These were extremely vibrant sessions that encouraged participation and debate. Non Fellows also participated. During COVID this effort translated into online presentations – essentially expanding considerably the reach of the presentations and the opportunity to record them for replay and publication.
The underlying principle being the importance for students to have access to industry practitioners in a user friendly and accessible way. To this end presentations/productions are scheduled during specific classrooms times (providing the focus) and opened to all students and stakeholders.
Partnership with IML
A most important initiative has been the formal partnership with the Institute for Managers and Leaders whereby a range of activities have been jointly developed furthering the WIL focus. One such initiative is the mentorship for high achieving students providing access to a practitioner/mentor for the period of a trimester.
Using case studies and real world examples
Whenever possible and feasible case studies are integrated into the teaching and learning environment to ensure relevance and access to practical workplace situations. The work of Associate Professor Cyril Jankoff and Adjunct Professor Danny Bendel is to be applauded here.
At the heart of the WIL effort is the notion that learning (and for that matter teaching) is not an isolated activity and both are best conducted in the context of the real world and the actual workplace.
Emeritus Professor Greg Whateley is the Deputy Vice Chancellor at UBSS and Vice President (Academic) at GCA.