Bristol Business School 2017 round up

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As 2017 comes to a close we want to share with you some of our highlights from the past year:

Back in January we launched our new Research Centres and groups.

In February, we helped alumnus Jeremiah Daliel’s launch his first book, inspired by his real life experiences 

Bristol Business School and Bristol Law School students at the UWE Talent awards

At the UWE Talent awards in March, students from the Bristol Business School and Bristol Law School won 5 categories and were runners up in 5 categories.

In April, we opened the doors to our £55 million new building which is now home to the Bristol Business School and Bristol Law School.

Bristol Business School

We invited our alumni to be some of the first to visit the building at a networking event in May.

In June, we announced our 5 year partnership with Glastonbury Festival.

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Steve West and Fiona Jordan at Glastonbury Festival

July saw us celebrate our student success at our Graduation ceremonies. The ceremonies in July included the first cohort of students from our partnership University, Villa College in the Maldives.

Villa College students graduation
Our Villa College students at Graduation 

Bristol Business School academic Svetlana Cicmil was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award for Research in August.

Research Achievement Award
Svetlana Cicmil

In September, the Times Higher Education awards shortlisted the Bristol Business School as Business School of the Year.

Bristol Business School nominated for Business School of the Year

October saw our first cohort from the Hire Association Europe and Event Hire Association finish their ILM Level 5 in Leadership and Management. Read about how the Bristol Business School helped them develop a qualification for the industry in this case study.

In November, we announced our partnership with the Aldridge Foundation with a guest blog from Sir Rod Aldridge.

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Sir Rod Aldridge

Finally, in December one of our students was named CIPD West of England Branch Student of the Year.

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CIPD Student of the Year 

To see more of our highlights from 2017 visit our blog. Roll on 2018!

Bristol Business School student named CIPD West of England Branch Student of the Year

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On Thursday 23 November, Kelly Smallcombe, a PG International Human Resource Management student, was awarded the CIPD West of England Branch Student of the Year Award.

Kelly, who also studied her undergraduate degree at UWE Bristol, was chosen for the award due to her outstanding results and journey whilst undertaking her studies.

Kelly was also commended for overcoming the struggles of working and studying at the same time.

Kelly was nominated by Human Resource Management Lecturer Hilary Drew, who felt Kelly deserved her the recognition after being so committed to the course.

Kelly commented

“I think it is important to recognise the lecturers who got me to where I am today. I am very grateful for all their support and the lecturers past and present have been a major part in why I have done so well.”

Congratulations to Kelly on this great achievement.

Bristol Business School at the Personal Finance Society Festival of Finance

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In early November, as part of the developing relationship between the Bristol Business School and the Chartered Institute of Insurers, eight students from Accounting Economics and Finance UG and PG programmes accompanied Debbie Sturge, Departmental Academic Director Accounting, Economics and Finance, to the  Personal Finance Society Festival of Finance at the NEC.

The Bristol Business School stand, which was supported by the students, was in the Future Generations area of the Festival. Our students spoke to other delegates and secondary school students to promote the degree programs in the Bristol Business School, as well as networking with financial service firms.

In addition to manning the stand, the students also got the opportunity to attend a variety of talks on subjects as diverse as inheritance tax, demographics and the digital revolution, including the intriguingly titled ‘Sex , chocolate and bucket list planning’.

Speakers included ex pensions minsters Ros Altmann and Steve Webb,  Sir Clive Woodward on ‘Data and  the power of knowledge’ and Sir Vince Cable on ‘The EU, Finance and the City’ .

The event proved beneficial for the students as they managed to find guest speakers for the Accounting Society, explore placement and employment opportunities and investigate new career path options in finance and financial services.


Guest blog post for Global Entrepreneurship Week: Sir Rod Aldridge, Founder and Chair of the Aldridge Foundation

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The Aldridge Foundation and Bristol Business School are delighted to announce their partnership to create the Aldridge Institute for Enterprise and Entrepreneurship at the Bristol Business School. 

Guest author: Sir Rod Aldridge

As an entrepreneur I had the opportunity to found my own business – the Capita Group. Over a 22-year period I led the company’s development from a start-up with one employee, me, to the FTSE 100.

Today Capita employs 74,000 people, with annual revenues approaching £5 billion.

What is unusual about my story is that my opportunity didn’t come until I was 38. Having failed my 11-plus, my education didn’t equip me to succeed, and I left school at 16 to be a post boy in the local Council offices. Fortunately, my family gave me determination and self-belief. I built a successful career in the public sector and, at 38, was in a position to take my chance.

I don’t mind admitting that I feel angry about my education. How it didn’t develop my enterprising skills from a younger age. I wonder what I could have achieved in those 20+ years if it had been different.

Increasingly young people want to start their own businesses. To work in sectors where self-employment is more the norm. The pace of technological and economic change means that many of tomorrow’s careers are only being imagined today. More than ever young people need not only good qualifications but the skills to adapt and flourish in an ever-changing society.

I established the Aldridge Foundation because I’m passionate about transforming the life-chances of young people. I believe this can be achieved through education equipping them to develop an enterprising mind-set alongside gaining their academic qualifications. Through the schools in the Aldridge Education multi-academy trust we have ten years’ experience of doing just that.


Aldridge and the Bristol Business School at UWE share very similar vison and values. We have a collective focus on employability and tackling the issues around social exclusion. On developing innovative, evidence-based approaches to embedding enterprising skills in teaching and learning.

And so I am delighted that we have agreed a partnership to create the Aldridge Institute for Enterprise and Entrepreneurship at BBS.

Led by a Professor of Enterprise & Entrepreneurship the Aldridge Institute will change thinking about how people learn and train teachers to teach in a different way. It will transform the skills young people develop in UK schools, colleges and universities, changing their futures and creating a more successful economy.

Coming at the end of Global Entrepreneurship Week I believe this is a really exciting development for UK students, educators and UK PLC.

New collaboration opportunity in entrepreneurship and innovation research with Vietnam

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Dr. Dzung Vi Ngo, Assistant Professor in Entrepreneurship and Innovation and Head of International Cooperation and Development from the Hanoi School of Business and Management (HSB) at the Vietnam National University (VNU)- Hanoi, has been visiting Bristol Business School (BBS) between October 15 and November 15, 2017. Dr. Ngo’s visit was sponsored by the UK Academies and National Foundation of Science and Technology Development (Nafosted) Vietnam.

During his visit at BBS, Dr. Ngo has been involved in research and teaching activities at the department of Business Management, more specifically at the Strategy & Operations Management (SOM) Group and the Collaborate Entrepreneurship Research Group (CERG). Dr. Ngo held two seminars entitled ‘‘employment contract and SMEs innovation in emerging and transition economies’ and ‘capital structure of entrepreneurial firms in developing and transition economies’. In addition to this, he held a short lecture on legal environment for doing business in Vietnam for undergraduate students majored in international management.

“I’m truly impressed by the environment at BBS-UWE as well as its ambition for development, especially the plan for AACSB accreditation. A modern and dynamic business school in a lovely city named as one of the best places to live in the UK. I firmly believe that BBS will become one of the top world class business schools in the near future. HSB-VNU hopes to develop further collaborations with BBS in teaching, doing research and consulting in the field of entrepreneurship and innovation”, says Dr. Ngo.

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Part of Dr. Ngo’s visit also focused on working with Dr. Quang Evansluong at SOM Group on a research project which investigates the capital structure, survival, innovation and performance of the entrepreneurial firms in developing and transition economies in Vietnam. The project is financed by Nafosted Vietnam between 2017 and 2019.

During his time at BBS, Dr. Ngo has met many staff members at BBS, namely, Professor Nicholas O’Regan, Dr. Fiona Jordan, Professor Carol Jarvis, Professor Vikas Kuma, Dr. Akin Ojolo and Ms Patricia Voaden to discuss future opportunities to collaborate in teaching, training and research between the two institutions.

HSB established in 1995 is the first business school in Vietnam. VNU ranks number one in Vietnam according to Webometrics.

Five things businesses can do to become digitally savvy

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Author: Tim Hughes, Professor of Applied Marketing 

In recent years, digital marketing has fundamentally changed the nature of communication with customers. This is true of both Business-to-Consumer and Business-to-Business markets. Digital marketing captured 48% of U.K advertising revenue in 2016.

  • Update your website – For commercial and non-commercial organisations your website is your shop window to the world. It needs to reflect your brand values and be easy to use. Websites built on older platforms may be expensive to update. Using a specialist agency may be the best way to create a new website, although building your own is relatively simple.
  • Ensure your customers can find you – Get familiar with Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), Pay Per Click (PPC), advertising and email marketing, then use these to direct traffic to your website.
  • Engage your customers and potential customers – Social Media provides a great opportunity to talk to people with particular interests and profiles. Success in this is all about developing stimulating content over a sustained period.
  • Listen to your customers- Social Media, Blogs and Customer Review sites allow you to hear what customers are saying without having to commission expensive research.
  • Use data effectively – Understanding Data Analytics is the key to making the most of the extensive data that is created digitally. Use analytics to see what’s working and what isn’t.

Digital marketing can be daunting for small and medium companies and organisations. Using an agency may be a solution for some, but this can be expensive and does not necessarily provide an integrated solution. Another way is to equip your own staff with the skills to manage your digital marketing. Bristol Business School offers a Digital Marketing Institute qualification to support this (link). The next course runs from February 2018. See here for more information.

UWE Bristol and the BLCC (Bristol Leadership and Change Centre) in the USA-Mexican borderlands as part of a research project

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As part of a research project lead by Dr Hugo Gaggiotti (UWE FBL BLCC) titled “Organising in the borderlands: applying research to support families, children and youngsters in Mexican-USA borderlands (Ciudad Juarez, Mexico)”, UWE Bristol and the BLCC under took a visit to Mexico to take part in a bilateral conference. The project is  supported by the British Academy of Social Sciences and the Newton Fund.

The bilingual conference was celebrated in the borderland cities of El Paso (USA) and Ciudad Juarez (Mexico).

The main discussions moved around the redefinition and creation of new borderlands and frontiers in the context of Brexit and Trump’s administration and what is currently discussed in the academic literature as the “age of post-truth management and organising”.

To find out more about the project, please email

First cohort of Bristol Business School students graduate from Villa College

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On Saturday 7th October, Professor Steve West CBE, Vice-Chancellor, President and Chief Executive Officer and Fiona Jordan, Associate Dean External Engagement and Nadine Fry Head of Department – Accounting, Economics and Finance attended the Villa College graduation ceremony in the Maldives.

Villa College is one of our partner universities which offers students the chance to receive a UWE Bristol awarded degree for the following courses: Accounting and Finance; Business and Management; Business Management with Marketing; and Business and Human Resource Management.

This is the first cohort of UWE students to graduate from Villa College since the partnership began. The graduation ceremony also marked the 10th Anniversary of Villa College.

Congratulations to all the students who graduated!

Professor Lukumon Oyedele gives Keynote Speech at CIMA Regional Conference

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Professor Lukumon Oyedele was invited to give the Keynote Speech at the CIMA Regional Conference: “Reflect, re-plan and respond” which was held at Celtic Manor on Friday 6th October.

Professor Oyedele attended the conference alongside Debbie Sturge, several Research Assistants and some PG students.

His Keynote on Big Data, looked at the challenges and opportunities for Businesses.

The conference was attended by a broad range of finance professionals  representing regional companies such as Computershare and  Nationwide.

CIMA Group-001

The Conference also heard from Leo Ringer of Global Counsel who gave a very clear economic analysis of the current state of Brexit,  and Justin Urquart Stewart  of Seven Investment Management (7IM) and radio and TV fame on the current investment environment in the UK.

Thanks to will James, Area Chairman of CIMA, for inviting the Business School to contribute to this event and to Lukemon for an excellent and well received presentation.

Bristol Business School shortlisted for Business School of the Year

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Bristol Business School has been shortlisted for Business School of the Year category of the Times Higher Education Awards 2017.

This nomination is welcomed by the Executive Dean Donna Whitehead who said that making the Times Higher Shortlist is the culmination of a fantastic year.

Donna Whitehead said, “It is wonderful to be nominated for this coveted accolade especially in a year where we have seen our investment in a state of the art building come to life.

“The building is a symbol for the way we approach business education with an emphasis on practice based learning enhanced by the way we relate to and engage with thousands of business partners in the region.

“The new purpose built business school has completely moved away from traditional learning spaces and greatly expanded the use of technology enhanced active learning to allow for greater co-creation and student-led problem solving. We have created an ambitious, creative and inspiring place for our students, staff and the business community.”

The School is distinctive in five areas: engagement with businesses and region; enterprise, practice led teaching and learning, internationalisation and research that is shaping the future of organisations.

The award submission was based around our performance during academic year 2015/16 during which we are especially proud our strong performance in the areas of enterprise and practice based learning, engaging with business and impactful research.

Student satisfaction rates are excellent as evidenced by scores in the 2016 National Student Survey, for example, 100% on BA Business and HRM and 98% on BA Economics; and businesses in the region routinely describe the school as responsive, innovative and engaging.

Donna Whitehead continues, “We have embraced new learning methods, such as the BA (Hons) Team Entrepreneurship, where we achieved an NSS personal development score of 98%.

“Employability rates are impressive with 95% of our students in work and 75% in professional and managerial roles / further study six months after graduation.

“Enterprise is embedded within all of our courses ensuring that all students graduate as resilient, agile and able to deal with a working environment that is constantly changing.

“Students are encouraged to take part in summer internships with financial support and a mentor to develop a business. As part of a partnership agreement with Santander, students can compete in a Dragon’s Den competition with up to £5,000 available to winners.

“A Business Fellows Programme brings together an exclusive network of 40 business leaders, from a range of sectors, working in partnership with each other to mentor our students and work in collaboration with our academics.

“A world-class Bristol Distinguished Address Series is brought to the city twice each year where business leaders are invited to open lectures to provide valuable insight to record numbers of employers and students.

“In April 2016 our BA (Hons) International Business was accredited by EPAS, a highly regarded international accreditation system enjoyed by only the world’s best business courses.

“During 2015/16, Bristol Business School received £1,121,000 income for Business and Management research – exceeding that of all Alliance University Business Schools and a significant number of Russell Group Business Schools.”

Professor Steve West, President and Vice-Chancellor, said, “The Bristol Business School deserves to win Business School of the Year. Our strategic objectives are bold and distinctive and we are proud to open up opportunities to thousands of students who go on to become business leaders.

“I am proud of what the staff team has achieved and grateful to the hard work from across the university that has led to this recognition by making the Times Higher Education awards shortlist in this important category. Good luck to us!”

The awards dinner and ceremony when the winner will be announced will take place on Thursday 30 November at the Grosvenor House Hotel, Park Lane, London.