Bristol Business School host 6th form conference for the Lighthouse School Partnership

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On Friday 19 January, Bristol Business School hosted the Lighthouse Schools Partnership for their first 6th form joint conference.

200 students from schools across North Somerset attended the conference promoting innovation, self-leadership, team work and entrepreneurship.

Director of Bristol Business Engagement Centre at the Bristol Business School, Dr Noordin Shehabuddeen, delivered a keynote address on “Innovation: the art of unlearning” and Bob Reeves, Director of the Foundation for Leadership through Sport, delivered a session on leadership alongside Bristol Bears Rugby sensation Nick Fenton-Wells. Students attended workshops throughout the day and received tours of the Business School.

The event was a huge success with great feedback from the students. One student commented “I have a UCAS application to UWE, but to be honest I was very half-hearted about it and thought I’d be going the apprenticeship route, however, after Friday, I’m thinking I need to be at UWE! I was blown away by the Law courts and the trading rooms.”

We hope to replicate this event in the future.

UWE Alumni raise over £5.5k for Help Bristol’s Homeless Charity

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Three alumni from UWE Bristol’s Team Entrepreneurship course have raised over £5.5k for local charity, Help Bristol Homeless.

Help Bristol’s Homeless aims to change the face of homelessness in Bristol. They believe a home is a right and the complex issues homeless people face will not be solved when they have the daily task of finding somewhere safe to stay.

Their mission is to develop a site with ten shipping containers, converted into self-contained studio flats, providing temporary accommodation until a service user can find a more permanent home.

Inspired by this social enterprise, Team Entrepreneurship alumni Zac Alsop, Jamie Rawsthorne and Rosh Gurung joined forces to try and make a difference.

As part of their Team Entrepreneurship degree, Zac, Jamie and Rosh all had to set up their own businesses. Rosh who set up Dazed Promotions, an events and DJ business, used his connections to secure Bristol DJ’s Roni Size and Danny Byrd for a gig to raise funds for the charity.

Zac and Jamie

Zac and Jamie (pictured) amongst other businesses, set up a successful YouTube channel which they used to raise awareness for Help Bristol’s Homeless and to promote the gig.  They recently shared a short film on Help Bristol’s Homeless on their YouTube channel which can be viewed here.

The gig was a great success and raised over £2,000.

The Team Entrepreneurship alumni have since raised an additional £5,835 for the charity. They have set a target of £25,000 which will help to build an additional two homes on the site.

The Help Bristol’s Homeless site currently has 20 shipping container homes and renovated bus that was donated by First Bus. The charity encourages anyone who stays on site to help with the construction and maintenance of the site.

To find out more and to contribute to the fundraising effort see here.

Think tank praises Ofsted’s changes but says more can be done

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Written by Jeremy Allen

Members of a pioneering institute set up to shape national education policy on enterprise skills has welcomed The Office for Standards in Education, Children’s Services and Skills (Ofsted) new draft inspection framework. However it believes some of the new measures should be more ambitious. 


The Aldridge Institute for Enterprise and Entrepreneurship, based at the University of the West of England (UWE Bristol), develops innovative approaches to the teaching and learning of enterprise skills, and acts as a national think tank, lobbying government on how enterprise education can transform students’ futures and boost the economy.

This week Ofsted published a draft framework on how it plans to change the way in which it assesses and rates schools. It plans to focus on how results are achieved – which it says reflects good education – as opposed to focusing solely on pupils’ marks and exam results.

Professor Gurpreet Jagpal, Director of the Aldridge Institute, said: “We welcome this new framework, as well as Ofsted’s desire to focus on how results are achieved. 

“We strongly advocate the positive value of enterprise and entrepreneurship in education, the need for equal opportunity and young people equipped with future-proofed skills – the proposed framework begins to take some steps to recognise the voice for enterprise and entrepreneurship teaching and learning.

“However, we believe it needs to be more ambitious and should look forward to the needs of young people beyond their time in education, to focus on knowledge and skills.”

The education watchdog’s draft set out that school pupils’ personal development and behaviour should be separated when a school is assessed. Referring to this, Professor Jagpal said: “We commend Ofsted’s focus on personal development and behaviour, but the two should not be separated.

“Behaviour is about more than classroom discipline or bullying. It’s about the enterprising skills needed to succeed – in education, in employment and in society – such as teamwork.

“As a result, we would encourage the ‘embedding’ of such attributes in all aspects of learners’ education interaction.”

Ofsted’s Chief Investigator Amanda Spielman said in her speech announcing the framework that she summed up her ambition for the framework using the words ‘substance’ and ‘integrity’.

In response to this, Professor Jagpal said: “Integrity is an education system that equips young people with the skills to succeed in our rapidly changing society and economy. This is a chance to change not just an inspection regime, but a culture that exam results are the only success criteria. Enterprise skills must be a key part of this.”

The Aldridge Institute is a partnership between The Aldridge Foundation charity and UWE Bristol. Made up of a team of researchers and lecturers, the Institute is based at the University’s new £55 million Bristol Business School building. Academics from across the Faculty of Business and Law collaborate with the Institute to strengthen its impact.

Professor Jagpal said: “To solve the biggest challenges the world is facing, we need to think about educating our young people differently and break away from traditional teaching models – any new inspection model needs to support this and over the coming months we look forward to engaging with Ofsted to see how the proposed framework will ensure that young people are equipped not just with academic qualifications, but also with enterprising skills and attributes.

The Institute is currently developing measures that will help schools, colleges and universities assess the impact of personal development of enterprising skills and behaviours.

It is also pulling together input from leaders in enterprise skills and entrepreneurship education to fully respond to Ofsted’s framework draft, which is open to consultation until April.

The Aldridge Foundation is a charity that supports ten schools across Britain in communities with levels of high unemployment and income deprivation. These Aldridge Academies have pioneered the implementation of an education approach that encourages teamwork, problem-solving, creativity, risk-taking, determination and passion.

-ENDS-

  • For further information, images or interviews, please contact the UWE Bristol Press Office on 0117 3282208 or pressoffice@uwe.ac.uk. Our press release archive can be accessed here.

Alumni Case Study: Samira Abokor

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When Samira started out her International Business degree at UWE Bristol, she resolved to take on all the opportunities she could – both in and outside of the classroom. It has taken her to places and experiences she’d never have imagined.

From tennis to TEDx

“From the outset my degree programme had great connections with the outside world,” says Samira. “So many organisations would come in to deliver skills-based sessions, talk about the qualities they look for in employees and answer our questions.”

But it was a year-long sandwich placement in London that really took her work experience to the next step. As IBM’s Wimbledon game supporter and devices manager, and subsequently part of the Match Analysis team, Samira led presentations and talked tech with players, coaches and delegates, including Lord Coe.

A subsequent trip to Dubai provided a valuable insight into overseas operations, while an interest in languages saw Samira and a fellow intern co-found their own Learn a Language Scheme for IBM staff.

On returning to uni, Samira soon took on a new challenge in the form of organising UWE Bristol’s second-ever TEDx event. “It was a lot to do in my final year!” she says. “But I learned a lot about leadership and project management, and it opened some amazing doors.” The event attracted noteworthy speakers and sold out on the night, receiving a 96% ‘delighted’ score from TED as a result.

An international perspective on business

Wanting to hone her leadership skills further, Samira decided to stay on at UWE Bristol after graduation and study for an MBA. “It was one of the best decisions I ever made,” she says. “It was 12 months of very intense work, but it was eye-opening in the sense that it elevated everything I’d learnt in my degree.”

The course attracts students from all over the world, making it an ideal setting for sharing new ideas and practices, which Samira found particularly valuable. Her hard work and commitment were recognised when she was presented with The Bristol Business School Award for Best Performance in the MBA on graduation.

New directions

At the beginning of 2018, part-way through her MBA, Samira received a message on LinkedIn. A recruiter for Just Eat, a leading global marketplace for takeaway food delivery, liked the look of her profile, and wanted to see if she was interested in a graduate role based at the company’s tech hub in Bristol. Samira jumped at the opportunity.

Now several months into her new job, she’s learning fast. “As a graduate associate product manager, I’m the person who has to understand the product inside out,” she explains. “It’s a really varied role – I have an overview of what the whole team’s doing, ensuring we’re all working together and making the right decisions to ensure we’re delivering the service that customers expect.”

Since arriving at Just Eat, Samira has been given the opportunity to learn how to code with CodeFirst:Girls, and has also joined Just Eat’s Women in Tech group – an internal employee network which aims to promote and encourage diversity.

Outside of her day-to-day job, Samira also is also helping to inspire the next generation of tech talent as a Just Eat STEM Ambassador. As part of the programme, Samira is one of 80 Just Eat Ambassadors, working with young people across the country to encourage them to consider a career in STEM.

“Right now my focus is discovering what kind of product manager I want to be,” she says. “It’s a world I didn’t know existed till recently, but I’m very happy to start my career here and see where it takes me. Helping inspire others to do the same is really important to me. This industry is really exciting, and so long as you work hard, the opportunities are endless.”

Meanwhile, she’s accepted an invitation to join the Bristol Business School Advisory Board, so UWE Bristol looks set to continue to be an important part of Samira’s life for a long while yet.

Professor Peter Case’s work on addressing organisational challenges to improve malaria health care in southern Africa

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Article taken from the Chartered Association of Business Schools:

Work conducted by Professor Peter Case on organisational systems in malaria zones has had a significant impact on international efforts to eradicate the disease.

Backed by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation-funded Malaria Elimination Initiative, Professor Peter Case’s work has introduced a new approach to tackling malaria in Zimbabwe and eSwatini.

Professor Case’s work, in partnership with the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), provides methods to identify, analyse, and resolve context-specific challenges. Through a series of workshops taking place in the country where malaria poses a threat, members of staff (from the most junior front-line staff to the most senior medics and administrators) are able to meet in the same space and communicate the challenges they face when tackling malaria.

Together, they can then generate collective solutions and trace necessary changes that need to be made within the delivery system to improve prevention and treatment.

“While all the workshop participants play a crucial role in the process, hands-on expertise lies at the front line, because these are the people who see others with the disease day in day out, or who go in to spray homesteads,” says Professor Case.

This exercise of generating a list of shared challenges leads to a practical work plan with a dedicated group of people who take responsibility for implementing solutions. It has helped instil self-confidence and assertiveness within individuals who work on the front line, helping staff to realise that they can rely on themselves and colleagues to problem solve.

Professor Case’s work has had significant impact in southern Africa. Implementing this methodology across eSwatini has led to improvements in the reporting of malaria cases by health facilities and increased collaboration between the malaria programme, schools, and community organisations. It has also led to improved communication between leaders within the National Malaria Control Programme (NMCP).

For the full article please see the Chartered Association of Business Schools.

Bristol Distinguished Address Series announces autumn speakers

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UWE Bristol is pleased to announce the latest programme of speakers for the forthcoming Bristol Distinguished Address Series. The lecture series has now been certified for Continuing Professional Development (CPD) purposes by the CPD Certification Service*.

Now in its ninth year, the Bristol Distinguished Address Series is well regarded by the City’s business community as the leading place to hear about the challenges, issues and decisions being made at the highest level of strategic leadership.

The Bristol Distinguished Address Series is free to attend and open to members of the business community.

The line up of speakers for the Autumn is:

Wednesday 03 October 2018 : Ashok Vaswani, CEO of Barclays Bank UK, will deliver the University’s prestigious Annual Bolland Lecture entitled, ‘Digital Transformation of Banking’.

Wednesday 17 October 2018: Kevin Ellis, Chair and Senior Partner of PwC UK, will deliver a lecture entitled, ‘The Role of Business in a Disrupted World. Why Business Needs to Work Harder to Show its Positive Contribution to Society’.

Wednesday 7 November 2018: Ruth Hunt, Chief Executive of Stonewall, will deliver a lecture entitled ‘Achieving Social Change’.

Please contact the Media Relations office if you would like to request a media seat or have a media query about this event, email pressoffice@uwe.ac.uk

The series is delivered by the Bristol Business School in partnership with ACCABristol City CouncilBristol Junior ChamberBristol Law SocietyBristol MediaBusiness LeaderBusiness WestCBICIPDCIPFACMIFSBIoDICAEW and the West of England Combined Authority.

Following the talk, there will be an opportunity for the audience to put forward their issues and questions at this event.

Series organiser, Professor Nicholas O’Regan says, “We are delighted to announce that the series is now CPD accredited. The series is an excellent opportunity for members of the business community in Bristol, as well as our own students, alumni and staff to hear directly from inspirational figures in industry with a wealth of strategic experience and leadership skills at the highest level.”

Find podcasts, video interviews, photos galleries and media coverage from past Bristol Distinguished Address Series events. Follow the discussion on Twitter using the hashtag #BristolLectures

To register for the first address please click here.

*For delegates who wish to obtain a CPD Certificate of Attendance, it is the responsibility of delegates to register their details with a member of the events team at the end of the event.

Bristol Business School shortlisted for Times Higher ‘Business School of the Year’ award

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The Bristol Business School has been shortlisted for ‘Business School of the Year’ at the Times Higher Education awards.

This is the 2nd year in a row the Business School has been shortlisted for the prestigious award.

The shortlisted submission was build around impactful research, engagement with business and innovation in entrepreneurship.

The submission showcases the success of two students from the Team Entrepreneurship programme who secured national awards: Jamie Rawsthorne, named IoD Student Director of the Year and Oliver Haddon, TARGETjobs Future Leader in Business Undergraduate of the Year, as well as highlighting the opening of the purpose built £55 million building. Reflecting the strong links to industry and the growing reputation of the business school as a hub for knowledge exchange, last year saw the milestone 100th speaker in the Bristol Distinguished Address Series.

The Business School is not alone in receiving recognition for a success over the last year, the Centre for Fine Print Research has also made the shortlist for Most Innovative Contribution to Business within the University Collaboration Category for their Knowledge Transfer Partnership with Burleigh Pottery.

Thanks to AHRC-funded research, the Centre for Fine Print Research was able to use innovative digital technologies to rescue the traditional engraving techniques which are used to create Burleighware’s distinctive designs. These techniques, developed in the late 18th century, have been vanishing and Burleigh is the only company in the world to keep them alive.

Vice-Chancellor Steve West, said, “I’m sure the whole University community will join me in wishing the best of luck to everyone involved in both submissions. We’re extremely proud of the successes made by the Bristol Business School in the first year in their new building, and delighted that our links with industry and the opportunities they open for students are being recognised by the shortlisting of the Burleigh project.”

The winners will be announced on Thursday 29 November at a gala event at Grosvenor House Hotel, London.

IoD relocates regional headquarters to UWE Bristol

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The South West Institute of Directors is relocating its regional headquarters to the Bristol Business School at the University of the West of England (UWE Bristol) in a move that further cements the partnership between the two organisations.

The office in the Business School will also act as a second hub for members. Members already have access to the facilities at Engine Shed, near Temple Meads.

The organisations already partner on a number of key initiatives including student membership, the Team Entrepreneurship degree programme and the Bristol Distinguished Address Series of which the IoD was a founding member.

Nick Sturge, South West regional director, said: “Encouraging the next generation of business leaders and entrepreneurs has always been one of the IoD’s priorities so it seems entirely appropriate that we should be regionally headquartered at UWE Bristol which has such an established reputation for business and enterprise studies.

“Having a physical presence in the Business and Law faculty will enable us to be even more actively involved in supporting existing and new initiatives, such as the Team Entrepreneurship degree and some of the activities at Launch Space, which provides enterprise support for graduate businesses.”

Donna Whitehead, Pro Vice-Chancellor and Executive Dean of the Faculty of Business and Law, said: “As the largest University in the South West, UWE Bristol is a key driver for productivity and economic growth. It is our responsibility to develop graduates’ skills and experiences to ensure that they can make a meaningful contribution to the world of work and their community. Consistent and practical interactions with business and industry help facilitate a successful transition into the workplace. Our relationship with the IoD is one facet of this and our students have benefited enormously from initiatives such as the student membership programme. I am delighted we are now under the same roof.”

‘Becoming Enterprising’: A collaborative workshop

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On Monday 11 June, the Bristol Leadership and Change Centre (BLCC) hosted a collaborative workshop on how to get enterprise into the curriculum.

Throughout the day, guests discussed three scenarios around the topic:

Scenario 1: What do we mean by critical approaches to situated learning?

Scenario 2: Making connections between practitioner and academic views

Scenario 3: Creative practices

At the end of the day, the conversations were pulled together with Visual Sketchnotes to create an image to summarise the day.

The workshop was attended by staff, students, different practitioners and advisory board members.

For more information please see here.

South Glos Expo at the Bristol Business School

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On Wednesday 6th June, the Bristol Business School hosted the South Glos Expo. The Expo saw businesses from across the South Glos region exhibit at Business School.

As well as the exhibition, there were workshops throughout the day for visitors. Workshops included an introduction to Digital Advertising and Know your Business Data delivered by Google Garage. Business West delivered workshops on the GDPR Journey and Access to Finance.

Simon Camper Photography

Networking group We Mean Biz hosted a dedicated networking lunch for guests, giving attendees the chance to further their connections within the South Glos region.

The keynote of the day was given by Eddie “The Eagle” Edwards who shared his experiences with guests.

Simon Camper Photography

For more information on the South Glos Expo please see here.

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