New Course Connect Partnership with the South West Regional Organised Crime Unit

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We are thrilled to announce we have confirmed a new Course Connect partnership with the South West Regional Organised Crime Unit (SW ROCU). This partnership will see SW ROCU linked with our Forensic Accounting module as part of the MSc Accounting and Finance programme at UWE Bristol.

What is Course Connect?

Course Connect Partnerships help bridge the gap between academia and industry and contribute to the practice focus of our programmes at UWE Bristol. Businesses can partner with us to co-create knowledge and help educate our students by supporting a module on a taught programme for two years.

Who are SW ROCU?

SW ROCU is one of nine regional units across England and Wales that delivers specialist capabilities to target and disrupt serious and organised crime. Police officers and staff seconded from the region’s five forces work alongside colleagues from UK Border Force, HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC), the National Crime Agency (NCA) and Crown Prosecution Service (CPS).

What does the partnership involve?

“This partnership will be invaluable in providing current, relevant and real-world experience for our students.

Dr Ismail Misirlioglu, Senior Lecturer at UWE Bristol

Within the two year partnership period, we plan to engage with a number of activities and events, whilst working together with SW ROCU to develop materials on the curriculum. Some of the examples of potential activities will include:

  • Financial crime experts who specialise in fraud and financial crime investigations will deliver a guest lecture for the Forensic Accounting module which will be a huge benefit to our students
  • The MSc Accounting and Finance programme team, with the support of the UWE Governance and Accountability Research Group, aim to involve, where relevant, with consultancy and dissertation projects, and provide training events for financial crime investigators around accounting and finance areas with a particular focus on forensic accounting

“There’s so much to be gained from this partnership. Not only will students take ‘real life’ learning from our financial crime teams into their future roles, but our teams, which include law enforcement partners from across the region, will benefit from the latest course content and research.

The threat of economic crime, whether fraud committed against individuals and businesses or money laundered by organised criminals, continues to grow. Our work at SW ROCU isn’t just about pursuing criminals committing these crimes, but working to prevent them from succeeding. Helping businesses protect themselves against their constantly evolving methods and prepare to respond if they do happen is essential – and exactly where Course Connect fits in.”

Detective Superintendent Tina Robinson, Head of the SW ROCU

If you would like to learn more about Course Connect, please get in touch with us by emailing CourseConnect@uwe.ac.uk.

Course Connect case study: Bluegreen Learning

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“Course Connect can make your learning fit for a future you want. Build your employability, meet good people, and learn about yourself in the process.” – Rob Sheffield, Bluegreen Learning.

What is Course Connect?

Course Connect Partnerships help bridge the gap between academia and industry and contribute to the practice focus of our programmes. Businesses can partner with us to co-create knowledge and help educate our students by supporting a module on a taught programme for two years.

You can contribute through live case studies, guest lectures, co-designing the curriculum mentoring or sponsoring students and student competitions, and providing internships or placements.

What Bluegreen Learning brings to Course Connect

Bluegreen Learning is a Bristol-based workplace learning business that helps organisations grow organically, through building their creativity, innovation, marketing and leadership capabilities. Their interest is in people and learning, working closely with the education, healthcare, energy and professional services sectors. Bluegreen Learning provides the tools for organisations in these sectors to thrive and survive through the significant changes they need to make.

The current connection

Over the past 20 years Bluegreen Learning have been involved with UWE Bristol, across faculties, as tutors and students, and clearly have a great understanding of UWE Bristol programmes. They bring a wealth of experience in working with organisations through Europe, the US and Asia, and of launching marketing, creativity, innovation and leadership offerings to different markets.

Currently, they are helping with the Managing Creativity and Innovation in Marketing module, which is being developed for UWE Bristol Marketing students, and starts in 2021.

How this Course Connect partnership works

Course Connect brings together organisations who are working with demanding customers, and learners who want to know the realities of the workplace. With the whole area of design, creativity and innovation growing so fast, there are skills that organisations want in their value chain and Bluegreen Learning enjoys helping people learn them. As a Course Connect partner Bluegreen Learning likes helping learners connect the academic with the practical.  Students say they make learning fun, relevant and personal.

If you would like to find out more about Course Connect or would like to become a partner, please email bbec@uwe.ac.uk.

Course Connect case study: Nationwide Building Society

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Thanks to Gemma Clatworthy and Eleimon Gonis, Senior Risk Managers, for providing a case study from Nationwide Building Society who are partnered with our Credit Risk Analysis and Management module here at UWE Bristol.

What is Course Connect?

Course Connect Partnerships help bridge the gap between academia and industry and contribute to the practice focus of our programmes. Businesses can partner with us to co-create knowledge and help educate our students by supporting a module on a taught programme for two years.

You can contribute through live cases studies, guest lectures, co-designing the curriculum mentoring or sponsoring students and student competitions, and providing internships or placements.

Please give a short bio and history of your business:

‘Nationwide is the UK’s largest building society with a balance sheet of c.£240bn and c.16m members.’

‘As a mutual, Nationwide is managed for the benefit of its current and future members, who are its retail savings, owner occupied mortgage and current account customers.’

How is your business getting involved with Course Connect?

‘Members of the Risk Community at Nationwide are shaping the Credit Risk Analysis and Management course content and giving guest lectures on different aspects of risk management, such as advances in credit risk modelling, the use of credit risk in decision making and horizon scanning.’

‘Also, Nationwide risk professionals highlight topical issues in the credit risk industry, such as the advent of AI / ML or the need to account for climate change in risk-based decision making, which can in turn inform student assessment to ensure that graduates are aware of and tackle the issues that practitioners deal with on an everyday basis.’

What interested you about being a Course Connect partner?

‘The ambition of the Risk Community at Nationwide Building Society is to become a world class risk function, which safeguards the Society’s strategic cornerstone of “built to last”, while always putting its members’ interest first. In that respect, the Risk community is keen on forming close ties with UWE Bristol, so it can share best practice and expertise and become the recipient of novel and fresh ideas with respect to the future of risk management.’

‘For this reason, we were genuinely excited about the opportunity to connect with UWE Bristol, share knowledge and learn from each other.’

What is your feedback so far?

‘The module leader has been very active and supportive of the programme. Although at the early stages of our collaboration, there have been some interesting discussions on the future of risk management, and we find that there is an open channel of communication that has the potential to add value to both sides’ operations and strategic thinking.’

‘Course Connect has benefits to both the business and the university and we’re proud to be involved.’

If you would like to find out more about Course Connect or would like to become a partner, please email bbec@uwe.ac.uk.

Course Connect Case Study: Lloyds Banking Group

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Thanks to Caron Ricciardi, Senior Business Development Manager, for providing a case study from Lloyds Banking Group who are partnered with our Banking and Finance module here at UWE Bristol.

What is Course Connect?

Course Connect Partnerships help bridge the gap between academia and industry and contribute to the practice focus of our programmes. Businesses can partner with us to co-create knowledge and help educate our students by supporting a module on a taught programme for two years.

You can contribute through live cases studies, guest lectures, co-designing the curriculum mentoring or sponsoring students and student competitions, and providing internships or placements.

Please give a short bio and history of your business:

‘When Lloyds Banking Group was formed in 2009, it brought together many well-known, financial-sector brands, including Lloyds, Halifax, Bank of Scotland and Scottish Widows. Our combined history stretches back more than 300 years, and encompasses a diverse range of businesses.’

How is your business getting involved with Course Connect?

‘We provide support for the banking and finance programme, complimenting the programme modules through a variety of activities, for example:

  • Interactive presentations on Robotics and Money Laundering
  • Giving new starter students an introduction to the soft skills needed in business
  • Helping 2nd and 3rd year students with mock interviews, CV feedback and assessment centres to fully prepare them for careers after graduating.’

What interested you about being a Course Connect partner?

‘We want young people to get a great start to their working life, sharing our experiences, knowledge and skills is a great way to help make that happen. This approach aligns to our Group purpose of Helping Britain Prosper.’

What is your feedback so far?

‘Personally I feel we have built a robust relationship with the lecturers and course directors / leads. This is complimented through Lloyds’ seat on the UWE Board, where in collaboration with other local businesses we help to shape the discussions for course content and direction.  As an employer, we look to add value by ensuring the courses provide a ‘true to life’ perspective for students.’

‘When talking about our relationship with UWE internally to my Lloyds colleagues, I class us as an “integral partner for the programme”.’

If you would like to find out more about Course Connect or would like to become a partner, please email bbec@uwe.ac.uk.