Honorary degree awarded to Rob Law MBE

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UWE Bristol awarded the Honorary Degree of Doctor of Business Administration to Rob Law MBE, in recognition of his contribution and commitment to enterprise and entrepreneurship.

The honorary degree was conferred at the Awards Ceremony of the Faculty of Business and Law at Bristol Cathedral on Tuesday 17 July at 14:00.

Rob Law MBE is the founder and CEO of Trunki, the brand behind the much-loved ride-on suitcase for tots. From one of the most famous rejections on BBC Dragons’ Den in 2006, Rob has successfully built a team who have pioneered a new retail category of children’s travel products, designing and creating a range of innovative solutions which help families on the go.

Since Trunki launched in May 2006, the company has sold 3.8 million suitcases in over 100 countries with consumers spending over $200 million on his brand. Trunki employs 25 people at their funky head office in Bristol called The Mothership, and a further 55 people at its UK manufacturing and distribution facility – Magma Moulding – in Plymouth.

The company has won over 120 awards within the design, trade, consumer and business sectors including reaching 42nd on The Sunday Times Fast Track 100 and winning The National Business Awards SME of the Year.

Rob originally hails from Chester and is 40 years old. He graduated with a First Class Honours Degree in Product Design in 2000 from the University of Northumbria and has worked internationally, including periods in New York, Taiwan, Australia and for some of the UK’s leading design consultancies.

On New Year’s Day 2011, Rob was awarded an MBE for Services to Business, and went on to receive an honorary degree of Doctor of Engineering from Bath University in 2015.

Rob is a popular and engaging personality on the speaking circuit, not least for his ‘dragon slaying’ tips, his fresh take on running a business and how to navigate the ever evolving challenges in the global marketplace, sharing his motivational story at large business conferences through to blue chip management teams.

He is also passionate about inspiring future business leaders and designers, as well as a judge for several national business awards, he also holds the following pro bono positions:

• UWE Advisory Board member at Faculty of Business and Management

• Prince’s Trust Ambassador and recipient of support in 2002

• ACID (Anti-Copying In Design) Ambassador

• Cystic Fibrosis Trust Patron for the Sixty-Five Roses Club

• Design council Spark programme Investment committee

When not designing tomorrow’s must have on-the-go products, Rob enjoys spending time with his young family and is an amateur triathlete, often found cycling around his adopted home of Bristol.

Honorary degree awarded to John Pullinger

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UWE Bristol has awarded the Honorary Degree of Doctor of Science to John Pullinger in recognition of his contribution to the communication of statistics and economics, particularly for the advice, support and engagement of the Civil Service with the higher education system.

The honorary degree was  conferred at the Awards Ceremony of the Faculty of Business and Law at Bristol Cathedral on Monday 16 July at 17:00.

John Pullinger has been the National Statistician, Head of the Government Statistical Service (GSS) and Chief Executive of the UK Statistics Authority since July 2014.

His role is to safeguard the production and publication of high quality official statistics by all public departments, agencies and institutions in the UK. On appointment he described his role as to mobilise the power of data to help Britain make better decisions. His priorities are to improve measurement of the economy, to bring better evidence to public policy debates and to enhance data capability.

John’s career began in 1980 when he joined the Civil Service after graduating in geography and statistics from Exeter University. After several statistical, research and policy roles in different departments, John joined the Central Statistical Office as a senior civil servant in 1992. He was the project manager for the creation of the Office for National Statistics and was the policy lead on the development of the GSS. He worked on diverse projects and subject areas, including responsibility for flagship publications like ‘Social Trends’, leading the neighbourhood statistics programme as well as being actively involved in the creation of the Statistics Commission and National Statistics in 2000.

In 2004, John became the 14th Librarian to the House of Commons a post he held until taking up his current role.

John is a Chartered Statistician and was President of the Royal Statistical Society (2013-14). He has represented the UK internationally in EU, UN, OECD and other forums, was Chair (2015) and Vice-Chair (2016) of the United Nations Statistical Commission (UNSC) and is a member of the Board of the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development Data.

John is married with three adult children. He was appointed as a Companion of the Order of the Bath (CB) in 2014 for services to Parliament and to the community, is a fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences and holds honorary degrees from the universities of Exeter and Essex.

Tips for being a good mentor

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At the early stages of my career, I had a mentor who would always give me time whenever I had an issue, however, to get his attention I would have to go and stand outside with him whilst he listened, quietly puffed away on his pipe and asked me a few questions. This approach worked for me (despite the pipe-smoke) and I quickly developed in my role as felt trusted to do a good job. On reflection, he demonstrated all five factors identified by Julie Starr (2014) of what good mentors do well:

  1. Connect through effective listening
  2. Build a relationship of engagement and trust
  3. Maintain an effective focus
  4. Help overcome false limits, roadblocks or barriers to progress
  5. Help someone grow

However, if your mentoring is online, rather than face-to-face what are the key factors to bear in mind when you volunteer to be someone’s mentor?

  • Building rapport and a relationship is still important – some recent research found that alignment of values may be more important in e-mentoring than other factors such as matching gender or ethnicity (Bierema, 2017)
  • Be clear about the purpose of the mentoring – you both need to have a shared understanding of the mentoring process and agree expectations between you.
  • Most importantly, when online, ensuring you respond to your mentee in a timely Set a realistic expectation of how much time you can commit to mentoring right at the start.
  • Encourage your mentee to identify their own goals and work through ways towards these rather than going straight in with advice/ suggestions. Good mentoring is rarely just about advice (see five points above)!
  • Think about the structure of your mentoring and how you can enable the mentee to move on. At a mutually agreed end point, encourage a bit of reflection and share feedback and learning.

Just as ‘random acts of kindness’ can make us feel great, so too can offering your time and a ‘listening ear’ as on online mentor. Of course, if you get started as an online mentor and really enjoy your role, you can further develop your coaching/ mentoring capability on one of our programmes at Bristol Business School.

Gina Burns
Senior Lecturer Organisation Studies

References

Bierema, L (2017) e-Mentoring: Computer Mediated Career Development for the future in Eds. Clutterbuck, D. A, Kochan, F.K, Lunsford L, Dominguez,  N & Haddock-Millar, J, The Sage Handbook of Mentoring, London: Sage Publications.

Hooley, T,  Hutchinson, J and Neary, S (2016) Ensuring quality in online career mentoring, British Journal of Guidance and Counselling, 44 (1), pp26-41.

Starr, J (2014) The Mentoring Manual, Harlow: Pearson Education Ltd.

BA Accounting and Finance student receives prize from Grant Thornton

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Cherily Lim, a BA Accounting and Finance student, has been awarded a prize by chartered accountants Grant Thornton for scoring the highest in the Audit and Corporate Governance exam.

Cherily is a student from Taylor’s University in Malaysia. Taylor’s is one of our partner universities and because of that Cherily had the opportunity to study for her final year of her degree at UWE Bristol.

Cherily commented:

“ I found it interesting and enjoyable to study at UWE Bristol. I really enjoyed how each lecture was taught, especially for the Audit & Corporate Governance module.

The audit simulation helped me a lot in understanding every procedure of an audit. I worked really hard for the exam so I’m so pleased all the hard work paid off and I achieved the highest grade”

Cherily will be awarded the prize at her graduation ceremony.

Congratulations Cherily!

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.”

Institute of Directors award for Bristol Business School Executive Dean

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Donna Whitehead, Executive Dean of UWE Bristol’s Bristol Business School and Bristol Law School, was named New Director of the Year at the 2018 IoD South West awards.

Leading a team of nearly 300 staff and more than 6,000 students, Donna manages a budget of £55 million. She also leads the work on enterprise across the University. In winning the inaugural New Director award, she was singled out for achieving transformational change for the organisation in an impressively short period of time.

Donna said: “I am delighted to win this award. I’m incredibly proud to lead the Faculty, and enjoy and value working with all our talented staff. This award reflects their great work.”

A total of 14 directors from across the region were shortlisted for the awards, presented yesterday at a ceremony near Exeter. The awards were sponsored by accountants Bishop Fleming, which has offices throughout the South West. Guest speaker was Roy Kinnear, COO of South West-based airline Flybe.

Nick Sturge, South West chair of the IoD, said: “The South West has a well-deserved reputation for creativity, leadership and entrepreneurship. The diversity of awards this year served to demonstrate just this. We had a record number of entries this year so to be even shortlisted was an achievement. I want to congratulate not just our winners but our runners up too.”

All the winners will now go forward for a chance to represent the South West at the IoD National Director of the Year Awards in the autumn.

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.

UWE Bristol climbs into top 40 in latest Guardian league table

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The University of the West of England (UWE Bristol) has climbed to its highest ever position in the Guardian university league table. Moving up 15 places, the University is ranked 37th out of 121 UK institutions in the newspaper’s latest annual guide for students.

Continued strong performance in the National Student Survey (NSS) and an increase in spend per student have helped the University break into the top 40 in the 2019 guide.

Three subject areas, Education, Film Production & Photography and Philosophy, have been ranked in the top five nationally while Architecture earned a place in the top 10.

UWE Bristol has been ranked 12th in the country for its value-added score, which compares students’ degree results with their entry qualifications to show how effectively they have been taught, and 26th for satisfaction with teaching.

The Guardian league table focuses on the quality of teaching, student satisfaction and employability. Compiled by independent company Intelligent Metrix, the guide ranks universities according to: spending per student; the student/staff ratio; graduate career prospects; what grades applicants need to get a place; the value-added score; and how satisfied final-year students are with their course, based on results from the annual NSS. For the first time this year, the newspaper has included a continuation score based on the percentage of first-year students continuing to a second year. The overall Guardian league table is accompanied by subject rankings, showing how universities perform across 54 areas of study.

It is the third consecutive rise up the Guardian table for UWE Bristol, which has also performed strongly in the Complete University Guide and The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide.

Professor Steve West, Vice-Chancellor at UWE Bristol, said:

“This represents a giant stride forwards for our University and it is immensely pleasing to receive recognition for our continued progress in this national guide. Our rise in the table is richly deserved and testament to the tremendous efforts being made by our staff to ensure the student experience is at the centre of everything we do.”

The Duke of York opens Bristol Business School

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The University of the West of England’s flagship £55 million business building has been officially opened by The Duke of York.

His Royal Highness received a guided tour of facilities at Bristol Business School, located at the University’s Frenchay campus, before unveiling a commemorative plaque marking the formal opening.

Offering a new approach to business and law education to benefit students and businesses in the region, the building opened to students and staff in 2017 and represents the biggest capital investment of UWE Bristol’s 2020 building programme. Features include two showcase law courts, a city trading room, a business advice clinic, an incubator for Team Entrepreneurship students, technology enhanced and flexible learning spaces, and an external business engagement hub.

On his tour of the business school, The Duke met students and staff from the Business Advice Clinic, where undergraduates work with mentors from industry to offer pro bono support to small enterprises, and the Team Entrepreneurship Hub, the home of a degree course dedicated to giving students the practical experience to launch and run their own ventures. His Royal Highness was also shown the school’s Bloomberg Trading Room and a Technology Enhanced Active Learning space during the visit.

Professor Steve West, Vice-Chancellor at UWE Bristol, said: “We were proud to show The Duke that not only is Bristol Business School a striking modern building with state-of-the-art facilities but what goes on inside is equally impressive.

“Students are using the hugely expanded provision of technology enhanced active learning for greater co-creation and student-led problem solving, while a growing number of businesses are being welcomed through the doors to collaborate with staff and our ever more entrepreneurial students.

“It is this abundance of strong relationships with industry that sets UWE Bristol’s approach to business apart, with close collaboration ensuring the skills our graduates leave with are always relevant to employers’ rapidly evolving needs.”

Addressing guests at the opening, His Royal Highness said: “It’s a pleasure to be able to open and celebrate a building such as this. A building lives because of what goes on inside it and judging from what I’ve seen on my tour, the vibrancy of the staff and students working here is making this building sing to a very wonderful note.

“I wish Bristol Business School, and the whole university, every good fortune in creating the sorts of young people we are going to need in the new environment we’ll find ourselves in during the next two to five years. These are going to be very challenging times but we need to create a breed of young people who are enterprising, entrepreneurial and ambitious. If we can do that we can, and will, succeed. So good luck, I wish you every success.”

International Women’s Day 2018 at the Bristol Business School

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On Thursday 8 March, Bristol Business School hosted several events and workshops to celebrate International Women’s Day.

The day was collaboratively organised by the Faculty of Arts, Creative Industries and Education (ACE); the Bristol Business School and the Bristol Law School.

Guests were welcomed by Hazel Edwards Associate Dean (Research and Innovation) who set the scene for International Women’s Day and shared her own personal experiences with attendees.

The first session was run by Professor Carol Jarvis, with several students from Team Entrepreneurship, and focused on inspirational women.

Guests were asked to work in groups and share their inspirational women and then describe them using just one word.

Next there was a panel discussion entitled ‘Barriers to and opportunities for enabling more successful women in business’. The lively discussion was chaired by Professor Jane Roscoe, Pro Vice Chancellor and Executive Dean, ACE and panellists included:

  • Kalpna Woolf – Award winning ex BBC Head. Author -Spice Yourself Slim
  • Sado Jirde – Director of Black South West Network (BSWN)
  • Vashti Seth – Success Redefined Coach
  • Professor Sue Durbin – Professor in Human Resource Management

Over lunch, stalls were set up in the Business School atrium which were run by female entrepreneurs. Guests were served food from Bini Fine Foods and were serenaded by our International Women’s Day choir.

There was also a raffle which raised over £200 for Bristol charity one25, who reach out to women trapped in, or vulnerable to, street sex work, supporting them to break free and build new lives away from violence, poverty and addiction.

In the afternoon there was a screening of “Barefoot in Business”, a film created by BAFTA award winning film maker Carol Cooke about female entrepreneurs in Uganda.

Also running throughout the afternoon were several workshops and drop in sessions including speed mentoring; an Athena SWAN workshop and a CV surgery.

The whole day was compered wonderfully by Lynn Barlow Assistant Vice Chancellor, ACE.

Thank you to all who were involved and helped make International Women’s Day at the Bristol Business School such a success.