Ulster University Business School (UUBS) is the 6th largest business school in the UK and delivers over £40m of GVA to the NI economy annually. With over 5000 students and 150 staff we deliver undergraduate, postgraduate and doctoral programmes of study across Northern Ireland through our Belfast, Jordanstown, Coleraine and Londonderry campuses and into London and Birmingham through our campus presences there.
Our Vision in UUBS is to be the leading centre for entrepreneurial education in the UK and Ireland by 2021. Entrepreneurial thinking is focused on the pursuit of opportunity. In practical terms what this means is that we seek to be entrepreneurial through the content of the programmes we deliver, the on- and off-line channels and partners we use in facilitating that delivery and the behaviours we display to each other and to our students.
We are in the business of creating possibility and to that end we are focused on shaping the futures of our students and building opportunity into the businesses they will join. We have 60,000 alumni working across 120 countries as drivers of economic growth globally. Our relationships with Harvard Business School and the leading centre for entrepreneurial education in the US, Babson College in Boston, position us uniquely in the UK market. It has always been our approach to develop an intimate and textured understanding of how businesses actually work – not in theory but in practice. This is particularly evident in the area of SMEs where we have a distinct competence and we are appropriately tested and supported on an ongoing basis by our friends and colleagues in the Federation for Small Businesses (FSB) in that SME engagement.
This intimate engagement with live businesses affords us the opportunity to co-create learning solutions that are not just fit for purpose, but take the business owners to new ways of thinking about opportunity. Recent examples of this approach are evidenced in our work around alternative finance and crowd-funding for SMEs and our current focus on Brexit where we are developing a Brexit ‘tool-kit’ to aid SMEs following the triggering of Article 50. This issue provides more details on these initiatives as well as many others.
The students who graduate from UUBS each year are our product for the market – they represent change agents for any company wishing to develop and succeed. Our graduates are informed and astute; they are comfortable with uncertainty and ambiguity; they are value creators, as are the staff educating them. As we head towards an uncertain economic future before and post-Brexit it would seem to me there can be no more important investment to make in your business than engaging with young graduates who are ready, willing and able to create value for your business.
Professor Mark Durkin, Executive Dean, Ulster University Business School