Birmingham Business School AACSB. Executive Summary

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1 Birmingham Business School AACSB Executive Summary November

2 TABLE OF CONTENTS 1 INTRODUCTION Mission and Objectives Mission Statement Core Values Objectives Processes and Outcomes Processes Outcomes Strengths and Weaknesses Strengths Weaknesses Strategic Plan and Mission Development Effective Practices...7 2

3 1 INTRODUCTION The University of Birmingham was founded in 1900 and was the UK s first 'civic' university, representing a new model for higher education founded on the initiative of local citizens to meet the needs of the community. The main 250 acre campus is located in Edgbaston, some 2 miles from the city centre, and offers an attractive environment with an impressive mixture of striking Edwardian and modern buildings. In , the University had a student population of over 27,000 students including over 18,000 undergraduate and just over 9,000 postgraduate students. Birmingham Business School was England's first Faculty of Commerce and Sir William Ashley (who was recruited from Harvard University) became the first Dean. The School s current title came in to use in 1989 with the coming together of the former Departments of Commerce and of Accounting and Finance. In 2002, the School celebrated its centenary, over the course of the first hundred years, it is estimated that more than 15,000 students have studied here. The School offers a Master of Business Administration, a suite of Specialist Masters and Undergraduate programmes and also a doctoral programme. The School currently employs around 150 faculty to teach nearly 4,000 students. In August 2011, the Associate to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) accepted the Accreditation Plan submitted by the School. This document highlighted the School's strengths and weaknesses and the School has been working on implementing its action plan over the intervening two years. The School continues to build and sustain management processes to fulfil the AACSB standards and continues to demonstrate a commitment to high quality teaching and research and continuous improvement of its strategic ambitions with these objectives being embedded within the daily operations of the School. 2 MISSION AND OBJECTIVES 2.1 MISSION STATEMENT Our original mission articulated in 1902 by Sir William Ashley (founding Dean) was The education of the officers of the industrial and commercial army; of those who will ultimately guide the business activity of the world. Its language is archaic but its central purpose remains valid to this day. We honour this tradition and, in suitably modernised form, embrace it in our more recent statements of mission. In more recent formulations the School expressed its vision as to be an internationally recognised, researchled business school. Its mission was expressed as being to enhance economic and social well-being through responsible and sustainable corporate performance by research, teaching, knowledge transfer, and policy advice. It was this statement of mission that informed the School s work in recent years. Our Mission Statement has recently been revised as part of a comprehensive strategic review undertaken by the School. This is being followed through with any necessary changes to statements and procedures to ensure that it is embedded in the culture of the School. The mission is: Local Commitment with Global Impact Our mission at Birmingham Business School is to be a research-led, multi-disciplinary, international business school developing a new generation of global business leaders and entrepreneurs. 3

4 We are committed to making a difference: by enabling our graduates to add value throughout their careers; by providing superior business intelligence to our partners; and by focusing our research on the key challenges that face our economy and our society. 2.2 CORE VALUES The School shares the University's five core values of excellence, distinctiveness, impact, confidence and pride, but also has its own clear set of values which guide and inform everything we do: Valuing the individual we recognise and value the central role of individuals in business success. We value human interaction and engagement and aim to create an academic environment which is challenging, but also values the contribution and needs of individual staff and students; Ethical awareness we believe that awareness of ethical issues must inform all debates regarding business in the 21 st Century; Genuine transformative engagement we believe business schools can make a genuine difference, not just to the students who study with us, but to broader national and international communities; Global reach with a local commitment we are proud of our long history serving the City of Birmingham and the wider West Midland business community. But Birmingham businesses have always had a global impact and we are proud to maintain and grow that tradition; Business within a broader intellectual context our key role in the College of Social Sciences and within the University of Birmingham as a whole means we are able to see business research and education in a much broader social, cultural, scientific and economic context. 2.3 OBJECTIVES To fulfil its mission Birmingham Business School has a vision and a strategy, summarised in Appendix 1.6 of the Self-Evaluation Report, which highlights our key priorities and our main objectives: 1) To target, recruit and retain leading faculty to drive the School forward. New faculty are needed to build our world- class scholarship, develop our teaching and learning capabilities and strengthen our academic leadership 2) To recruit additional experienced professional services staff to enhance the quality of our teaching programmes, improve our operational efficiency and respond to new business development opportunities 3) Develop our marketing capabilities to strengthen student recruitment efforts and communicate a distinctive identity to help build a globally recognised brand 4) Build new international partnerships and extend current joint-ventures to enhance our research and internationalise our teaching programmes 5) Invest in the development of e-learning resources and other teaching infrastructure to enhance our programme portfolio 3 PROCESSES AND OUTCOMES The abovementioned aims and objectives have been developed in recognition of an increasingly competitive environment for business schools globally. In working towards these goals, to achieve the School's mission, we understand the importance of effective and efficient planning and decision-making processes. Our 4

5 governance structure, the organisation of faculty and staff, performance monitoring, incentives and culture are continuously being developed to improve the School s capacity and capability to achieve its mission. 3.1 PROCESSES As outlined in the School's Self-Evaluation Report, the School has both strategic and operational plans in accordance with its mission statement and key priorities. Periodic strategic reviews, some initiated by the University or College, are linked to our current and future resource requirements set against likely achievements and income generation targets. The Vision and Strategy document in Appendix 1.6 (Self-Evaluation Report) outlines our current strategic goals alongside a financial appraisal of costs, revenues and investment requirements. This was put forward by the current Dean, approved by the University and College and now forms the basis for decision-making and resource-allocation within the School. Objectives for groups of faculty and staff are set in the context of these plans and their achievement monitored through benchmarking, performance reviews and feedback processes. The strategic objectives of the School, and the annual plan to deliver according to those objectives, are developed through consultation with the School s Senior Management Team (SMT) and its constituent groups, boards and committees (covering research, teaching programme development, staff-student liaison, recruitment, staffing and promotions etc.). Resources and decision-making are further devolved to programme teams, faculty departments, research clusters and other organisational units as appropriate. These governance structures and processes have undergone significant change since October 2012, with the arrival of the new Dean and a restructuring of the School alongside a large investment from the University. 3.2 OUTCOMES The following are some of the major outcomes that have occurred during the period the School was working towards achieving AACSB accreditation: Internationalisation: We have focused on expanding partnerships in Singapore, Hong-Kong and mainland China with our collaboration with the Singapore Institute of Management (SIM) with programmes at the Undergraduate and Postgraduate levels developing significantly. We have also revitalised our Hong-Kong MBA provision through a new partner and launched an MBA with a University partner in Guangzhou. At the undergraduate level we have introduced a 4-year BSc programme with a year spent in a partner University overseas with demand for these programmes being high. Accreditation: We have achieved AMBA accreditation for all MBA programmes as well as for the MSc International Business. EQUIS whole-school accreditation has also been achieved. In both cases for AMBA and EQUIS we achieved re-accreditation in Enhanced Teaching Facilities: Improvements to University House, our flagship building, have taken place in recent years, including a refurbished common room and work space for all students and faculty next to our inhouse library and meeting room. In late 2012 we gained a significant investment of 10 million to build a new postgraduate teaching centre in the heart of the University campus. This will contain state-of-the-art facilities for faculty and students. Research Assessment Exercise: The School did well in the UK Research Assessment Exercise. In the Business and Management Studies category 90% of research activity submitted was rated as being of international standing. There are various metrics that can be used to construct rankings. When looking at the proportion of activity ranked at the 4* (world class) level, Birmingham was ranked 14th out of 90 Business submissions. At 5

6 the 3*/4* level we rank at 21st out of 90, and on various other measures we rank at 19th. We anticipate an even better performance in the forthcoming (2014) national REF (Research Excellence Framework) exercise. Corporate Activity: our week-long MBA Deloitte Consulting Challenge, organised by one of our Advisory Board members (Jane Lodge), and the recently launched KPMG UG Accountancy degree programme stand out as examples of collaboration with our corporate partners. The unique University of Birmingham Capgemini Consultancy Challenge is another example of corporate engagement which provides undergraduate students with real-world skills and enhances their career prospects. 4 STRENGTHS AND WEAKNESSES 4.1 STRENGTHS The following are some self-assessed strengths of Birmingham Business School: Its position in a leading University with a strong overarching strategy, healthy finances, capable and supportive teams at the College level and the University centre and a range of complementary departments. The support of the College and University is evident in the recent approval of a 10 million investment in a much-needed Business School Postgraduate Teaching Centre Some world-leading faculty in specific fields, including: international HRM, entrepreneurship, managerial economics, global manufacturing, public services accounting, responsible business, environmental economics, quantitative finance, regional economic growth and sustainability, the growth of and interaction with the Chinese economy and decision making under uncertainty A solid portfolio of teaching programmes providing a strong surplus for the University, with strong links with business underpinning a reputation for graduate employability. An excellent level of engagement with regional and international businesses and very good links with policy makers involved with economic growth and business promotion. The development of one of the best (according to the FT ranking) Advisory Boards in the UK has supported these achievements. 4.2 WEAKNESSES The School continues to pursue improvements in the following areas: Difficulty in recruiting and retaining world-leading faculty in competition with other business schools globally Some slippage in the position of some programmes in national and international rankings, partly driven by the rise of new competitors in Europe and Asia An under-resourcing, relative to competitors, of specialist professional services staff to manage programme operations, marketing, corporate engagement, international developments and e-learning A reliance on a large number of Chinese students studying with us in the UK which increases some risks associated with over-dependence on a particular kind of student The lack of a distinctive brand identity or strong external reputation which has an impact on recruitment of both faculty and students Some weaknesses in the governance, decision-making and resource-allocation structures of the School and in its relationships with other parts of the University. 6

7 5 STRATEGIC PLAN AND MISSION DEVELOPMENT The School's Mission Statement along with its Vision and Strategy (Appendix 1.6 of the Self- Evaluation Report) provide a master plan for future growth and development. The Mission Statement was revised earlier this year, with participation from stakeholders and is currently being embedded into the School's consciousness and being more widely publicised via the School's website and promotional material. The School's Vision and Strategy was presented to the College of Social Sciences and to the University's Executive Board with both groups fully endorsing the School's strategic plans, which we are now in the process of implementing. Although strongly embedded in our past, including our strong association with the city and the region, our mission evolves to take account of current and future opportunities and threats and the changing values and needs of our various stakeholders. 6 EFFECTIVE PRACTICES The following practices have been particularly effective in the pursuit of the School's mission: 1) Corporate engagement to enhance the curriculum and build employability into the student experience. This includes student placements, projects and a year in industry, as well as a series of events involving alumni and Advisory Board members 2) The KPMG programme which provides Accounting Undergraduates with their fees, accommodation, a salary and extensive experience with KPMG during and after their graduation 3) Our Advisory Board, in terms of its support and advocacy for the School and its mission and the participation of high-profile members of the Board in School events and student-facing activities 4) International programme delivery in Singapore and Hong-Kong through a flying faculty model which ensures high-quality teaching with our overseas partners 5) Research that is engaged with the Birmingham and West-Midlands region, contributing to regional economic growth policies and business development (including ethnic minority SMEs) as part of the University s civic role 7

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