Students developing an action plan in response to an international crisis involving residents, business people and tourists in the UK who are trapped and unable to leave the country. In the workshop, part of the UK Ministry of Defence’s award-winning outreach programme, students gain a unique insight into governmental departments and put their soft skills to work.
A lecture by a top-ranking peacekeeping officer on the importance of understanding the dynamics of conflict. Brigadier General, Dr Emmanuel Kotia – who currently serves as Commander of the Western Sector of the United Nations Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo – shared his knowledge and his experience in this field to inspire International Relations students to assist in the mitigation of peace.
Another student group plans a project from a mandate provided by logistics company DHL. They have to produce a project brief and project plan for the the world’s largest logistics company, an experience no different than working on a real-world project.
The above underscores the kind of university experience one can expect at the University of Bedfordshire Business School (UBBS): International and practice-driven.
It’s also the kind of business education that wins awards.
For the DHL project, MBA Project Management students at UBBS Aliasgar Bootwala, Muhammed Afsal, Daniela Lopes and Ayesha Talat were named Student Group of the Year by the Association for Project Management’s (APM) Midlands Branch.
The victory would not have been possible had it not been for the calibre of talent in UBBS’s faculty and student body.
Ayesha said: “I would like to thank our lecturers who supported us throughout – we couldn’t have done this without them.”
Aliasgar said: “I am thrilled and proud to achieve such a feat and to be recognised from an external institution. I was lucky to have had a great team of fellow students to work with and inspiring tutors.”
A pioneer in business education with a range of world-leading resources
The Bedfordshire Business School offers a diverse range of postgraduate studies, such as MSc Digital Marketing, MSc International Business, MSc Project Management, MSc Purchasing , Supply Chain and Logistics and MSc Financial Risk Management.
For its Master of Business Administration programme – one of the UK’s largest and most vibrant – students can choose between a full-time traditional MBA or an Executive MBA.
In addition to the extensive use of live projects, all the postgraduate courses at UBBS also benefit from block delivery, a new and convenient way to study that students fit around their lives. Block delivery offers students the flexibility to study full time, part time or just a single unit, to fit their work lives or individual needs.
Only one subject is studied at a time and active learning is emphasised. At UBBS, each unit takes place over six weeks in two, three-week sections. In the first week of each of the two sections, students will undertake two and a half days face-to-face contact time. This enables more engagement with a considerable amount of learning material with the tutor.
After this, there is more contact, which varies from unit to unit as well as other work undertaken using online resources.
If live projects provide all the benefits of experiential learning – ie. getting a flavour of the workplace, make complex materials more understandable, becoming engaged citizens – block delivery complements it further.
At UBBS, block delivery of courses allows students to get involved in both individual and group work, all designed using evidence-based approaches to improve students’ experience and quality of work.
Supporting this is the new seven-floor, £46m Luton campus library, which provides 24/7 access to learning resources such as 530 PCs, 916 study spaces, 50 laptops for loan and 154,000 books on six kilometres of shelves.
But the library isn’t the only infrastructure the university has invested hundreds of millions in to help students learn and engage better.
The Postgraduate and CPD Centre is another building that has transformed the university’s learning environment. Spanning 4,254m² of space over five storeys, it is home to state-of-the-art IT and AV equipment, lecture theatres including two Harvard-style lecture theatres, informal learning spaces, quiet study areas, a café and a student lounge.
In other words, it’s a one-stop hub to deliver education for a modern and enhanced student experience.
Another revolutionary space at UBBS are its Business Pods. Revolutionising the way business courses are taught at degree level, these Pods look more like a modern working environment rather than a traditional classroom.
Each Pod has a creativity area, internet zone and group-working areas alongside a boardroom and coffee area, to simulate what it’s really like to work in an office. They have been highlighted in a Government Green Paper as representing “best practice” in universities.
As one student said, “It is a great experience working in the pods, learning and using skills that we need in real-life situations, gaining confidence in doing presentations, and learning how to make teams work.”
“It has changed my way of thinking.”