Tagged / enterprise

HE policy update for the w/e 19th January 2018

A quieter week policy-wise following the cabinet reshuffle.

New minister – new set of priorities?

Our new minister has been fairly quiet as he settles in and thinks about the many priorities – we expect that the PM wants him to focus on the “major review” – and despite pressure he has refused to get drawn into a discussion of details. He gave a formal response to a parliamentary question earlier this week:

Q – Wes Streeting (Labour): To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if he will publish the (a) scope, (b) timetable and (c) membership the review panel for the review of university funding and student financing announced by the Prime Minister in her speech to the Conservative Party Conference in October 2017.

A – Sam Gyimah (Conservative, new Universities Minister):

As stated in the Industrial Strategy white paper published on 27 November 2017, the government is committed to conducting a major review of funding across tertiary education to ensure a joined-up system that works for everyone.

As current and significant reforms move into implementation, this review will look at how we can ensure that the education system for those aged 18 years and over is:

  • accessible to all;
  • supported by a funding system that provides value for money and works for both students and taxpayers;
  • incentivises choice and competition across the sector;
  • and encourages the development of the skills that we need as a country.

The government will set out further details on the review in due course.

And the minister spoke at Queen Mary University of London this week in a date agreed while he was still at the Ministry of Justice – clearly the subject matter had moved on given his new appointment. The discussion was covered by Wonkhe – it seems to have been a balanced and reasonable set of responses from someone who is thinking carefully before leaping into the fray.

Of course there has been plenty of advice for the new minister – from calls for him to get stuck into Brexit discussions to defend research funding, mobility etc. (he did vote remain, after all), to questions about the freedom of speech agenda and BME students at Oxbridge (he was one).

UKRI

John Kingman has been named as the permanent chair of UK Research and Innovation, officially taking the role in April. He has been acting as the interim chair to date to support the shadow running and new set up of the organisation. The Commons Science and Technology Committee are required to ratify his appointment. Also reported in Times Higher.

Freedom of speech

The debate over free speech continued in the Parliamentary Joint Human Rights Committee this week. NUS VP Doku has called for the number of events with freedom of speech issues to be published to quantify if the ‘issue’ is government rhetoric or genuinely needs tackling. Wes Streeting (MP Ilford North and former NUS President) claims the challenges are “overstated” and that Prevent has had the greatest impact on freedom of speech. He continued that no platforming, under NUS policy, was only used to prevent racism and fascism.

International Students

The Home Affairs Committee published Immigration policy: basis for building consensus calling on the Government to make it a clear and stated objective of public policy to build greater consensus and trust on immigration as part of major overhaul of immigration policy making. Read the short summary.  The report does not consider specific policy options for EU migration. The Committee will examine these once the Government publishes its forthcoming White Paper on immigration.

Chair of the Home Affairs Committee, Rt Hon Yvette Cooper MP commented:

  • “The Government has a responsibility to build consensus and confidence on immigration rather than allowing this to be a divisive debate. But that requires a transformation in the way that immigration policy is made as too often the current approach has undermined trust in the system.
  • The net migration target isn’t working to build confidence and it treats all migration as the same. That’s why it should be replaced by a different framework of targets and controls. And frankly the system needs to work effectively. As long as there are so many errors and so many problems with enforcement, people won’t have confidence that the system is either fair or robust.”

The Report recommends:

  • An Annual Migration Report setting out a three-year, rolling plan for migration.
  • Clearer and simpler immigration rules, underpinned by principles and values – including the contributory principle, supporting family life and safeguarding security
  • Replacing the net migration target with an evidence-based framework for different types of immigration that takes into account the UK’s needs. There should be no national target to restrict the numbers of students coming to the UK, and at a minimum the Government should immediately remove students from the current net migration target.
  • An immigration system which treats different skills differently. There is clear public support for the continued arrival of high-skilled (not just highly paid) workers who are needed in the economy. Immigration rules should allow UK businesses and organisations easily to attract top talent, with restrictions and controls focused more on low-skilled migration.
  • Immigration plans should be linked with training plans to increase domestic skills in sectors and regions where there are skills gaps that need to be filled through migration.
  • A national integration strategy and local authority led local integration strategies

The report also notes:

  • “In calling for more international students to come and study in the UK, universities must be mindful of local impacts of large numbers of students and work with local authorities to help manage pressures on housing and public services. Universities should be expected to consult local authorities on future student numbers in their area.”

Mayoral pressure

The Financial Times ran an article noting how seven cross-party metro mayors have united to press the Prime Minster to provide a ”more open and welcoming message” to overseas students. The mayors have also written to the Migration Advisory Committee. The FT quotes the letter:

  • As the UK prepares to leave the EU, it is important that any future immigration system acknowledges the vital contribution international students make to regional jobs and growth. This includes projecting a more open and welcoming message for international students.

The letter combines last week’s HEPI report showing the huge net financial benefits international students bring with HESA data illustrating a downturn in international student numbers. The FT critiques the letter which uses 2016/17 data stating most students would have applied for their courses before the Brexit result was not known. What the FT fails to consider is that a lower conversion rate between application and enrolment does support the premise that Brexit has caused a fall in student numbers.

The Migration Advisory Committee is due to report to Government in September 2018, however, think tank HEPI is campaigning for an earlier response.

Widening Participation

Grammar Schools- A Financial Times article More grammar schools and lower tuition fees are not the answer covers the cabinet reshuffle (the widely reported demise of Justine Greening for blocking the PM’s school agenda) and draws on Education Policy Institute research:

  • On grammar schools, EPI analysis is very clear — more selective schools might deliver a small exam grade benefit to those who gain entry, but at a cost to those (poorer) children who do not pass the entry test. More grammar schools are therefore likely to worsen the country’s social mobility problem.

Meanwhile A Guardian article aiming to criticise Damian Hinds suggests that Theresa May is still determined to push grammar schools through

BME withdrawal – The Guardian considers the influence of social cultural and structural factors in Why do black students quit university more often than their white peers? The article quotes the Runnymede Trust (think tank) 2015 report: “University institutions have proved remarkably resilient to change in terms of curriculum, culture and staffing, remaining for the most part ‘ivory towers’ − with the emphasis on ‘ivory’.”

Admissions – In Robin hood and the America dream a Dorset born educator and careers advisor compares the HE admissions differences between Finland, America and the UK, and contemplates their social mobility implications.

STEM

A National Audit Office report: Delivering STEM skills for the economy has been published this week. It suggests Government initiative to improve the quality of STEM provision and take up of these subjects and rectifying the skills mismatch has met with some success. However, it pushes for Government departments to create a joined up vision sharing their aims, and a co-ordinated cross departmental plan, the delivery of which can then be examined for value for money. The report notes that the STEM gender gap continues.

Technical education

The House of Lords Economic Affairs Committee continued its examination of the economics of higher, further and technical education across two sessions. The first session considered the differences between UK education provision and comparable economically advanced countries (e.g. Germany). The panel discussed how FE could be enhanced, which countries integrated FE and HE effectively, and methods of encouraging lifelong learning. The narrowing of subjects after GCSE was also criticised. The following session address whether HE was currently prioritised over technical education, and whether this produces individuals with the necessary skills. Apprenticeships and T-levels were discussed in detail.

Enterprise and Entrepreneurship

The QAA has published Enterprise and Entrepreneurship Education: Guidance for UK HE Providers. The guidance says

  • all students should have an opportunity to engage with Enterprise and Entrepreneurship, and to align it with their subject(s) of choice. This will enable them to identify and seek out new opportunities; have higher aspirations in their careers; be resilient; and better adapt to change”.
  • Learning about and experiencing Enterprise and Entrepreneurship while at university can have several benefits. It gives students alternative perspectives on their career options and ultimately, the confidence to set up their own business or social enterprise.”

The guidance aims to inform, enhance and promote the development of Enterprise and Entrepreneurship Education and includes description of good practice.

Consultations

Click here to view the updated consultation tracker. Email us on policy@bournemouth.ac.uk if you’d like to contribute to any of the current consultations.

Other news

Full on: In the brave new world of accelerated degrees and intensified courses a Wonkhe blogger talks about working and studying (MSc) full time. She says universities can make studying more accessible to employees and employers by:

  • Teach modules in intensive blocks, e.g. 3 days, rather than spreading across a whole term
  • Provide assignment information well in advance of deadlines, ensuring no deadline clashes between other modules on the same programme
  • Sharing reading lists, presentations and essay topics well in advance of a module beginning – so the employed student can start reading and have an overall understanding of the subject area before attending lectures.
  • Careful structuring of the courses are important, as is the option to switch to part time study
  • Access to robust pastoral care and academic check ins

On the employer side the blogger notes that planning a balanced workload with her managers and knowing when key work deadlines fall within her academic calendar. She also recommends employers take a personalised approach to their employees study/work balance. For some this could me changing their hours or work pattern for all or part of their course.

  • “Studying is challenging. Working is challenging. Doing both at the same time certainly isn’t a walk in the park. However, employers and universities can help employed students to make it work.”

The Smart Machine Age: A Financial Times article describes the changes associated with the smart machines age and the skills graduates will need to develop.

  • Smart technology is already moving beyond manufacturing into the service industries and the professions, such as medicine, finance, accounting, management consulting and law. Businesses will reduce their headcount, because humans will only be needed for jobs that technology will not be able to do well: involving higher order critical, creative, and innovative thinking and/or emotional and social intelligence.
  • When they graduate, a student’s multidisciplinary skills should contain at least the following: scientific method; root cause analysis; unpacking assumptions; critical thinking purposes and questions; insight processes; design thinking; premortems; and after-action reviews .They ought to have emotional and social intelligence; the ability to collaborate and to know how to learn and develop their cognitive and emotional capabilities.

Graduate Recruitment: High Fliers have published The Graduate Market in 2018 noting a 4.9% decrease in the number of jobs available for 2017 graduates. They state this is the first drop in 5 years. The decrease was sharpest in the financial and banking sectors. Part of the blame was, of course, attributed to Brexit effects. Press coverage: The Times, The Guardian and The Telegraph (who note supermarket Aldi is now offering graduate salaries comparable with law and investment banking starter salaries).

Political inventions: It cannot be disputed how often HE has featured in the news in the last year. A Times Higher article reports on a (PA Consulting) Vice-Chancellor survey which reality checks the press, suggesting that some of the furore was politically motivated and often without genuine substance.

Woodgates, PA’s head of education, sums up that university leaders felt under siege.

  • Before the [2017 general] election, universities were still seen as one of the jewels in the crown of UK plc, and suddenly we seem to have moved to a world where nothing is different but the political narrative is that universities are a bit of a problem: they don’t provide value for money, their teaching quality is not very good, and vice-chancellors are overpaid.
  • Most of our respondents felt that this is fundamentally politically driven by the fact that Labour did well courting the youth vote and the Tories have responded to that, but there was also a feeling that the sector hasn’t done a very good job of responding to that and needs to be more proactive.
  • The sector has got locked into a position of responding to a political narrative rather than asserting their own narrative about the value they add: in relation to research, but also in relation in education, [and] the fact that they are very important players in social and economic development.”

What students want: The Guardian ask students what they would like the Office for Students to focus upon

Antisemitism on campus: Communities Secretary Sajid Javid announces £144,261 of funding for a new programme to support universities in tackling antisemitism on campus. The programme will be delivered by the Holocaust Educational Trust and the Union of Jewish Students and will involve 200 students and university leaders from across the country visiting the former Nazi concentration camps at Auschwitz-Birkenau. It is expected that the 200 university student leaders who visit Auschwitz-Birkenau will then go on to deliver activity that engages a further 7,500 university students.

Communities Secretary Sajid Javid said:

  • “We all have a duty to speak out in the memory of those who were murdered during the Holocaust and all those, today, who are the subject of hatred and antisemitism. Holocaust education remains one of the most powerful tools we have to fight bigotry. The Holocaust Educational Trust has been hugely successful in teaching school children about where hatred, intolerance and misinformation can lead. That’s why I am proud that the government will fund this new programme to tackle antisemitism, prejudice and intolerance on university campuses.”

Josh Holt, President of the Union of Jewish Students (UJS) said:

  • “ UJS are very grateful that our partnership with HET is being recognised and supported by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government. The resources committed today will enable a substantial expansion of student and university leaders receiving the education and training needed to combat antisemitism and prejudice on campus. Sadly we have seen a distressing increase in swastika graffiti, Holocaust denial literature and politicisation of the Holocaust on some UK campuses. We are determined to combat this and welcome this significant contribution to our longstanding work bringing students of all faiths and backgrounds together to create cohesive campus communities.”

The new programme will be jointly funded by the Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government and the Department for Education, building on the Holocaust Educational Trust’s highly successful ‘Lessons from Auschwitz’ programme for school students.

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JANE FORSTER                                            |                       SARAH CARTER

Policy Advisor                                                                     Policy & Public Affairs Officer

Follow: @PolicyBU on Twitter                   |                       policy@bournemouth.ac.uk

Visuality – using imagery and digital media in Higher Education teaching

events

Event date: Friday 24 February

  • Time: 9.30am – 4.00pm
  • Location: University of Chichester Business School, Bognor Regis Campus
  • Theme: Visuality – using imagery and digital media in Higher Education teaching

Co-ordinated by the Higher Education Entrepreneurship Group (HEEG) this event is free to BU members of staff (BU fund membership to this group and the subscription to HEEG allows any staff member of  the institution to attend events without an extra charge).

Session Summary:

Enterprise and entrepreneurship education is now recognised as essential to the university experience for all students whether ot not they wish to start up a business. Enterprise education is imbedded into programmes as diverse as Fine Art and Sport. Committed teaching, careers and enterprise centre staff make learning enterprise skills fun. The challenge remains to keep sessions current and to reflect industry practices in order to develop skills that employers want. A further challenge is to build resilience so that the employers want. A further challenge is to build resilience so that students are better prepared to face the sometimes-lonely world of the entrepreneur. The current generation of students also seek a more entertaining and technologically based learning experience, demand involvement by co-creation of the curriculum and seek greater control over their own learning.

This workshop explores how educators and practitioners use imagery and digital media in the classroom, to develop blended learning opportunities. It explores the use of visual cues outside of the classroom as a way to enhance the student learning experience.

Students feature as speakers, and will share their views on visuality and its impact on their learning and preparedness for the workplace. This will be a chance to experience first-hand how easy it is to work with images and discover a free and easy to use online software tool to enhance your teaching materials and in-class exercises. This session will finish with a digital feedback gathering exercise.

To book and for more information click here.

New £10 million community business fund

coins money

Power to Change, a community enterprise support organisation, has launched a new £10 million Community Business Fund, which will provide grants of between £50,000 and £300,000 to community enterprises in England.

The funding is intended to increase the social impact of community enterprises and support them to increase trading income, secure assets or reduce costs.

Find out more here.

Royal Academy of Engineering’s Pathways to Growth SME training scheme

Pathways to Growth is a scheme operated by the Royal Academy of Engineering to encourage and support capacity building for engineering and technology SMEs in the UK.  This year, they are intending to offer funding to around 20 SMEs, depending on the grant amount requested (which can be  one of £10,000, £15,000 or £20,000).

Ideally looking for SMEs in engineering and technology with a high growth potential.  The training doesn’t have to be focused on engineering, it can be on whatever best suits the needs of the company to support its growth .  In addition, a number of the successful applicants will also be offered membership of the Enterprise Hub and mentoring from a relevant Fellow to further support their growth potential.

If you are working with a, or have worked with a company that best fit the following criteria they could be considered for this scheme.

 

  • Engineering and technology SMEs, and
  • Have high growth potential if they had some additional training/mentoring support, and
  • Where they would not be able to fund this level of training themselves

 

The scheme is in its first year of operation, which means there may be limited awareness out there this year, so applicants could stand a good chance of success! The closing date for applications is 4 p.m. on 23rd September.

In the first instance please contact Jayne Codling in R&KEO  – email jcodling@bournemouth.ac.uk or phone ext 61215 to register your interest and to receive more information.

 

 

 

Brewery Investing in its Future

Hall and Woodhouse brewery, famous for its ‘Badger’ award winning beers, has agreed to a second cohort of students to complete the ‘Business and Hospitality Management’ accredited Higher Education course at Bournemouth University. This development arose from engagement between business development staff in the School of Tourism and the HR team at the company.

Company Managers recognised that investing in its people was critical to beat the recession and ensure that the business is well managed and providing the best experience for its customer base. However, they could not find the right level of education, training and support to upskill its existing workforce and were looking for options tailored to their distinct needs.

In order to develop a bespoke Higher Education degree programme for the company, the Hall and Woodhouse HR team, working in conjunction with Keith Hayman (Head of CPD for the School), has invested significant commitment and resources. Keith has used his vast experience to identify skill gaps within the company and has created a bespoke course for its employees. The course is delivered at times that suit the management level students and includes elements of Marketing, HR and Financial Reporting to ensure effective management; and a motivated workforce throughout the chain.

In addition to the new cohort commencing next month, the first cohort progresses to Foundation Degree in March 2012. Once completed, recipients will receive a BA (Hons) degree.

Hot off the press this week – 4 new EU calls for proposals and tenders!

Calls for Proposals
Information, Training & Assistance Centres in Latin America: Proposals should ensure the visibility of European satellite navigation activities, monitor local satellite navigation initiatives and support the EU satellite navigation industry through support of information, training and assistance centres and activities, in Latin America. Deadline 15.09.11

Youth Support Systems: This call for proposals aims at supporting partnerships with regions, municipalities, civil society actors and bodies active in corporate social responsibility in order to develop over the long-term projects which combine various measures of the ‘Youth in Action’ programme. This mechanism aims at encouraging synergies and cooperation between the European Commission — via the Education, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency — and the different actors working in the field of youth by pooling resources and practices with a view to maximising the impact of the programme and to reaching out to a higher number of beneficiaries. Deadline 03.11.11

Calls for Tenders
Stimulating Innovation for EU Enterprises through ICT: The objective of this action is to assess the policy context, concept, implementation, results and economic impact of the EU policy initiative eBSN (eBusiness support network for SMEs), focusing in particular on the initiative on ‘Stimulating innovation for European enterprises through smart use of ICT’, encompassing a series of industry-specific demonstration actions to stimulate innovation among European SMEs through smart use of ICTs. Deadline 06.10.11

Guidance for Active Age Management – Supporting Longer Working Lives of Older Workers: The aim of this Europe-wide study is to investigate how lifelong guidance is embedded in the European Union and national policies and strategies on active ageing as well as in employer’s age management strategies supporting older workers’ (55+) lifelong learning and skills development, and within this context to what extent various guidance services available to this target group in real terms address the issue of staying longer in employment (instead of making an early exit from working life). Deadline 26.09.11

AURIL Membership – Become a member – response required by 1st July

Involved in enterprise?  Would you like to be a member of Association for University Research and Industry Links (AURIL) www.auril.org.uk? Now’s your chance! 

BU has renewed its membership for 2011-2012 and is allowed unlimited members.  If you think that this would be of benefit to you and you would like to become a member, please contact Nicola King (nking@bournemouth.ac.uk) no later than 1st July for inclusion on our institutional return.

Economic Growth, Business & Higher Education

I am just back from a day in London at a posh briefing event which can be summarised as ‘the lunch not much cop, but the talks were surprisingly good and gave me lots to think about’.  So I thought it was worth sharing some of this while it was fresh in my mind.  David Sweeny (Director of Research, Innovation & Skills, HEFCE) started the day talking about REF and impact amongst other things.  One of the things that interested me was the return on investment from business interaction: £4-7 for every £1 spent which is quite good!  But impact is seen as a way of adding to the value of this investment further and the return on the RAE/REF which has consistently placed the UK ahead of the game.  For example, internationally we produce 5% of all the PhD’s globally, 7.9% of all research publications from just 1% of the World’s population!  Staff at BU play an important part in this.

It was the next talk that really made me sit up.  It was from a guy at Oxford Brookes (Kevin Maynard) talking about their approach to enterprise or to use his jargon ‘Knowledge Exchange’.  He was making the point that what is really crucial is that Knowledge Exchange – enterprise by another name – was not about wealth creation for an institution but about the ‘inflow’ of knowledge to inform it core businesses of research and education.  This is an important concept since he argued that it was central to: (1) employability, (2) course development, (3) ensuring research relevance to business/industry/society, and (4) increasing the breadth and capacity of the academic team and its professional development.  What he didn’t say, but is crucial here, is that it is central to a good student experience and staff motivation around enterprise.  I was really impressed by this since it is about the wider benefits to us as academics in engaging with industry/business rather than about simply generating income.  It is worth saying that they are also ahead of the game on that front too, but it is not the driver or what motivates academics to engage and engage they do.  One other point which also struck a cord was the idea of using CPD provision as a market tester for degree programmes; a dam sight cheaper to run up a couple of CPD courses than a whole degree and see it fail for lack of recruitment!

Paul Mason (Head of Development, Technology Strategy Board) was up next and talked about the re-vamp of their strategy due out later this month, but the bit I liked here was that he was talking about being ‘challenge led’ not ‘product driven’.  You start by finding out what the challenges are and then broker a solution based on the range of products or interventions you have available or can source.  This is basically what I have been talking about around BU  in the context of knowledge brokering as a way forward for us.  It is an important point; instead of working out what products we have to sell – CPD, different flavours of consultancy etc. – we need to first find out what challenges business face and want solving.  This fits with the need to be outward rather than inward facing in our approach in developing our new Research & Enterprise Strategy.  If we are to live the idea of providing a student experience in which employability is written large then links to business, industry and the professions are vital and we will need to up our game in these areas and being seen to provid real business/industry solutions is one way to do this.

There were several other speakers who talked about the importance of innovation and generating economic growth within future allocations of HEIF funding and the importance of promoting our success in applying and exploiting our research.  The importance of engaging with Local Economic Partnerships following the demise of the Regional Development Agency was also a common theme and something for us to reflect on as we develop our regional strategy.

The next speaker to make me sit up after my lunch time disappointment was Neil Bowering (Knowledge Transfer Account Manager, at Glasgow) he was talking about the Easy Access IP scheme which Glasgow have pioneered and received large amounts of fame and glory for.  His job is to exploit the IP in the large EPSRC portfolio at Glasgow.  Basically they give the majority of their IP, over 90%, away for free to any third party who can exploit it, keeping just a very small proportion to develop them selves.  It is a highly streamlined process on the basis that getting IP out and out fast is the key and that there is very rarely much money to be made given the cost of exploiting and developing products/ideas for market.  The real key is to make knowledge useful and work for economic growth and society by freely giving it up rather than developing it slowly/poorly, or trying to negotiate at length a stake in its exploitation.   It is the reputational gain that is the key factor and the ongoing dialogue with companies who take on that IP that counts.  Very streamlined, straight forward with four simple conditions on which the IP is given away. University resources directed were they need to be direct.  A fantastic scheme and model for us to look at; certainly one realistic to the nature and quantity of the IP we generate at BU.

Sir Tim Wilson former VC at Hertfordshire and a big wheel in a range of CBI and Business Engagement committees/reviews made a really nice point about a university education.  It is taken for granted by business/employers that graduates will have the key knowledge and the key technical ability, but what they are looking for more than anything are the intellectual skills that will set a graduate apart in the race for jobs.  The ability to critically think is central.   I am sure that our graduates have this but perhaps we should reflect more on how we develop and promote these vital skills?  This links with something that David Frost, Director General of the British Chambers of Commerce had to say; graduates need work force training.  He particularly was drawing attention to skills of team work, customer service, communications and self management on top of core competency in numeracy, literacy and IT.

The final bit that is worth drawing attention to is from Staffordshire University and their success in producing a ‘one-stop door’ for all business enquires and importance of creating a business sales force within a university that is grounded both in business speak and the culture of academia.  This sales team act as translators projecting a professional sales orientated pitch outwards (based on relationship marketing), while allowing academics to be innovative and creative in their own way.  Effectively they act as the interface between these very different communities and cultures.  There is a lot to learn from this model especially around business relationship marketing and the long lead times involved.  One aside was reference to placements as part of an extended recruitment selection process for graduates which is self evident but worth reflecting on.

So in summary there is lots of good practice out there to learn from and to develop this summer as we evolve BU’s future Research & Enterprise Strategy.

How KTPs helped Dorset Cereals quadruple in size

Dr Martyn Polkinghorne added an excellent post a couple of weeks ago about Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTPs). Following on from this David Kilburn, Head of Business Development and Associate Professor (Enterprise) in the School of Tourism, has added this post about how KTPs with BU helped local SME Dorset Cereals.

I have been involved in KTP schemes for about 8 years and during that time I have written 11 successful 2 year classic schemes and 6 short KTP schemes.

KTPBasically the KTP scheme is a partnership between BU and a company whereby knowledge is transferred both ways – from the university to the company and vice versa. An Associate – a graduate from anywhere in the world – is employed for 2 years on average and has 2 supervisors, 1 from BU and 1 from the company.

The Associate also receives structured training and development on quarterly training days set up by the funding body, Momenta.

Seven of the classic KTP schemes have been with food related companies such as Dorset Cereals (2), Fudges Bakery, Chococo, Olives Et Al, Cowdry’s Bakery, Sandridge Farmhouse Bacon and Sun Cottage Wholefoods.

All of the above KTP schemes have been successful but the double scheme at Dorset Cereals was particularly successful and quadrupled the business within two years.

There now follows a more detailed overview of the Dorset Cereals success story.

Dorset Cereals is now the UK’s leading provider of muesli following the successful completion of two Knowledge Transfer Partnerships with Bournemouth University.

The Dorchester-based company, which produces flakes, granola, porridges, bars and slices as well as muesli, hired University graduates to help develop its marketing and production functions. And on the back of Bournemouth University’s support Dorset Cereals has nearly quadrupled the size of its business.

When Managing Director Peter Farquhar arrived at Dorset Cereals in 2005 there was no marketing function – and having seen a story about another company which had worked with the University on a knowledge transfer programme and received an emarketing mail shot from David Kilburn, Head of Business Development, Mr Farquhar got in touch with David at Bournemouth’s School of Services Management (now the School of Tourism). “We had an outrageous plan that would see us become the UK’s leading muesli provider and together with the University we identified two big gaps that needed plugging,” he said. “One was around the relationship with our consumers, particularly the website, where we had no expertise in the business, and the second was around production capacity and processes which we needed to change to meet the planned volume growth.”

Bournemouth University graduate Harriet McKay – who has since been appointed as the company’s Communications Manager – was brought in to deliver the marketing support. “When I started, the website was plain and there was absolutely no reason for customers to come back to the site,” Harriet explained. “I worked with the team at Dorset Cereals and their design agency to create a new website that would create more visits and importantly communicate their brand values. Before the University’s involvement the company had 16,000 emails on its database, now we have over 200,000. It’s been a fantastic success story.”

The company, which had access to University academic expertise around web marketing and database development, also commissioned a second knowledge transfer programme to up production targets. “We brought in new equipment and employed new staff, but ultimately we needed to change the way we worked on the factory floor and the University helped us to improve our production capacity and processes,” Mr Farquhar said. “The University’s involvement has been pivotal to our successes – frankly we couldn’t have got to the stage we are without the involvement of Bournemouth’s staff and students.”

Dr Martyn Polkinghorne, Bournemouth University’s Knowledge Transfer Programmes Centre Manager, said the partnership with Dorset Cereals was a good example of what the University can bring to business. “Businesses should be more aware that universities have the capability to make a direct impact on their bottom line, as we have in this case. Here at Bournemouth we have particular expertise in supporting the food and drink sector, as well as many other key specialisms which firms are tapping into.”

David Kilburn
Associate Professor Enterprise
Head of Business Development
School of Tourism

For further information on KTPs, view the following webpages:

Enterprise Education and Employer Engagement explained

You may hear the terms Enterprise Education and Employer Engagement banded about quite a lot but what do they actually mean? Jo Stark, BU’s Employer Engagement and Entrepreneurship Manager, provides some further clarification.

Enterprise Education

The term “Enterprise Education” at BU draws together existing pockets of best practice into a coherent whole that will provide a focus for further development across the institution and beyond institutional boundaries.

For an example of this see the Dynamo Enterprise Boot Camp Video which provides a bite size overview of the 2010 enterprise boot camp for students that BU facilitated with four other regional universities in collaboration with local businesses.

By embedding opportunities for our students to engage in external activity within the curriculum, academics can not only enhance our students’ employability, but also develop their profile with employers. This can be embedded through live consultancy projects, business simulation challenges and involvement in the entrepreneurship society – Business Mania.Business Mania logo

Although activity such as student placement and graduate recruitment does not create direct enterprise income, it offers BU and its academics a significant platform for employer engagement. As an example, by helping our graduates to gain employment not only develops relationships with employers, but enables the academic to maintain the relationship with the graduate, who, in a few years could become a client for BU.

By demonstrating “enterprising” attributes through their approach to teaching and research, academics will not only encourage their students to think this way, but will also develop opportunities for income-generating activity.

The team in the Centre for Research and Enterprise (CRE) have recently supported academics in DEC to develop a dedicated enterprise module in the Software Systems degree framework. The team not only helped with the development of curriculum, but also provide external speakers for guest lectures to help enhance the learning experience for the students and develop wider opportunities.

Employer Engagement

At BU ‘Employer Engagement’ is defined as any form of contact between BU and an employer that attempts to effect a change in the intellectual capital, understanding or behaviour of an employer, for specific purpose of commercial gain on BU’s part or to benefit the economy of region and wider public.

BU takes its interpretation of Employer Engagement therefore as Enterprise in its widest sense. BU includes activity focussed at both business and community:

1.    Demand led learning and teaching provision (Short courses)

2.    Workforce Development (CPD)

3.    An active stakeholder in the economic prosperity of the conurbation and wider region

4.    Employer focussed curriculum development

5.    Employability (student and graduate placements)

In order to do this, it is vital that, as part of this activity an in-depth understanding of HE and economic policy is maintained, not only enabling BU to remain reactive to external drivers, but also remain competitive in an increasingly dynamic market place.

Through this activity CRE is able to generate opportunities for the institution, academic staff and students. In recent months CRE has established a strategic relationship with a blue chip multi-national and brokered the opportunity across to a leading Prof. Numerous placement and graduate recruitment opportunities are captured and disseminated to the appropriate schools. This activity also enables CRE to identify employer demand for specific short course development.

For further information contact Jo Stark who will be happy to help. Otherwise check out the BU Enterprise Intranet pages on Enterprise Education and Employer Engagement.