Report from the Party conferences and an update on our activities



By Anne Kiem

The Party conferences have been keenly watched and has provided us with an opportunity to ‘set out our stall’ on the issue of productivity. We jointly hosted a fringe event with the CMI at both the Labour and Conservative conferences to look at the role of business schools in improving productivity. The Labour Party event was attended by an audience that included the IoD among other influential trade bodies. We were joined on the panel by Stephen Kinnock MP, Vice Chair of the APPG on Management, and Neil Coyle, MP for Bermondsey and Old Southwark. There was a general agreement that more needs to be done to encourage joint working across university departments so that innovations in science, medicine and engineering can lead to profitable businesses.

At the Conservative Party conference the panel featured Professor Angus Laing, Petra Wilton from the CMI, Patrick Dunne, the Chairman of the EY Foundation, and Suella Fernandes MP, a member of the Education Select Committee. It was agreed that the UK has a competitive advantage because it is a great place to live, but we need to be more welcoming to international students. Again, there was agreement that more needs to be done to encourage UK companies, small and large, to recognise the value in management education, especially at the postgraduate level.

We have also been in conversation with an immigration policy manager at the Home Office and with Keith Vaz’s office over the inquiry into Tier 2 visas. There is a growing understanding of the importance of international students to the university sector, and especially business schools. We will keep pushing this door.

Further on the theme of immigration and international students, we have commissioned Carrington Crisp to bring the many strands of this issue together and produce what we hope will be a definitive document looking at all the angles in relation to the business school sector. This is a many faceted area and we are delighted that Andrew Crisp will be leading the work on this for us.

In other areas, the Chartered ABS has responded to the HEFCE consultation on Quality Assessment and the TEF, and we are grateful to Professor Georgina Andrews for authoring the response. We will also respond to the BIS Select Committee consultation on the TEF this month.

As we prepare for our Annual Conference and AGM these issues remind us of the power of the business schools working together and speaking as one voice. I look forward to seeing you in Manchester in November.

Anne Kiem
Chief Executive, Chartered Association of Business Schools