The Chartered ABS Annual Conference brings together the deans and directors of UK business schools and representatives of government and industry for discussion, debate and networking.

The 2016 gathering was the largest to date and over the course of two days there was much lively and thought provoking discussion, highlights included:

  • Dame Helen Alexander, Chair of UBM and former President of CBI, provided a perspective on what businesses require from business school graduates. particularly stressed the importance of learning goals that encourage student independence and raises their awareness of the business and consumer relationship.
  • Lord Karan Bilimoria, Chairman, Cobra Beer Partnership and Co-Chair, APPG for International Students highlighted a huge flaw in the Government’s international student policy branding the decision to include international students in net immigration figures as “economically illiterate”. He also vowed to table a debate in parliament to highlight the enormous value that business schools deliver to the economy.
  • Madeleine Atkins, Chief Executive, HEFCE provided a forward look at the TEF in Year Two. She reiterated that the purpose of the TEF is to “incentivise excellent teaching and to help students make better choices" but also that "we have to be careful what we do with the TEF so that we don’t stifle innovation”.
  • Professor Simon Collinson, Chair of the Chartered ABS, highlighted the on-going impact of the Chartered ABS' delivering value report and drew attention to the Annual Membership Survey results, which reveals early signs of the impact of Brexit. 1 in 6 business schools reported an increase in the number of EU undergraduates not turning up to start their studies for this new academic year.

Thank you to all those members, speakers, stakeholders and partners that made the 2016 conference such a success. 

Speakers at the 2016 conference included:


Dame Helen Alexander

Chair, UBM, former President, CBI and Chancellor, University of Southampton


Simon Collinson

Deputy Pro-Vice-Chancellor, University of Birmingham
Chair, Chartered ABS


Professor Veronica Hope Hailey

School of Management, University of Bath


Professor Madeleine Atkins

Chief Executive,
Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE)


Professor Baback Yazdani

Nottingham Business School


Richard Heald

Chief Executive,
UK India Business Council


Lord Karan Bilimoria

Chairman, Cobra Beer Partnership; Co-Chair, APPG for International Students, President, UKCISA


Alun Evans

Chief Executive,
British Academy


Marie McHugh

Ulster University Business School

Lord-Young (002)

Lord David Young

Chairman, Young Associates and Patron,
Small Business Charter


Adam Marshall

Acting Director-General,
British Chambers of Commerce


James Sproule

Chief Economist and Directory of Policy,
Institute of Directors

Annual Conference 2016 - programme download

The programme for next year's conference is under development. Further details to be announced shortly.

Speakers in 2016 included:

Dame Helen Alexander

Chair, UBM and Chancellor, University of Southampton

Professor Anand Anandalingam

former Dean, Imperial College Business School

Professor Georgina  Andrews

Head, Bath Business School

Professor Gillian Armstrong

Head of Department, Ulster University Business School

Professor Madeleine Atkins CBE

Chief Executive HEFCE

Lord Karan Bilimoria

Chairman, Cobra Beer Partnership and Chancellor University of Birmingham

Professor Alistair Bruce

Dean, Nottingham University Business School

Professor Andrew Burke

Dean, Trinity Business School, University of Dublin

Neil Carberry

Director of Employment Skills and Public Services, Confederation of British Industry

Professor Jean Chen

Dean, International Business School, Xi'an Jiaotong-Liverpool University

Professor Julia Clarke

Dean, Faculty of Business and Law and Pro-Vice Chancellor, Manchester Metropolitan University

Professor Simon Collinson

Deputy Pro-Vice Chancellor, University of Birmingham and Chair, Chartered ABS

Noel Dennis

Associate Dean York St John Business School

Neil Doncaster

Chief Executive, Scottish Professional Football League

Professor Les Ebdon

Director, Fair Access to Higher Education

Professor Jerry Forrester

Hertfordshire Business School and Deputy Chair, Chartered ABS

Professor George Feiger

Dean Aston Business School

Professor Ellie Hamilton

Associate Dean, Lancaster University Management School

Richard Heald

Chief Executive, UK India Business Council

Professor Veronica Hope Hailey

Dean, School of Management, University of Bath

Professor Carol Howorth

Dean, University of Bradford, School of Management

Professor Rebecca Hughes

Head of Education British Council

Dr Keith Hurst

Associate Dean, Teesside University School of Social Sciences, Business & Law

Anne Kiem

Chief Executive Chartered Association of Business Schools

Debra Leighton

Executive Dean, University of Bedfordshire Business School

Professor Nigel Lockett

Professor of Entrepreneurship, Lancaster University Management School

Iain Mansfield

Deputy Director, HE TEF and Quality Unit, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills

Dr Adam Marshall

Acting Director-General British Chambers of Commerce

Paul Mason

Interim Director, Emerging and Enabling Technologies, Innovate UK

Professor Marie McHugh

Dean, Ulster University Business School

Stuart Miller

Chief Executive, ByBox Holdings and Chair, Small Business Charter

Professor Stephen J. Perkins

Professorial Research Fellow, London Metropolitan University

Professor Gioia Pescetto

Dean Portsmouth Business School

Daniel Shah

Assistant Director for Policy, UK Higher Education International Unit

Nick Starkey

Deputy Director, Science and Research (Strategy & Impact), Department for Business, Innovation and Skills

Mike Thompson

Director, Early Careers Barclays

Professor Colin Williams

Professor of Public Policy, Sheffield University Management School

Professor Baback Yazdani

Dean Nottingham Business School

Date and venue for the 2017 conference to be announced shortly.

The Chartered ABS is grateful to the organisations that supported the 2016 conference 


Breakout Session SponsorPearson Higher Education UK

Pearson Higher Education UK works with educators and institutions to support learner needs and deliver measurable results, enabling students everywhere to fulfill their potential. We are transforming our content to be flexible and digital so that you can deliver learning in more impactful, accessible and personal ways. From digital learning tools and personalised resources to online and blended course development, we help you help your students be the best they can possibly be.

MHE Logo_CMYK-small

Breakout Session Sponsor: McGraw-Hill Education

At McGraw-Hill Education, we believe that our contribution to unlocking that brighter future lies with the application of our deep understanding of how learning happens and how the mind develops. It exists where the science of learning meets the art of teaching. We believe that harnessing technology will enhance learning, both inside and outside of the classroom, and will deepen the connections between students and educators to empower greater success. By partnering with educators around the globe, McGraw-Hill Education’s learning engineers, content developers and pedagogical experts are developing increasingly open learning ecosystems that are proven to improve pass rates, elevate grades and deepen engagement for each individual learner while improving outcomes for all. Why? Because learning changes everything.


Breakout Session Sponsor: Chartered Management Institute

The CMI is the only chartered professional body in the UK dedicated to promoting the highest standards in management and leadership excellence. It is the only organisation awarding Chartered Manager status, the hallmark of any professional manager


Cocktail Reception Sponsor: VMock

VMock is a career development platform that combines the power of data science, machine learning and natural language processing to create personalized feedback for students and alumni.Leading business schools and universities globally have adopted VMock SMART Resume Platform and have seen noticeable improvements in the quality of students resumes prior to coach reviews and employer submissions. VMock works with careers centres across a range of business schools and programmes including full-time, part-time, executive and alumni


Gala Dinner Sponsor: Gecko Labs

Gecko Labs is committed to building simple and affordable solutions around the needs of our clients across the education sector and has taken the time to understand every aspect of the student journey, and its challenges. This knowledge is at the heart of every product we make, ensuring we’re solving real problems that provide real results for institutions. Gecko works with major Universities, Colleges & Business Schools across the globe to improve the way they work in a variety of activities: Student fairs, International recruitment, Open days, Professional networking & on-campus events, Marketing, DLHE, Alumni. And many more… But don’t take our word for it, check out our clients’ case studies (

agile.i logo

Conference Supporter: Agile.i

Agile.i (a division of Hobsons) is the world leader in international student recruitment and success; working with universities to transform and future-proof the way they market, acquire, engage, convert and retain students through data-driven decision-making processes. Agile.i also manages the International Student Survey, the world’s largest survey of pre-enrolled international students, providing essential insights in to the motivations, decision-making processes and communication preferences of students around the world. The ISS 2016 is available to download free at

For further information on sponsorship opportunities at the 2016 conference please contact Oliver Lowe Oliver Lowe Head of Conferences Chartered Association of Business Schools +44 (0) 207 634 9581

Fees for the 2017 conference to be announced shortly