Inaugural Irish Policy Network for Business and Management Held at Queen’s University Management School

The Association of Business Schools (ABS) recently held its first Irish Policy Network as part of a wider series, this event brought business schools and stakeholders from both the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland together at Queen’s University Management School to discuss issues around:  Is it Possible to Balance Student Demands with Business Needs?

Delegation at Queen's University Belfast

This event provided a platform for key stakeholders in higher education (HE) policy and business school practice to engage in debate and discussion around pressing issues. The Irish network session has allowed challenges and opportunities to be explored in relation to the specific HE policy and business school environment in Ireland.

Kirsty McManus, Assistant Director, CBI Northern Ireland gave a keynote presentation on the importance of linking business schools to businesses in Ireland and the integral role that business schools and their stakeholders play, she said:

“Business need strong leadership and solid management will  be essential to compete in today's diverse, globally-dispersed, super-connected and resource-constrained organizations. Business Schools have a key role in up skilling our business leaders to compete in this global environment”.

Stephanie Strickland, Assistant Director (Projects and Governance) said:

“With the recent announcements re the Business School MSB Task Force-Business School/Mid Sized business (MSB) Collaboration, the ABS Innovation Report and new Advisory Board network, ABS are in a prime position to use the feedback from these policy networks to drive the HE policy agenda forward.

It is imperative that business schools and businesses work together, more effectively and efficiently to help grow UK Plc and make Britain’s businesses stronger and more nimble”.

The themes identified provide clear channels to pursue a collaborative agenda in Ireland, in an effort to align government priorities, industry requirements and business school best practice.

Developing these relationships across a triple-helix of stakeholders will help ensure that the research, advancement and teaching within Irish business schools is effectively communicated and therefore best positioned to further innovation and economic development.

These aims are fundamentally related to ensuring that graduates from business schools are fully equipped with the necessary skills and presented with the best possible opportunities for their long-term employability.

Findings from this event and the Scottish, Welsh, Canadian, Australian and four London sessions will be presented in a policy brochure later on in the Summer and findings discussed at all three of the major party conferences at ABS fringe events.