National Advisory Board Network launched to promote greater engagement between businesses and business schools


The Association of Business Schools has launched a new initiative that will promote greater engagement between businesses and business schools for the long-term development of business and management research and education.

The National Advisory Board Network (NABN) has been set up in response to the findings of the Association of Business Schools’ Innovation Task Force report, ‘The role of UK Business Schools in Driving Innovation and Growth in the Domestic Economy’. The NABN is a forum that brings together a cross section of business leaders who chair business school Advisory Board Chairs (or senior members of Advisory Boards with specific expertise), business school Deans, and other representatives from businesses and professional bodies.  The Network’s remit will cover issues including graduate employability, business to business school engagement, continuing management education, international issues and social enterprise.

At the launch of the NABN, at Santander’s London head quarters, over fifty Advisory Board Chairs, members, and business school Deans gathered for a stimulating discussion on what business schools and businesses could do to better engage and support one another. Delegates discussed actions for the Network, such as holding regional events and addressing topical issues such as internationalisation, graduate employability and entrepreneurship.

Professor Baback Yazdani, Dean, Nottingham Business School and Chair of the National Advisory Board Network set the scene - “There is already a great deal of good work between business schools and industry, but we need to institutionalise a two-way process between business and academia and particularly between business schools and business at leadership level. This forum will enable us to systemise the approach across all our work, ranging from research to design and delivery of courses with direct impact and higher value for the students and other business school stakeholders.”

Guests at the launch were given a unique insight into the pressures and needs of businesses by keynote speaker Steve Pateman, Santander’s Head of UK Banking, who reinforced the critical role business schools can have in equipping business leaders with the ability to succeed – “I’ve seen great business ideas fail that shouldn’t have failed but business ideas that went on to success did so because of the quality of management”.

Following the launch event Angus Laing, Chair of the Association of Business Schools, urged Chairs of Advisory Boards to continue to join the Network to help advance the UK wide impact Advisory Boards can have on business schools and their contribution to UK businesses:
"Across the business school community Advisory Boards make a significant contribution to shaping the development of British business schools. They provide a critical high level and strategic business perspective into the operations and direction of business schools, ensuring connection between institutions and the business community regionally, nationally and internationally. The NABN seeks to provide the Chairs of Advisory Boards with a forum to exchange ideas, to engage with policy makers around the future shape and direction of business schools, and to contribute to the development of the UK business schools as leading players in the global business school market. We made a great start at the launch event - we look forward to continuing this important dialogue and encourage other Advisory Board Chairs to engage in the Network."

To find out more or join the National Advisory Board Network please contact Alex Katsomitros at the Association of Business Schools on