Ulster hosts Northern Ireland launch of Chartered ABS report
Ulster University Business School has hosted the Northern Ireland launch of the Chartered Association of Business Schools national report, “Business Schools: delivering value to local and regional economies, which highlights the far reaching contributions business schools make to local and regional economies.
Across the UK over 130 Business Schools account for one in five students and contribute £3.25 billion annually to the UK economy.
Their economic development programmes across the UK have led to increases in business income, profitability, productivity and created nearly 220,000 jobs since 2007.
Ulster University Business School is featured in the report as an exemplar of added value provided to the local economy with an annual economic impact estimated at over £41 million.
Business Schools, working in collaboration with local partners are described as pivotal in the delivery of training and R&D elements of these programmes. Ulster University Business School’s collaboration with Invest NI was particularly noted for the delivery of accelerator schemes which support and drive forward new scalable companies.
Also highlighted was the Innovation Voucher Scheme for SMEs in Northern Ireland supported by the Ulster University Business School and funded by Invest NI. These vouchers enable businesses to access up to £4,000 of consultancy, design expertise and technical support from the business school. Having so far delivered over 400 projects, the business school is one of the leading providers in Northern Ireland.
Speaking at the launch, Gillian Armstrong, Professor of Business Education at Ulster University Business School said, “It is increasingly recognised that business schools across the UK excel at “impact”, taking academic research and turning it into knowledge that is applied by business, government and society more broadly. In a regional economy such as Northern Ireland, the role of business education is critical in meeting the challenges associated with competing in a global market, and in attracting investment to grow the private sector and drive economic growth. The business school’s collaboration with organisations such as Invest NI and the Northern Ireland Chamber of Commerce has brought mutual benefit and strongly reflects the key messages coming through the CABS report.”
Anne Kiem, Chief Executive of the Chartered Association of Business Schools added, “This report was designed to highlight best practice across the UK, and to point to what more could be done to improve productivity, innovation and growth to the benefit of regions and, as a consequence, the national economy. Business schools have experience, knowledge, expertise and a longevity that makes them ideally suited to play the anchor role, but only if there is full engagement together with the other key participants.
She also highlighted the concerns raised by Chartered ABS that EU funded programmes, such as, ERDF and ESF funded schemes which have had significant impact on businesses and local growth, are now at risk as a result of Brexit, “Whilst the government has promised to protect funding for projects already in motion there are no plans for how such projects will be funded after the UK exits from the EU. With that in mind, it is vital that the NI Executive commits adequate funding to maintain the excellent work done by Ulster University Business School.”
The launch of the report was followed by Professor Gillian Armstrong’s Inaugural Professional lecture, “Delivering Business Education: Impact for a Regional Economy,” when she highlighted the themes in the Chartered ABS report with specific examples from Northern Ireland.
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