Reflections on my first month at the Association of Business Schools


Anne Kiem, Chief Executive 

I have really enjoyed my first month, it is hard to believe we are into December already. I have already been to a number of business schools and plan to visit more in the near future. It is important for me to understand the issues you are all facing and what we at the Association of Business Schools can do to help. It is a stimulating community and I am enjoying discussing your concerns and seeing first hand your successes.

The Annual Conference, my first, was informative for me on so many levels. First we heard from many interesting speakers, not least Liam Byrne, on Labour policy for Higher Education, and David Sweeney on HEFCE’s view of how we could address the challenges we face. It also provided an opportunity for me to meet with many of our members and key partners early in my role as the Chief Executive.

The most useful part for me was to get a sense of the priorities for our members and areas where ABS can play a key role. From the discussions, both from the platform and during the networking sessions, and from the “Wisdom of the Crowds” voting sessions, it seems to me that among our priorities for the next year are, in no particular order:

  1. Immigration and international students;
  2. Engagement between the business community and business schools. This includes the exchange of ideas, sourcing real life work experience for students, and developing effective approaches to engage with businesses of all sizes;
  3. Cross disciplinary working across the university;
  4. Promoting the importance of excellent learning and teaching;
  5. Measuring and communicating the impact of the outputs of business schools so that business and government understand the importance of engaging with them and, in turn, properly support and fund them;
  6. Research funding.

The staff at the ABS will be considering how we can best support UK business schools across a range of these areas, as well as maintaining those activities that are widely appreciated and used by our members.

I am delighted that it was agreed at our AGM that we should develop a membership model for FE Colleges that are delivering HE programmes and that meet certain criteria. We have begun to draw this up and hope to have our first FE College members in the next few months.

I am very keen to hear from you about issues and developments that you or the wider sector has, so please do send me an email.