When the University of Southampton established its Business School, it was formed on three pillars – education, research and probably most crucially, engagement and enterprise.
As well as encouraging businesses to work with their graduates and PhD students on research projects that are rigorous and relevant, the school was keen to make it possible for businesses to send executives into the classroom setting to share real-life challenges.
Head of School, Professor Martin Broad, explained how they have worked hard to break down perceived barriers.
“We love it when businesses come knocking on our door to say they want to come and talk to our students – we teach the theory but people currently working in business can help bring it to life,” he said.
As part of a revered Russell Group university, the Business School has access to some of the brightest minds in the world who are partnering with businesses and working on research projects.
“We have fantastic students coming through here. They will be the future leaders and they are coming up with bright ideas and shaking up existing business practice.
“As a Russell Group university, research informs everything we do – it is in our DNA but it doesn’t have to sit in an ivory tower.
“We have professors working in the areas of financial risk and how to mitigate against it. And we have PhD students looking at transportation and the green agenda,” he said.
And working with students, whether they are graduates or PhD students, also helps to retain intellectual talent in the region which is a cause pre-occupying many in the city.
The Executive Learning Partnership, where organisations ranging from JP Morgan to Ordnance Survey and the RNLI, gather to hear inspirational speakers has also proved popular with business leaders.
Recent speakers have included Simon Lancaster who has written speeches for many top politicians as well as the CEOs of HSBC, Cadbury and Intercontinental Hotels.
He shared with local businesses the secrets from the language of leadership.
“It is another way for us to support enterprise and have conversations that help us to forge stronger links with businesses,” said Martin.
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