Business schools: delivering value to local and regional economies

The Chartered Association of Business Schools launched its national report - 'Business schools: delivering value to local and regional economies' – at the House of Lords in September. The report examines the far reaching contributions business schools make to local and regional economies. Here City-REDI shares some key reflections from the event. 

Lord Karan Bilimoria - a leading international entrepreneur and Chancellor here at the University of Birmingham - hosted the reception and spoke about the important role played by UK business schools as ‘anchor institutions’ linking Universities to local businesses. City REDI’s Director - Professor Simon Collinson - also played a key role at the event as Chair of the Chartered Association of Business Schools and Dean of the Birmingham Business Schools.

The report recommends that to secure the ongoing impact of business school activities which promote local growth and productivity the Government should commit to fund economic development programmes after Brexit. Business school leaders have offered to work closely with the government to help shape the landscape for regional development infrastructure and funding ahead of Britain’s exit from the EU and the need to replace ERDF and ESF funds.

Here are some key points from the event:

Professor Simon Collinson, Chair of Chartered Association of Business Schools, and Dean of Birmingham Business School said: “Whilst the Chancellor has given assurances for programmes that have already been given the green light we need a commitment in the Government’s forthcoming Brexit strategy to fund economic development projects which support business growth, innovation and productivity through leadership programmes and R&D. Without these projects and the interventions our world class business schools make with businesses in their areas, we risk a management skills deficit in the businesses and regions our economy needs to prosper after our exit from the EU.”

Mike Blackburn, Chairman, Greater Manchester LEP and North West Regional Director, BT; and Co-Chair of the Chartered ABS Delivering Value Taskforce said: “In the current uncertain economic conditions, we now need to look at how we combine our capacity and capabilities to drive quicker and more sustained local growth. At the local level we have the ability to create plans which are more responsive and relevant to local needs. Business schools and LEP’s have a good track record of engagement but there is more which local organisations and the business schools on their doorstep can do to support business productivity, skills and leadership. The Government should commit to funding economic development programmes post-Brexit which target local interventions and drive job creation and productivity.”

Professor Ellie Hamilton, Professor of Entrepreneurship, Department of Entrepreneurship Strategy and Innovation, Lancaster University Management School; and Co-Chair, Delivering Value Taskforce said: “This report shows that business schools provide a critical interface between business and our great universities. Through research and teaching, and through collaboration with other disciplines, business schools benefit every sector within our economy. We have shown how business schools collaborate with businesses and academics in STEM sectors to help them translate invention into innovation. This report illustrates the breadth and depth of the work being done by business schools to engage with business and communities and the value being delivered in diverse local and regional contexts.”

  • To read the full report, 'Business schools: delivering value to local and regional economies', please follow the link here.