Business schools 'failing' mid-sized firms

Business schools are failing to help mid-sized companies as much as they could and so are holding back the UK's economy and society, a new report has concluded.

November 24, 2012

A report by the Business Schools Task Force, established by the government in November 2011, has asked schools to put in place an "engagement plan" to get businesses involved in events, lectures, and conferences.

Business schools should promote careers in mid-sized businesses (MSBs), defined as having a turnover of £25 million to £500 million, to their students, and not just focus on big firms.

The task force is composed of business school academics and representatives of the Confederation of British Industry and the government-run UK Trade and Investment.

Business schools can and often do provide companies with training for executives, advice, bespoke courses and access to useful research and networks, the report says.

However, firms lack information about how to approach universities, the report says, and often incorrectly believe that help will be costly, or completely free.

Firms also imagine they will get "theory and not applicable knowledge" if they approach an institution.

For their part, business schools do not think that MSBs employ many graduates and so do not establish recruitment links, the report adds.

The report recommends that every business school has a "clearly identified initial point of contact for business".

Their websites should be user friendly and employ "language easily understood by a layperson".

Another barrier is that academics in business schools are rewarded on the basis of their research rather than "corporate engagement and delivery of executive education", the report says.

Every school should have an MSB representative on its advisory board, it recommends.

"We are failing to make the most of our world-class business schools. There is a widespread recognition that our society, economy and universities are all diminished by a failure to overcome the challenges of connectedness to this important sector," the report argues.

You've reached your article limit

Register to continue

Registration is free and only takes a moment. Once registered you can read a total of 6 articles each month, plus:

  • Sign up for the editor's highlights
  • Receive World University Rankings news first
  • Get job alerts, shortlist jobs and save job searches
  • Participate in reader discussions and post comments

Have your say

Log in or register to post comments

Most Commented

Home secretary says government will support 'best' universities

Man handing microphone to audience member

Academic attainment of disadvantaged students can be improved if they can decide how they are assessed, study claims

Woman drinking tea from saucer

Plugging a multibillion-pound deficit exacerbated by June’s poll result may require ‘drastic measures’, analysts have warned

Italy's gold medallist

New measures to ensure universities are ‘not penalised’ for taking poorer students also outlined for next stage of TEF

Classroom, school

Higher education institutions can and should do more to influence education at a secondary school level, says Edward Peck