'We send them out with a cocktail of technical depth and business breadth'

July 28, 2006

Cambridge professor Nick Oliver is returning to Edinburgh University to lead its management school

It looks like boom time for business education at Edinburgh University. Nick Oliver, of Cambridge University's Judge Business School, has been appointed head of Edinburgh's management school. He wants to see Edinburgh among the top 20 international business schools and plans to beef up its portfolio of lucrative postgraduate courses. "Historically, Edinburgh concentrated very much on its undergraduate programmes, which are extremely good, but I think we can do much more in the area of premium fee activities," Professor Oliver said. He said that Edinburgh was "very obviously placed to make a strong push" in finance and accountancy, given its position as a major financial centre.

Professor Oliver graduated in psychology from Edinburgh, and his Open University PhD focused on Japan's business success. In his current post as co-director of the Centre for Competitiveness and Innovation, a partnership between Cambridge and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, he co-authored a special study of MG Rover's collapse. The CCI is involved in research and teaching, including six specialist masters programmes for science and engineering students. "We send them out with a cocktail of technical depth and business breadth. It's a concept I'm very interested to explore in Edinburgh," he said.

Professor Oliver's appointment was good news for some in Scottish higher education who feared that native academics would move to English universities, which are thought to be better off due to income from top-up fees. "No one wants to work in a university that is under-resourced, but that's not something I'm expecting to keep me awake at night," he said.

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