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Simon Collinson - School Overview

Last Updated:

05th February 2014

Birmingham Business School is an excellent business school in a large Russell Group university, the University of Birmingham. We are a full-fledged full program business school. We do courses all the way from undergraduate right through to executive training. We have particular specialities in international business, a large MSc of international business.

We're only an hour and a half from London and in the U.K.'s second biggest city. Alongside programs like the international business program and programs in entrepreneursip we also have great connections with the Birmingham region. We engage with businesses and policy makers very closely as does the rest of the university.

One of the strengths of the school is the fact that we do what we call engaged research. Our research is very relevant to the challenges of businesses but also charity type organizations, nonprofit organizations, and policy makers. By doing relevant research it means that we teach students the kinds of things that they need, the kinds of capabilities they need, to be employable. We're one of the leading schools in the country in terms of the ranking of our programs for student employability. Our connection with regional businesses and our connection with other regional organizations as well as big multinationals, global corporations, allows us to put up a number of things like internships and placements that allow students to learn the kind of skills they need to move into business careers after they finish here.

One great example of that is that we run the KPMG program. KPMG is one of the largest consulting employers in the country. Our students come on that program, the KPMG program, and they take a number of courses that help them achieve the chartered accountant degree as well as our own academic university degree. They're ready then for careers in firms like KPMG. We have connections with Boots, with Starbucks, with a range of large corporations, and our students benefit a huge amount from those connections. So, a key strength is the engagement both on the teaching side and the research side.

Another strength, again, is being part of the Birmingham region because we are closely connected partly through our advisory board to regional businesses and the regional economy. The chair of my advisory board is Lord Digby Jones, and the deputy chair is Sir Dominic Cadbury. These are fans of the region, but they're also great business characters who've run large corporations. Our students benefit hugely from interaction with and talks by people of that status.

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