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Strathclyde Business School

Strathclyde Business School: a year in focus

By David Hillier - Posted on 8 January 2020

Executive Dean of Strathclyde Business School Professor David Hillier reflects on a successful year for the Business School.

From start to finish, 2019 has really given us something to celebrate at Strathclyde Business School. We’ve had successes across the faculty in many different fields and to top it all off the university won the Times Higher Education Award for UK University of the Year at the end of November.

As a faculty we were delighted to share in this success but we were also thrilled to share in the awards themselves by winning the Widening Participation or Outreach Initiative of the Year award for our innovative Breaking Barriers programme, a pioneering programme which gives young people with learning disabilities access to education and work experience opportunities.

The awards were made at the Times Higher Education Awards 2019 in London in November, and Strathclyde beat off stiff competition from universities around the country to win the two awards.

As a socially progressive institution, Strathclyde is committed to inclusion and opening higher education to all. Strathclyde Business School has offered the Breaking Barriers programme for three years in collaboration with ENABLE Scotland. The pioneering programme enables young people with learning disabilities to attend university, achieve an accredited qualification and gain real work experience with two of Scotland’s largest employers, Scottish Power and Marriott Hotel, Glasgow.

Earlier this year the University was named the Sunday Times Good University Guide Scottish University of the Year for 2020. This accolade recognised the university’s strong student satisfaction ratings, subject rankings, campus investment and focus on entrepreneurship skills for students.

As well as awards, we have achieved highly in accreditations over the past 12 months. We were reaccredited by AACSB for the maximum five year period, having undergone a rigorous review process which involves a peer review team from the business education community assessing the business school against stringent criteria. AACSB Accreditation ensures a school is providing its students with a challenging, relevant education that prepares them for the business world.

Our MBA programme was also reaccredited for the full five year period by the Association of MBAs (AMBA). AMBA accreditation applies to all MBA routes including full time, part time and flexible learning, as well as our overseas offerings and bespoke MBA programmes such as MBA25.

These reaccreditations have reaffirmed our triple crown status which comprises accreditation from AMBA, AACSB and EQUIS.

But those weren’t the only accreditation successes for this year - Strathclyde Business School was reaccredited by Small Business Charter for the maximum five year period with the Hunter Centre for Entrepreneurship being recognised as an exemplar. The SBC award celebrates business schools that play an effective role in supporting small businesses, local economies and student entrepreneurship. This is testament to the fact we are one of the UK’s world-class business schools.


Our students continue to impress us. Early in the year a team of students from Strathclyde Business School achieved an honourable mention for their Elevator Pitch at the international TCU Richards Barrentine Values and Ventures Competition in the USA (April 5-6), and we were delighted for team members Florian Schabus, Sian Welsh and Nicolas Kirsch.

For the second successive year a team of Strathclyde Business School Marketing students won a nationwide competition designed to recognise and reward the marketing talent of the future. The Chartered Institute of Marketing's (CIM) The Pitch challenge sees students from leading universities compete to respond to a live client brief in a bid to win the title of 'Marketers of the Future'. The challenge is designed specifically to help accelerate the career of students studying a marketing or business degree, by developing their presentation, communication and problem-solving skills. This year, teams put forward ideas to support Hawaiian Tropic’s drive to help young women feel confident and protected in the summer months.

And one of our Graduate Apprentices was recognised at the Scottish Apprenticeship Awards in November. Jordan Fairlamb was named Apprentice of the Year Scotland at the ceremony in Dundee. Jordan is a supply chain management modern apprentice with Dawnfresh Seafoods Ltd and is now working towards a Graduate Apprenticeship, having started at Strathclyde in September.

However, it’s not just our students who were awarded plaudits.

Strathclyde Business School alumnus and philanthropist Iain MacRitchie was named as one of 33 business school graduates honoured by AACSB International (AACSB) — the world’s largest business education alliance – as one of the 2019 Class of Influential Leaders.

The annual award recognises notable alumni from AACSB-accredited schools whose inspiring work serves as a model for the next generation of business leaders.

Business entrepreneur Iain has been an Executive Chairman or CEO in 18 different organisations nationally and internationally, all of which required transformation or radical improvement when he took them on. But despite being at the peak of his career, Iain has taken five years out to establish MCR Pathways, a school-based mentoring programme which works to radically transform education and life outcomes for young people who are care-experienced or disadvantaged. We were delighted that Iain joins Sir Tom Hunter to be honoured in this way by AACSB International, and we are also delighted to say that we support Iain with MCR Pathways through our own staff mentoring local pupils.


As ‘a place of useful learning’ we are always striving to strengthen our links with industry. This year, Strathclyde Business School signed a strategic partnership agreement with FinTech Scotland. Links between the Department of Marketing and car dealership Arnold Clark deepened – as well as offering scholarships for the MSc Digital Marketing Management programme earlier this year, the company has now sponsored a number of PhDs to look at the future of the automotive industry which should lead to some exciting new research.

Our Leading Forward lecture series has been a great success. Curated by our alumnus Dr Lena Wilson CBE with the aim of creating an engaging platform for current, aspiring and future business leaders, we have hosted a range of exciting speakers, and I hope some of you got the chance to go along and listen to the series.

Following the success of our MSc Financial Technology, we have now launched a part-time MSc Financial Technology (FinTech) in Bahrain – the first programme of its kind in the Gulf region. Delivered in partnership with the Bahrain Institute of Banking and Finance (BIBF), the master’s degree will further develop Bahrain as a pioneering Fintech hub in the Gulf by providing skilled professionals to the sector, and also act as a platform for interaction between UK and Bahrain fintech companies. We look forward to seeing this programme progress and grow.

We set up an exciting initiative this year - ‘Policy at Strathclyde’ was launched by Strathclyde Business School to harness the expertise across the University in this field. Working with public and private sector partners, the University makes a significant contribution to solving national and international challenges in health, economic development, energy, social policy and education. To support this and to combine its expertise in policy and executive education, we created this cross faculty, cross disciplinary, cross functional initiative known as Policy at Strathclyde and we hope to see some exciting collaborations come about as a result.


We have had some great research news over the past year. Strathclyde Business School’s Scottish Centre for Employment Research (SCER) has been awarded funding by the ESRC for a £1 million project investigating management practices and their effect on innovation and productivity. The international and interdisciplinary project is one of five projects selected by ESRC (the Economic and Social Research Council) which are jointly funded to £3.8 million.

Another major research project totalling €8.5million in which SBS plays a part is Research Infrastructure for Research and Innovation Policy Studies 2 (RISIS 2).The EU H2020 funded project aims at building a data and services infrastructure supporting the development of a new generation of analyses and indicators on science, technology and innovation (STI). RISIS 2 brings 19 partners from 12 European countries together with the objective of transforming the field of STI studies into an advanced research community

The Fraser of Allander Institute together with the Scottish Centre for Employment Research at Strathclyde Business School have been awarded funding to examine changing patterns of working hours and implications for poverty and inequality. The Fraser and SCER were awarded a £68,000 grant from the Standard Life Foundation for the one year project to examine changing patterns of working hours to better understand what drives these changes, how it affects poverty and inequality, and how policy might be able to respond.

Our academics continue to produce research that has an impact in the world. Itamar Megiddo in the Management Science department was lead author in a study which showed that there was benefit in withholding widespread use of some new antibiotics until the outbreak of a major pandemic. This research has led to a number of workshops and talks internationally.

The Economics Futures Initiative was launched this year. Following on from the successful intern and work placement model developed by the FAI, Strathclyde Economics Department has secured funding of £225,000 over three years from the Scottish Funding Council to roll-out the scheme across Scotland. The first suite of work placements has been launched with placements at the University of Stirling, the Fraser of Allander, the Scottish Funding Council and the Scottish Fiscal Commission. One post is match funded by the Scottish Football Premier League to assess the economic impact of professional football on the Scottish economy.

Overall, I’m sure you’ll agree, it’s been a year to celebrate. I hope 2020 will be just as successful for all our staff, students and partners!

Contact details

 Undergraduate admissions
 +44 (0)141 548 4114

 Postgraduate admissions
 +44(0)141 553 6118 / 6119


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