A view of Glasgow

Strathclyde Business School

Looking back, moving forward: 2023 in focus

By David Hillier - Posted on 9 January 2024

As we move into 2024 and look forward to the coming year, Executive Dean David Hillier reflects back on what the business school has achieved in the last 12 months. 

It’s that time of year when we reflect on what we have achieved in the past 12 months and look forward to what’s to come. Each year, I’m taken aback by what our staff and students succeed in and how plans are moved forward in teaching, research, and knowledge exchange. Our staff and students are ambitious and innovative, and we see evidence of that daily. 

As an entrepreneurial business school with the Hunter Centre for Entrepreneurship one of our key departments - and Strathclyde Inspire supporting all budding Strathclyde entrepreneurs - we were over the moon when Strathclyde was named European Entrepreneurial University of the Year at the Triple E Awards in Barcelona in the summer. This is a recognition of our institutional commitment to embedding entrepreneurship in everything we do at Strathclyde. 

Recently, Dr Joanna Butler of the Department of Work, Employment and Organisation won first prize at the latest Strathclyde Inspire Awards for her startup MyEmploy, which has the potential to transform how people excluded from the labour market are supported into fair work. The presentation to Joanna and other entrepreneurs was made at the event hosted by the Principal, Professor Sir Jim MacDonald, on November 16 to celebrate the success of Entrepreneurial University of the Year. Joanna won the Stephen Young Entrepreneurship Award, the most significant financial prize on the night of £10k, and we look forward to seeing how she moves this start-up forward!

We were delighted too that Strathclyde Business School has secured Silver level Athena Swan status for its work to advance gender equality. The Athena Swan Charter, managed by Advance HE, is a framework to support and transform gender equality within higher education (HE) and research. We are very proud to be awarded Silver status from Athena Swan – Strathclyde Business School is committed to progressing the advancement of all students and staff and ensuring we have a diverse, inclusive and supportive environment for all. We will continue to make our business school an environment where everyone can flourish regardless of gender.

Staff highlights

We are always pleased to share the successes of our team here at Strathclyde, which we do throughout the year. I want to highlight a few here: Professor Emma Macdonald, Charles Huang Chair in International Business and Stephen Young Institute Director. Emma was announced as the winner of this year’s Abbie Griffin High Impact Award for her article “Harnessing Difference: A Capability-Based Framework for Stakeholder Engagement in Environmental Innovation“.

Professor Aylin Ates has recently been recognised for her impactful research on manufacturing small and medium enterprises (SME) resilience by the International Labour Organisation (ILO). Aylin’s research has informed a recent comprehensive report published by the ILO on Determinants of Productivity Recovery and Business Resilience.

Congratulations also to Dr Stewart Johnstone, who was awarded the British Academy of Management (BAM) Medal for Leadership at the 2023 BAM Conference at the University of Sussex. The BAM Medal for Leadership is awarded for sustained and outstanding leadership of, and contribution to, the academic community by a BAM member.

Professor Mairi Spowage, Director of the Fraser of Allander Institute, was appointed to two new advisory roles earlier this year. Professor Spowage has joined an Economic Advisory Council (EAC) newly formed by the British Chambers of Commerce and appointed to the Scottish Government’s New Deal for Business Group.

Ranking success 

This year, our Executive MBA has been ranked in the annual Financial Times’ top 100 ranking of Executive MBA programmes. The Executive MBA programme is offered via Glasgow and our five international centres, and its rank was based on the responses from 2020 graduates of the programme. The Strathclyde Executive MBA was ranked 85th, placing us 13th in the UK and notably the only Scottish business school to be ranked.

We were also ranked amongst the top European Business Schools of 2023 in the Financial Times ranking of the top 90 business schools. Of the European business schools featured, Strathclyde was ranked 62nd in Europe overall and is one of only 14 UK schools ranked. Its position means Strathclyde is the highest-ranked Scottish school to feature ranking.

New partnership  

Our partnerships with businesses and organisations continue to flourish. One notable partnership was launched in December: the Financial Regulation Innovation Lab (FRIL) from FinTech Scotland in partnership with the University of Strathclyde and the University of Glasgow. FRIL is a dynamic initiative set to revolutionise and shape the future regulatory landscapes in the UK and around the globe. Championing the frontier of financial regulation and harnessing cutting-edge technologies, FRIL is set to help ignite employment creation and business opportunities while also unlocking the potential of future talent. FRIL is set to deliver a wide-ranging, ambitious research agenda led by and actionable for the financial sector to help advance the understanding and adoption of new and emerging technologies, and we look forward to the future of this partnership.

Student Successes

Every year, we have students who succeed in their academic studies and do their utmost to make the most of their time here at Strathclyde, and graduation is always a high point of the year. It’s always a pleasure to hear specific stories from our students. Recently, undergraduate student Chizulum Ifezulike was named the 'Professor Sir Geoff Palmer Outstanding Student of the Year' in the Black Scottish Awards. Chizulum is an Economics and Business Enterprise student at Strathclyde Business School and was one of five finalists on the shortlist. She had a great time attending the awards ceremony on October 28, when she was presented with her award.

Also externally recognised was Strathclyde Business School graduate Rebecca MacKinnon, who was named HR Graduate of the Year at the Hr Network National Awards. This is now the third year in a row that a Strathclyde graduate has won HR Graduate of the Year at the prestigious event - last year's winner was Sarah Lawson, while Fraser Gillespie walked off with the award in 2021. This is undoubtedly a credit to our fantastic students and our Department of Work, Employment and Organisation.

This year saw the first postgraduate competition from the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM). Dubbed “The Challenge”, two Strathclyde MBA teams successfully took it on and reached the final of this marketing competition, designed to recognise and reward the marketing talent amongst postgraduate students. The competition was open to teams across Scotland, and our two teams took first and third place following a competitive face-to-face pitching final in June.

A team of MBA students fought off some of the world’s best business schools to make it to the final of the Oxford Global Private Equity Challenge Competition - a prestigious Private Equity case competition - and present their business cases to a judging panel with representatives coming from companies such as Grant Thornton, Ares Management and Graphite Capital. In the end, the Strathclyde team did remarkably well, finishing second overall, sadly being pipped at the post by the Chicago Booth School of Business at the final event on May 25-26. For achieving second place, the team was awarded a cheque of £1,000.

I was also pleased to hear that undergraduate student Paul Wilson got to the Targetjobs Management Undergraduate of the Year Awards 2023 finals following a challenging selection process.

Meanwhile, two MSc Entrepreneurship, Innovation and Technology graduates were selected for a week-long entrepreneurial programme as part of Santander Explorer to work on a project conceived when doing an MSc at Strathclyde Business School. Dana Schwendtner and Jonny Lindsay met while doing the MSc In Entrepreneurship, Innovation and Technology and worked on several projects during their studies.

This year was the first time we awarded the Stephen Young Global Leaders’ Scholarships (SYGL) awards and there were many high calibre applicants. In the end, there were three exceptional and worthy winners of these inaugural scholarships. Hachikaru Karen Chukwu, Angeline Otiende Ondeng’e and Dr Vijay Venkoba Rao were the successful applicants – they received generous fees and stipend scholarships to support them on the 2023/24 Strathclyde MBA programme.

Research news 

Across the business school, our academics push forward with exciting and innovative research, working across faculties and institutions to add to our body of world-class, impactful research. 

Strathclyde Business School researchers have partnered with one of the UK's leading medical leadership research and development bodies to launch a new project on enhancing collaborative and 'distributed' leadership in health and care. The project is led by Professor Ioanna Nixon, who combines her role as professor of practice at Strathclyde Business School with her work as an NHS Scotland Clinical Director and consultant oncologist. Professor Nixon's team include Professor Colin Lindsay and Dr Tony McCarthy from Strathclyde Business School and Dr Katie Willocks of Manchester Metropolitan University.

A two-year Knowledge Transfer Partnership between Strathclyde University and JWF Process Solutions Ltd has been awarded the highest Outstanding grade by the KTP Grading Panel for meeting its objectives. The aim of the KTP, which took place from 2021-2023, was to support the business model transition from sensor supply to provision of a software-based data and information service sales solution by embedding operational capability and management expertise, enabling future growth through efficient implementation and execution of business improvement processes.

Strathclyde Business School researchers have begun to engage with communities to discover what they think of the innovative CAELUS project, which will see aerial drones used for medical delivery in Scotland. CAELUS is an innovative project designed to position Scotland at the forefront of drone technologies to deliver healthcare supplies to people more efficiently and quickly. The aim is to improve medical care and equity of care by adding a new mode of medical transport using drones, especially in rural and remote communities, to transport blood products in case of emergency, bring chemotherapy treatments closer to patients, or bring blood samples back to the lab for fast-track testing. I’ll be watching the development of this project with interest. 

I can only highlight some of our successes over the past year, but I hope you will keep in touch with us through our webpage, newsletter and social media to find out what we get up to in the next 12 months.

Contact details

 Undergraduate admissions
 +44 (0)141 548 4114

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


Strathclyde Business School
University of Strathclyde
199 Cathedral Street
G4 0QU

Triple accredited

AACSB, AMBA and Equis logos
Winner THE 2016 Business School of the year logo