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University launches radical new approach to teaching business skills
NORTHUMBRIA University has become one of the first in the UK to launch a radical new programme in which students spend two years setting up and running their own business.
The new Entrepreneurial Business Management programme, offered by the University's Newcastle Business School, sees students studying on campus for their first year, developing an understanding of the core business disciplines whilst honing their business ideas and plans.
They then move to the Northern Design Centre in Gateshead where they spend the next two years running businesses in teams.
The scheme provides an experiential learning environment in which to embed their learning and enables them to graduate with unique knowledge, skills and behaviours.
The programme, based on a philosophy developed by Finland's Jyvaskyla University of Applied Sciences, aims to equip students with the skills, confidence, contacts, experience and reflective ability required to establish and develop a successful business.
Students will work as part of a team to run their business and will be coached, rather than lectured, by their tutors during the two years of establishing and running a business. Links with business and industry will provide additional support. Yorkshire Bank will offer free business banking facilities, mentoring and sectorial advice. Watson Burton law firm will provide legal advice and mentoring support, as well as access to space in its Newcastle, Leeds and London offices for meetings.
The North-East Chamber of Commerce will offer free membership to the students while they are running their business.
Luke Monterosso, 18, is currently studying the Entrepreneurial Business Management programme. Luke, explained why he competed for a place on this course: "I've always wanted to start-up my own business but have always wanted a little experience beforehand so the course at Northumbria University appealed to me. It provides a 'fast-track' method of gaining lots of practical knowledge and experience in the business world by making mistakes, reflecting and learning from real life business practice."
Fellow student George Cocks, 18, added: "The course is definitely a new and revolutionary way of learning. By being allowed scope and relatively free reign to take our business in any direction we choose, our team are in a unique position where we shape our own learning, having total control over finance, marketing, and advertising. By learning through practical application of theory I am gaining a head-start in business and entrepreneurship."
Dr Jane Turner, associate dean at Newcastle Business School, explained: "Northumbria University has an excellent reputation for creating experiential learning opportunities. We know that work-based learning produces distinctive, differentiated graduates who truly stand out from the crowd. We anticipate that students graduating from the programme will want to stay in the North-East and run their own businesses, or enter organisations as real intrapreneurs who make a difference."
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