Anglia Ruskin networks enterprising education ideas to Romania

Published: 12 October 2010 at 09:59

UK shows Romania the way by providing the model for students to gain privileged access to leading entrepreneurs while they study

Anglia Ruskin University has entered into a partnership with the Romanian Academy of Economic Studies in Bucharest to help Romanian business students to enhance their studies through collaboration with business winners from the economy.

The Ashcroft International Business School (AIBS) has signed a contract worth £3.5m which will see the internationally-renowned business school work with the Academy to develop a new School of Entrepreneurial and Management Studies.  The new faculty will use the highly successful BA (Hons) Enterprise and Entrepreneurial degree programme as a template for the development of a suite of academic programmes and research activities designed to help high flying degree-level business students to fast-track themselves into the fast-developing Romanian economy.

The School of Entrepreneurial and Management Studies will cultivate relationships with leading academics, practitioners and world class entrepreneurs who will be embedded in the work of the faculty mirroring the highly innovative model developed through the BA (Hions) Enterprise and Entrepreneurial Management which has proved to a be a big success within the UK.  The objective is to unlock the potential of young business minds to help with the ongoing growth and development of the European Union’s most recent member country (Romania joined the EU in 2007).

An ‘Entrepreneur in Residence’ scheme will be developed for the course which will be spearheaded by Prof Ovidiu Nicolescu who is President of the National Council of SMEs in Romania. He is a professor, management trainer and international enterprise consultant at the Academy of Economic Studies.  This network will be explicitly involved in all stages in the development and management of the new school which is already generating considerable interest in Romania where there is a need for inspiring and creative degree students in the market place.

The new degree was developed in response to the criticism that some entrepreneurial degree programmes were out of date and did not fit with the ever-changing and increasingly challenging economic conditions across Europe. According to Prof Lester Lloyd-Reason from the newly-established Centre for Enterprise, Development and Research (CEDAR) at AIBS, it encourages universities and business schools to be more courageous their delivery of enterprise programmes.

"The programme we are setting up in Romania is the same formula that we are using in the UK.  It is encouraging business students to shift their thinking in terms of real-life enterprise by giving them privileged access to world class entrepreneurs who are keen to share their own personal experiences and pass on their acquired skills and expertise."

"This new partnership is an absolute vote of confidence for the work we are undertaking within AIBS which has embedded enterprise at its very heart.  It is working in the UK and now in demand from other European Union member countries.  We will continue to roll out this unique idea in order to harness the some of Europe’s finest business minds to help educate the next generation of entrepreneurs and business leaders."

The new school will provide students with conceptual and theoretical insights into enterprise, innovation and entrepreneurial management, as well as developing the practical abilities and skills students need to apply this understanding within a range of different business, community and organisational contexts. The students will be exposed to real-life business challenges through mentoring and shadowing to produce graduates who are highly motivated, have high self-esteem and self-confidence.

The mix of highly innovative undergraduate and post-graduate academic programmes will be supported through the establishment of a dynamic research and development agenda to include cutting edge international research projects, an international PhD programme and a highly stimulating post-doc research environment.    

Anglia Ruskin University’s Vice Chancellor Professor Michael Thorne, signed the new partnership agreement on behalf of the Ashcroft International Business School with the Romanian Academy of Economic Studies.  He said:

“Romania has been labelled the ‘Tiger of the East’ for its considerable economic potential. It is a country rich in agriculture, with diverse energy sources and a substantial manufacturing base.  As an economy with high growth rates it will stand to benefit greatly from this investment in its future business leaders.’

The Centre for Enterprise, Development and Research (CEDAR) will be launched officially in the UK in November at an event hosted by the Technology Partnership which owns Melbourne Science Park near Cambridge.  The Chair of the Technology Partnership, Peter Taylor has agreed to become Chair of CEDAR.

The mission of CEDAR is to set the benchmark for University Enterprise Centres by blending theory and practice. This will be achieved through building a suite of highly innovative academic programmes, research and development activities and consulting and management training initiatives through CEDAR’s unique mix of leading academics, practitioners and world class entrepreneurs.