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It was a real team effort

Elizabeth Gammie
RGU’s Aberdeen Business School has been named as the Business School of the Year at the Times Higher Education 2020 Awards. Professor Elizabeth Gammie, Head of Aberdeen Business School, speaks of the collaboration and commitment behind the school’s innovative approaches.

To win this accolade is a huge achievement for everyone involved as it rewards our innovative approach to provide a top quality education provision within Aberdeen Business School.

The Awards recognise the outstanding performance of universities throughout the UK and the ‘Business School of the Year’ category recognises outstanding business school’s which demonstrate excellent teaching, research, student experience, innovation, and development.

As a school we have the mantra of continuous improvement and the staff constantly engage with a variety of stakeholders to inform our approach and we consistently innovate to provide an industry led top quality business school experience for all our students.

We were shortlisted as a school in 2019, in recognition of the work that we did to support students and the local economy following the downturn in the oil price and we were delighted to be shortlisted again in 2020 when we showcased some of our developments in relation to work-based and work-related learning. Whilst the School has a long track record of a very successful undergraduate placement programme we have rolled out this opportunity to our post-graduate courses and this innovative offering has been very well received by students significantly increasing our post-graduate numbers.

We have harnessed our expertise in work-related learning and extended this to work-based learning through our blended learning Graduate Apprenticeships.  Our course design has enabled students from the length of breadth of Scotland to take up this opportunity and we have therefore extended access to higher education to many who were unable to study a more traditional type of course. We have also worked very closely with two professional accounting bodies, ICAS and ACCA, to offer a unique five year graduate apprentice and professional qualification route and this unique provision has been warmly welcomed both by employers and the accounting profession. 

To top everything off we also reported outstanding student experience statistics and as students are at the heart of everything we do, receiving great feedback from our students is so rewarding. 

We were thrilled to bits to actually lift the title this time. To get external recognition like this is so uplifting, not only to all the academic staff within the school who have worked tirelessly and enthusiastically to provide such fantastic opportunities for our students, but also, to all the other staff within the university who support us as a School.

I keep getting asked what now.  Well as you can imagine we are not resting on our laurels and despite the challenging environment that we are currently operating within due to COVID we are still innovating. We have recently launched a new Sustainability and Energy Transitions route through our AMBA accredited MBA and we are about to validate a similar Energy transitions route through our MSc Energy Management programme. We are also currently developing a new rage of interdisciplinary courses both at undergraduate level, whereby we are looking to combine Management and Accounting with Data Science, and post graduate level, whereby we are going to offer different routes such as AI, Data Science, Sustainability and Design as part of our Management Programme. All of this new provision has been industry led and we are excited what the future holds. We are also very aware of the role that the university can play in the recovery of the economy post-COVID and we are currently working on ideas around this.  

I am incredibly proud of what the School has achieved and I am incredibly proud of all the staff. It has been a real team effort founded on the desire to constantly improve and we are all looking forward to when we can all get back on campus to celebrate or award in style.     

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