Academia can seem a world away from the boardroom. But an innovative partnership between the University of Gloucestershire and leadership and development strategy specialist, QuoLux, demonstrates the benefit that a collaboration like this can bring. With the University’s brand-new Business School now open in Gloucester, Stewart Barnes, Managing Director of QuoLux, talks about this partnership and how it its supporting local leaders and their businesses.
The University of Gloucestershire has a rich heritage of being an educational establishment that supports vocational learning. But what also drew us to working with the organisation was the synergy around the Business School’s purpose - honing innovation and productivity through leadership and purpose - sentiment that rings true with us.
So, over the last three years we’ve partnered with the University’s Business School to run our leadership programmes LEAD, GOLD and GAIN. This has enabled us to offer our cohort members, local business leaders and senior managers, the chance to have their ‘real world’ learning accredited; to the standards of Postgraduate Certificate, Diploma and MBA.
What makes the partnership all the more unique is that this is the first work based learning MBA of its kind – the only ‘practical MBA’ designed specifically for the leaders of growing businesses. This is game-changing for QuoLux, the University of Gloucestershire and our delegates. Unlike theory-led programmes, the MBA (Leading Business) builds on leadership experiences, provides a community for learning, offers valuable new tools and techniques to apply in the business world, and accelerates personal development. Therefore, learning is tied to practice and becomes more beneficial than learning specific topics.
“The partnership between QuoLux and the University of Gloucestershire has fundamentally changed the learning opportunities available to business leaders,” comments Sarah Bryars, MBA graduate and Chief Executive, Target. “The practicality of a work based learning programme means that you can apply your learning to real projects in your organisation, adding value straight away, while your learning is recognised through one of the highest educational standards.”
This year, our work with the University allowed us to extend our portfolio to offer the chance for international leaders to benefit from this world-leading leadership programme, with the introduction of the online Leading MBA. This has enabled leaders from across the globe to benefit directly from the power of learning in the workplace, while they remain in work, applying their learning without having to leave their home, job, or travel to another country.
We’ve deepened the connection between the University of Gloucestershire and QuoLux since the start of our partnership in 2015. I’ve been a Visiting Fellow of the University since 2016 and helped to spearhead a campaign addressing the issue of improving productivity in SMEs, with research undertaken by the University, in 2017. More recently, I was named a Director of the Centre for Innovation and Productivity, part of the University of Gloucestershire’s School of Business & Technology.