March 02, 2009

Business and HE

Writing about web page

Interesting piece in a new magazine focusing on Business/HE interface – something that has been on my mind of late.

Whilst there is interesting stuff in there I find myself wondering if the first half matches up with the second half.

Part one seems fair enough and the use of MIT as a case study is fairly safe, as are the examples of other innovative spin outs from US institutions.

The think that doesn’t sit right is then the UK response to this challenge as outlined by the interview Prof. Arthur Francis. I am not convinced that the model outlined = Sergey Brin.

Surely the success of MIT is based on creating an environment of innovation and creativity rather than institutionalised support. I also question whether the MBA is the mechanism whereby UK institutions will find their business mojo. The strength of MIT and others is that they foster the spread of ideas from across a whole range of disciplines – they are intellectually rich and it is this interchange of ideas within institutions and without that makes them work and attractive to business.

Whilst the second part of the article may be entirely valid and effective, I am not sure it supports the argument that by following that path we can build something similar to the American model. That seems to require something different in my mind – something less concerned about applied/pure and more interested in ideas and academic creativity, and that is not exclusively a business school thing.

- 2 comments by 1 or more people Not publicly viewable

  1. Elessar

    I’d like to say that MBAs are not the way for institutions to look to the future. Even in the US, those programs have become so common over the past few years that an MBA is nothing but a diploma frame filler. If anything, better and more involving education is the way to go, just like MIT essentially provides. I totally agree with your opinion on the matter, except that I’d say the UK should endeavor to surpass the American postgrad model; it won’t be very difficult.

    02 Mar 2009, 21:50

  2. I’m not sure I would write off the MBA yet. There is a great value in high quality business skills. My question is whether a focus on business schools and the MBA as outlined in the article can deliver the outcomes articulated by the author.

    The writer seems to celebrate intellectual diversity at first but then positions a very narrow response. There are exciting ideas for the business mind across a University like Warwick.

    03 Mar 2009, 08:19

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