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A year to remember for Sunderland Business School

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Published on 29 February 2024

Sunderland Business School
Sunderland Business School

Sunderland Business School is celebrating after being nominated in four categories in the 2024 Educate North Awards, including being named a finalist for Business School of the Year.

Now in their 10th year, the Educate North Awards recognise and share best practice and excellence in the education sector, highlighting world class achievements across the University, HE, FE and Sixth Form sectors in the North of England.

Sunderland has been named a finalist in four categories: the Business Engagement, Employer Award (University Sector); Community Engagement Award (University Sector); The Sustainable Green Initiative, and the Business School of the Year.

Professor Lawrence Bellamy, Academic Dean of the Faculty of Business, Law and Tourism, said: “Sunderland Business School’s nominations for these categories indicate the outstanding work of staff and students and the contribution which they are making to business and the community in the region and beyond. It’s fantastic that our impact is being recognised in these prestigious awards.”

The Business Engagement, Employer Award has recognised the work of Sunderland Marketing Hub. Launched in 2021, Sunderland Marketing Hub brings together students, businesses, and marketing academics to work on real-life marketing projects. In 2022 eight businesses were working with the Hub. Carol Stoker, Marketing Hub Manager, was recruited in 2023 to increase collaborative opportunities between businesses, academics and students, and with her guidance the number of organisations collaborating on consultancy projects increased to 22 in 2023, with 116 students working with organisations to become work-ready graduates.

The University Take 25 project is a finalist for the Community Engagement Award. Enterprise Rent-A-Car works with the Business School, giving teams of students £25 to start an income-generating enterprising activity. 106 students took part in 2023, setting up small enterprises and sourcing prizes, raising £11,048 for The Children’s Foundation.

The Sustainable Green Initiative recognises the outreach work of Sunderland Business School in 2023. The Faculty of Business, Law & Tourism have been a Signatory Member of the United Nations Principles Responsibilities for Management Education (UN PRME) since August 2018. In 2023 the Business School launched a series of events to embed sustainability in their engagement with schools and colleges. Their outreach work influenced a large number of young people through their Summer School, with over 20 students learning more about sustainability. Energy Workshops were delivered to approximately 70 Year 12 and 13 students at Bede Sixth Form College.The Eco-Schools Challenge involved around 70 students from six local schools and colleges. Gateshead College won the competition, creating green spaces in the college, and a wellbeing garden.

2023 was a year to remember for Sunderland Business School and has led to Educate North Awards naming them as a finalist for Business School of the Year. Student numbers doubled in 2022/23 in comparison with the previous academic year. During this time a full curriculum transformation across all undergraduate and postgraduate programmes was rolled out. A large proportion of international students gave the School the opportunity to adapt and diversify their teaching and learning practices. A new Accreditations Manager post was created, building and solidifying strong relationships with professional bodies. The School showed its ambition in gaining new professional body accreditations and memberships, such as Small Business Charter, and submitting their first publicly available UN PRME Sharing Information on Progress Report. The School significantly revamped its research focus in 2023, with the establishment of Research Centre for Business and Management. Sunderland Business School achieved its first Management Knowledge Transfer Partnership worth £190,000, and student retention increased, despite student numbers doubling.

The 2024 Educate North Awards take place in Manchester in April.