Innovative Collaboration leads to Accreditation success
The Birmingham Business Schools Online MBA, a course whose development was supported by the Educational Enterprise team became the first wholly online MBA in the world to receive formal accreditation from one of the leading authorities on postgraduate business education, The Association of MBAs (AMBA).
Since launching in September 2015 the programme has attracted students from over 20 countries with more joining across the three intakes each year. Ceridwen Scerri, MBA student and Research Analyst from Malta supports this from a student perspective highlighting that “The online MBA provides you with the thrilling experience of connecting globally through your computer.”
Described by Dr Michael Shulver, the academic programme lead, the AMBA accreditation signifies that the course “re-defined the Distance Learning MBA for a 21st Century market.” Working with our external partner Wiley, Educational Enterprise and the Birmingham Business School have been able to set new standards in design and delivery.Through a successful cooperation of our leading academics, and a specialist instructional design team, the course provides an exceptional digital student experience that can be enjoyed by MBA students both online and on campus.
The Online MBA is one of three wholly online master’s level course whose launches were supported by the co-ordination of Educational Enterprise. In addition to the Online MBA the Birmingham Business School also offers an MSc International Business while via INLOGOV a master’s in public administration (MPA) is also available to those in local government or the public sector around the world.
Translating our campus community to a global setting - The New Student Orientation module
The Online courses facilitated by the work of educational enterprise are designed to attract applicants from across the world. With students from over 30 countries with 86 different nationalities recruited in the first year of operation a unique an exciting challenge presents itself. How do you effectively translate the University’s sense of community and strong campus identity to a global audience of distance learners as they begin their studies?
In response to this question the department has worked to create a resource that enables the students to create a community that are welcomed and encouraged to learn, engage and collaborate from the very beginning of the studies through the New Student Orientation.
The New Student Orientation module serves two primary purposes; to welcome and to inform. From the first day at which they register for the course the students are enrolled in the module. Here they will find introductions to the wider student community, advice on the academic expectations of a global research led university, and an overview of the support and guidance that will be on offer to them up to graduation and then beyond as part of our global alumni community.
The module continues to be updated based upon the feedback of a variety of stakeholders incorporating the feedback of current students via their student reps. It has been designed to offer a valuable, continuous resource presented by Educational Enterprise to compliment the dedicated support given by the online student services coordinator and the departmental programme teams.
The success of the module has also spawned a pilot online induction module designed to offer support for campus based students to help prepare them for life at university.
World leading research university teaming up with a global publishing giant
In August 2014 the University of Birmingham became the first European institution to partner with the US publishing giant Wiley to provide a pioneering approach to distance and online learning in the UK. Wiley is one of the global market leaders at supporting higher education institutions to develop unparalleled distant learning programmes.
Stephen Smith, President and Chief Executive Officer of Wiley, said: “We are extremely excited about our relationship with the University of Birmingham. It is a tremendous opportunity to partner with a prestigious Russell Group institution and help expand its brand and programmes to new markets through high-quality distance learning experiences. As a leading higher education solutions provider Wiley is committed to improving educational outcomes for the benefit of our partners and students.”
The initial set of courses developed in collaboration with the College of Social Science included a Masters in Public Administration (MPA), an MSc International Business and a MBA that both carries Birmingham Business School’s Triple Crown accreditation and the world’s first AMBA accreditation for a wholly online MBA.
The programmes have been developed offering those seeking professional development the same quality learning experience and qualifications they would expect from a full-time campus based courses at the University of Birmingham, but with flexibility to learn online anywhere in the world.
Following a year of development, facilitated and coordinated by Educational Enterprise, these 3 innovative courses launched in September 2015 and now boast over 150 students from more than 30 countries