Induction and the Start of a New Year

By David Collins, Suffolk Business School

It seems to come around more quickly each year…and it’s here again. It is of course ‘induction week’; that point in the calendar when as Head of the Business School I have the very great honour of welcoming new and continuing students to the University of Suffolk. My welcome to you is genuine and heartfelt. I am very pleased to see you. Education changes lives – it certainly changed mine – and I am delighted that you have chosen to join the Business School at a very exciting and highly dynamic point in our history. In future posts I will talk more about the exciting changes that we have under development at present. For the moment however I want to take a moment to remind you of two key points that I made in my welcome address. These key points relate a) to our mission as a business school and b) to one of the key ways in which we are working to make this vision a reality.

On our mission: This is to ensure that you are not employable…but are ‘career-ready’. So our mission as a Business School is – whether you are in the first year or the third year of your UG programme – to work with you in order to ensure that you are, (metaphorically-speaking) awake for and alive to what it will take to carve out that life-long and life-enhancing project which we call ‘a career’.

And how will we make this a reality?

Good question…we will do this in a variety of ways but for the moment I simply want to draw your attention to the 5 ‘big ideas’ which now shape our curricula. These are, namely:

  • Advocacy
  • Plurality
  • Accountability
  • Empowering
  • Application

You will find these terms in each of your module guides and in your Course Handbook and perhaps more importantly you will find additional text that explains how and why these ideas underpin your modules and your degree programmes. Please study these carefully: They underpin our teaching and learning strategy and they guide our assessment. And perhaps more importantly these Big Ideas signal what makes our programmes distinctive, they are consequently the narrative materials that you will draw upon when it is time to convince future employers that you have the knowledge, skills and the attitudes that deserve a career!

And… finally I was a little perturbed to learn, during induction, that no-one recognised my reference to the novelist, Kurt Vonnegut. In response to this I am, of course, tempted to say… ‘so it goes’. But I won’t (despite the fact that I just have) but will instead ask the dear Webmistress to conjure a web link… Click away dear friends… and in case you doubt the wisdom of the 5 Big Ideas you might like to reflect upon the fact that I have called upon each of these in the course of this blog!

You’re welcome!


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