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Sustainability in Business takes centre stage at hugely successful International Masters' Summer School


The second annual International Master's Summer School at the University of Bradford's School of Management has been hailed a huge success after student numbers tripled from last year.

With the theme of Sustainability in Business, the Summer School was created to enhance Masters’ students’ understanding of sustainability challenges faced by businesses and organisations at a global and local level. Students were showed innovative ideas and solutions towards those challenges.

Organised by Director of Studies for MSc Programmes at Bradford School of Management, Dr Mei-Na Liao, the Summer School has grown from 16 students last year to 50 students (the maximum number that the School of Management can currently take) this year.

The 50 students were from 17 nationalities, four continents and four European Business Schools: Bradford University School of Management, Audencia France, Deusto Spain and Kozminski University Poland.

Dr Liao said: “The Summer School was a huge success; all participants enjoyed the intensive week of seminars and activities and learned about sustainability in Business and organisations.

“I want to say a big thank you to everyone who contributed to this exciting week; our students completed the Summer School with great satisfaction and enthusiasm.”

As well as the lectures and seminars, the students were given guided tours of Drax power station (Europe’s largest producer of energy) and a Coca Cola Enterprises plant at Wakefield (Europe’s largest producer of soft drinks). The issue of sustainability was the main focus of these trips. They were also given a guided cultural tour of UNESCO World Heritage Site, Saltaire Village.

The students also took part in an interactive simulation game. At the start of the week they were put into groups and had to make strategic decisions on the running of a sustainable business each day, balancing the economic, wellbeing, social and nature impacts.

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Pictured above are the students on the International Masters' Summer School

At the end of the week each group gave a presentation on what they had learned from the lectures, seminars, trips and game. Members of the winning team who gave the best presentation received prizes.

The winning team (pictured below) comprised Esther Huyer, Pei-Shan Wang, Joseph Ojo, Ione Saenz Ayala and Wiktoria Golebiowska.

Summer School student Zarli Tun, who is from Myanmar and is studying for the MSc Finance and Investment at the University of Bradford School of Management, said: “The International Masters’ Summer School has been really interesting and informative. It’s given me the opportunity to meet new people and learn things in the areas of sustainability and marketing.”

Zarli added: “I really enjoyed the Social Marketing seminar by Dr Mei-Na Liao and the game has been really good too.”

A Facebook group (FoML: International Master’s Summer School) was set up to capture the learning experiences of the students and give them an online forum to discuss their learning and ideas throughout the week.

Dr Liao said: “The tremendous engagement and activities on Facebook is a testimony to the success of the week.

“Students said they feel that they have deepened their understanding of sustainability.

“They also said they valued the experience of working in a truly international team, it gave them the opportunity to share their views on sustainability to someone from different part of the world and seeing it from different perspectives.”

The prizes for the winning team were sponsored by Colin Crawford, who graduated from the School of Management with an MBA in 1998. He is currently Business Finance Manager at Aviva Life.

Colin has donated funds towards improving the student experience at Bradford. These funds have supported a number of initiatives including travel bursaries for distance learning students to attend block modules on the Bradford campus, prizes for business competitions and conferences such as the PHD Annual Conference and IMSS.

The lectures and seminars included:

Sustainable Composite Structures for Whole Life-Cycle Structural Engineering
Prof Dennis Lam, Chairman of Structural Engineering and Director of Bradford Centre for Sustainable Environments at the University of Bradford

Sustainability in International Business
Dr Deirdre McQuillan, Lecturer in Strategy/International Business at Bradford School of Management

Remanufacturing as a Strategic Choice: The Case of Ricoh UK
Prof David Spicer, Dean of Salford Business School

Finding a Sustainable Business Model
Paul Ellis, CEO of Ecology Building Society

CSR and Sustainability
Dr Anna Zueva-Owens, Lecturers in Business Ethics at Bradford School of Management

International Sustainability Policies
Prof Kevin Barber, Professor of Operations Management at Bradford School of Management

Social Marketing – Behaviour Change
Dr Mei-Na Liao, Senior Lecturer in Marketing at Bradford School of Management

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The winning team. Pictured from left are Ione Saenz Ayala, Esther Huyer, Joseph Ojo, Wiktoria Golebiowska and Pei-Shan Wang