The University of Wolverhampton Business School has just celebrated its 80th anniversary with a special event which saw almost 100 business people from across the region attending.
UWBS Dean Dr Anthea Gregory wanted to showcase the activities and research undertaken by the School’s staff and students and to welcome new businesses who would like to work in partnership with the School.
She says: “We have been successfully delivering management development and business education for the region and beyond for 80 years. That really is something to celebrate.
“We were delighted that so many businesses came to join our celebrations and the feedback we have received has been really encouraging.”
In the early 1900s Wolverhampton and Staffordshire Technical College, from which the University would eventually emerge, was formed. By the 1930s Wolverhampton was regarded as ‘a rising industrial town’ and so the buildings which form the historic core of the modern university were opened in 1931. It was at this time that the first systematic teaching of ‘commerce’ and some of the subjects that today form the basis of a modern business school portfolio, such as accountancy, were offered.
Over time higher education became more widely available. The bigger technical colleges, including Wolverhampton, provided the basis for expansion and polytechnics were formed at the end of the 1960s.
During this period, Wolverhampton became one of the first institutions in the UK to offer an MBA, working with the University of Philadelphia to launch this flagship course. It is now offered by most UK business schools and still offered by UWBS nearly 45 years on, having developed to meet the needs of managers in the 21st century.
Wolverhampton has continued to be at the forefront of business education developments. In the early 1990s it was only the second institution in the UK to offer a Masters programme in Human Resource Development and became one of the founding partners in the University Forum for Human Resource Development. The School was amongst the first to offer postgraduate programmes in coaching and mentoring and an undergraduate degree in Entrepreneurship.
Last year, the Business School moved from its Compton Park site to its new location on City Campus in the centre of Wolverhampton. The celebration event, held at Molineux, also marked this successful relocation and gave an overview of the School’s current activities. Dr Gregory adds: “Our role is firmly based in the region, contributing to the enhancement of the skill base of Wolverhampton and the Black Country, but extends to bringing together students, teachers and researchers from across the world.
“We place particular emphasis on preparing our graduates for employment, giving our students the skills needed for a prosperous future in a competitive environment.”
The employability of graduates is evidenced by the achievements of alumni from the School who have gone on to high-flying careers, with examples including leading one of the big four accountancy firms; presenting TV programmes; becoming CEOs and directors of national and international companies and world-renowned professors.
Research in UWBS is also highly-regarded and staff are sought-after for their expertise, both in business consultancy and for expert comment by the media.
In the future, the School will continue to develop and grow. Rapid changes in technology and communication mean businesses have to evolve constantly and the University has the expertise to support them and work in partnership to ensure future prosperity.