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The Cluster has designed and is currently running a UK and Ireland-wide Responsible Business and Management Writing competition under the auspices of the UK and Ireland PRME Chapter. This competition aims to increase engagement with ethics, responsibility and sustainability themes at secondary school, undergraduate and postgraduate levels. The Cluster now supports an annual Student Ethics Debate which takes place in the second Semester at Oxford Brookes. The debate aims to raise the profile of business ethics within the Business School with plans for development of connections with other universities to support inter university debates.
Building on research into assessment standards, cluster members, Margaret Price (Emeritus), Jane Hudson (no longer with OBU) and Birgit den Outer have carried out three projects investigating the practice and effectiveness of the UK external examining system. The first project, funded by the Higher Education Authority and the Quality Assurance Agency, investigated how external examiners use and understand academic standards. This project led to an HEA and HEFCE commissioned research. Data collection methods included a large scale survey of external examiners and quality officers, qualitative interviews, and desk-based research, culminating in the report ‘A review of external examining arrangements across the UK: Report to the UK higher education funding bodies’. This report, in turn, has informed a current (2016-2018) national pilot project across four institutions on examiner training and calibration of standards practices - ‘Academic Standards: External Examining’.
Cluster member Dr Jill Millar has carried out three discourse based projects, two of which were funded by the HEA, investigating responsibility within management education. The first, ‘Assessing Global Citizenship: What Works?’, in conjunction with a colleague Jo Feehily, explored the role of assessment in developing understandings of responsibility and citizenship. The second, ‘Developing Moral Judgement’, drew on ideas of communicative rationality to institute a Student Ethics debate to promote ethical awareness among staff and students. The third, ‘Educating Responsible Business Managers for the Future’, British Academy funded and conducted in conjunction with Margaret Price (Professor Emeritus), responded to the adoption of the UN Principles for Management Education by the Business School. In addition Cluster member Dr Jonathan Louw has conducted a critical discourse analysis of the UN Principles themselves as well as of associated reports from a cross-section of UK business schools.
Cluster member Dr Sola Adesola has carried out two projects on embedding entrepreneurship education for employability in the Nigerian higher education system and investigating the effect of the use of role models in entrepreneurship education on student efficacy. The two projects were funded respectively by the British Council under the DELPHI project and by OBU and Burgundy Small Grant Fund. The first project was in collaboration with Pan Atlantic University, Lagos Nigeria. The second project was in conjunction with colleagues in the Burgundy School of Business, Dijon, France. In addition, cluster members successfully organised the first Africa Enterprise Education Conference (AEEC 2013) in collaboration with Pan Atlantic University, held in Lagos, Nigeria.
This project builds upon a body of research undertaken by Berry O’Donovan into the epistemic assumptions of business and management students including an HEA funded project into the assessment experience of students studying across disciplines. In the most recent phase of the work funded by Oxford Brookes University, Berry O’Donovan, Claire Jones and Ivan Mitchell have worked with student research assistants to investigate how successful students cope with studying across disciplines with a particular focus on students studying within the multidisciplinary context of business and management and ability to identify and use different ways of knowing.
Commencing with an award of over £4.5million in 2004 to set up the ASKe Centre of Excellence in assessment standards, ASKe members continue to research into assessment and feedback, particularly assessment literacy and academic standards. Recent projects include ‘What makes good feedback good?’ (funded by the Higher Education Academy) and ‘The assessment experience of students studying across disciplines’ (funded by the Higher Education Academy). Over the years a body of research publications and ‘123’ leaflets aimed at practitioners have been produced and authored by the ASKe Centre.
The Entrepreneurs of Tomorrow Programme was initially developed jointly through the European Social Fund and Ale Kommun, Gothenburg, Sweden in 2002 and has run subsequently as the Entrepreneurs of New Europe Programme fully funded by the Ale Kommun. It brings together young people between the ages of 16-21 from across Europe to develop the confidence, entrepreneurial understanding and behaviours of the next generation. The focus of the programme is the highly experiential and immersive nature of the experience with students spending an intensive multi-national week engaging in creativity, idea generation, networking and team-building activities and sometimes experiencing challenging new experiences. The programme has run for over 15 years and worked with almost 500 delegates from over 17 different countries. The positive impact of the programme on the young delegates’ entrepreneurial understanding, attitude and behaviours has been evidenced and the experiential pedagogic approach continues to influence the curriculum at Oxford Brookes University and publications sharing this best practice.