As employability has received more attention in higher education recently, University of West London (UWL) has attracted a wider student audience and won the hearts of hundreds of top employers looking for “work-ready and careerfocused” graduates thanks to its high quality degree programs offered in employability terms. Ranked among the top 50 universities in the UK (Guardian University Guide 2019), the university’s reputation is stronger in many areas, including business, law, hospitality and psychology. ANC School of Postgraduate Education collaborates with UWL to offer graduate degree programs in business, law, and psychology in Sri Lanka. All these programs are aimed at developing professional skills and entrepreneurial talent of graduate students seeking fast career progression in organizations competing in the face of constant change. Dr. Suresh Gamlath, the Dean of the Claude Littner Business School of UWL and Mr. Marcelline Alexander, the Academic Head - Postgraduate Business Programs at ANC discuss how UWL MBA helps ANC graduates stand out from the crowd and show their value:
Q: ANC boasts a well-estab lished partnership with UWL. What motivates UWL to continue to work in col laboration with ANC and launch more programs in Sri Lanka?
Dr. Suresh: Our partnership with ANC dates back six years, and we joined hands with ANC to make sure that quality education is accessible to people who deserve it whether they could afford to studying in the UK or not. UWL is very careful of who we partner with because we have a reputation to maintain; we have continued to climb the league tables to be among the top 50 universities in the UK today. We find ANC a very comparable partner. We are impressed with ANC’s approach to making education accessible, while preserving the integrity and quality of higher education.
Q: How does UWL ensure that ANC students also have access to the same standard of education as practiced in the UK?
Dr. Suresh: It’s bringing that quality of engagement to Sri Lanka: we have over a century’s worth of development in our knowledge of various areas from law, psychology, to business. UWL is very careerfocused, and our constant pursuit is to bridge that gap between theory and practice. We are connected with over 200 business organizations, and our faculty members have great links with various organizations in the UK, America, and Europe. What we share with ANC faculty and students is that experience. Mr. Marcelline: The MBA program is delivered on a mirror model. Our local students are given the same educational experience of their UK counterparts. Answer scripts are second marked by the UWL faculty and moderated by another university from the UK. UWL evaluates student performance here to the same standards maintained there at UWL, so ANC students also have to demonstrate the same skills and standards of students there in order to graduate from UWL. Dr. Suresh: And one thing we are very pleased with and we have a respect for is ANC’s capability to deliver that standard of education.
Q: What sets UWL MBA apart from several MBAs offered elsewhere?
Dr. Suresh: it’s the outcome. In many conventional MBAs students succeed despite their education; in our case, our students succeed because of their education. As far as our teaching and learning approach is concerned, the prime goal of UWL education is to immerse the learner in the environment that he or she is going to encounter in the real world. We call it inquiry based learning, and we combine that with action and experiential learning. That’s what helps our learners to have that seamless transition from education to work, and that’s why 98 per cent of our graduates are employed within 6 months of graduation. Mr. Marcelline: Also, the talent of our faculty drives the learning experience of every student. All our lecturers are from the industry and proven business leaders, so their knowledge is current, relevant, and transferrable. Guest lectures conducted by industry leaders, panel discussions, and networking events also make studying at ANC an invaluable experience. The diversity of our student body is equally important. Students work with their peers from different sectors and industries. They are able to have that critical conversation within the real world and theoretical framework. That’s what’s required at Master’s level.
Q: How do you ensure that ANC graduates stand out from the crowd and show their value?
Mr. Marcelline: We have an entrepreneurial approach to business education-we train our students to bring an entrepreneurial spirit to every enterprise. Everyone doesn’t become an entrepreneur, but they become intrapreneurs for their employers, motivate the teams, and help their organizations grow. It’s a clearly forged pathway from education to employment. Dr. Suresh: ANC students impress me tremendously in their endeavor, in their enterprise, and in their commitment. I met all the graduates and heard what they have gone on to doing. And we had a conference with all the tech startup entrepreneurs. All three in the panel were actually graduates of ANC. It’s a huge achievement for a graduate to become a tech entrepreneur in this environment. It’s very satisfying. What they say is the learning experience they have at ANC has empowered them to think beyond what is immediate to them, to believe in the impossible, and to make it possible. That shows our formula works. The MBA could be completed within 12-15 months on a part time basis, which allows students to combine their studies with work or other commitments. After all, students earn world class postgraduate qualifications in the shortest span of time, without having to travel overseas for quality education. Merit based scholarships and strong student support services including easy payment plans and financial aid arranged through local banks also promote student success throughout their career at ANC.
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