Brunel University awarded the Queen’s Anniversary Prize for Higher Education

Brunel University is one of a very small number of institutions to be awarded the Queen’s Anniversary Prize for Higher and Further Education.

This prestigious biennial award is part of the UK’s national honours system and, as such, is the most prestigious form of national recognition open to a UK academic institution. The award also carries with it a prize mark which can be used by the University on its letterhead and other publications for a period of four years.

The award was announced yesterday evening at St James’s Palace and will be presented to the University at a special awards ceremony at Buckingham Palace in February 2012.

Did you know?

Did you know?

It’s really great to work and study here and we wanted to share with you our enthusiasm on this gloomy Autumn evening (at least in our part of the world)!


Sponsoring graduates after the death of the Post Study Work visa

Adrian Farley from Farley & Associates presented the most recent update on the immigration changes coming into place for international students at a recent event at the Brunel Business School.

Adrian has been quite helpful in explaining the latest changes in the visa situation for students who will be graduating shortly, when the current Post Study Work visa will no longer be in place. Students will still be able to undertake work on completion of their studies under the Tier 2 category as long as they are being offered a graduate job with a graduate salary.

He explained that a majority of large companies are registered with the UKBA to be Tier 2 sponsors and many more join the scheme every week, so as not to miss out on the advantages given by the talented international employees. It costs a company £175 to sponsor a graduate, and there is no need for labour market test under the new system.
The challenge however is to persuade and educate the industry as to the process and benefits of sponsoring Tier 2 visas. Universities must play a part in educating potential Tier 2 sponsors as to how simple the process is on grad fairs, workshops, information on websites and open discussions with employers.

We heard that the first year will be challenging as a lot of companies will complain that they couldn’t sponsor employees as they didn’t understand the process. In Adrian’s opinion the universities that are successful in delivering message to employers will be successful in recruiting international students.

Prompted by questions from the international students Adrian mentioned that from a legal standpoint companies are not allowed to ask during a job application process if applicants require sponsoring and should judge the application purely on merit. He mentioned there is a previous legal precedent where employers have been penalised legally for refusing to accept an applicant because they needed to be sponsored.

Students asked what the basic graduate salary for tier 2 applications was and Adrian clarified that it stands at approximately £22,000 but it does change from sector to sector. He referred students to the UKBA website, jokingly saying that readers require a PhD just to understand it, where students can see what type of a job and what minimum salary are accepted. Students can also check there which employers are registered as Tier 2 sponsors.
Large companies are happy to sponsor Masters level students who are currently on post study work visas and 9 out of 10 in Adrian’s experience will, after initial 6 months on the job, help getting them on Tier 2 visas.


Latest findings from the MBA labour market presented at BBS event

Last Friday Brunel Business School students had a change to meet with some inspiring speakers as part of the Next Step event. Speakers including Mike Holmes from the QS TopMBA Careers, Daniel Callaghan from MBA and Company  and Prof Amir Sharif, the Brunel MBA Programme Director, shared their findings on the MBA recruitment market.

Mike presented to the students and alumni a recent research conducted by the QS on the graduate market to find out how MBAs are doing in the job market. The good news was that 2011 saw a 36 percent growth in the demand for the employment of student with MBA degrees in the global market. In the UK this figure was only slightly lower at 34 per cent.

Employers are looking for more experienced MBAs preferably with international experience combined with interpersonal skills. MBA with 3-5 years experience remain in highest demand with an increase in demand for graduates with over 8 years experience. It is believed that in time of a recession people are less likely to take a chance with inexperienced MBAs.

MBA salaries have improved slightly in 2011 after the last recession and MBA alumni are able to command the median salaries as per the report in companies with £100 million turnover or more, as they are looking for much higher level of commercialisation. People want “a doer” with companies saying that they want their MBAs to be able to do jobs independently, and hit the ground running with a minimum learning curve.

Daniel Callaghan from the MBA and Company contributed by adding that there is still a difference in the perception of MBA brands. Employers are very brand conscious but at the same time once the applicant gets in front of the company it is a more equal playing field. Work experience is also very important.

The speakers recommended that in order to increase their employability as an MBA graduate students do their research about the company before applying and where possible learn to use the specific tools they will be required to use on the job.

It is important to showcase what extras the students have done during their MBA – participating in or chairing clubs and societies, organising student extra curriculum activities and highlight to their future employer all these “nice-to-haves”.

There was a consensus on one more thing with our speakers: no question about it – MBA does pay!

Brunel MBA Students meet Goldman Sachs Executive Director of Investment Management

A group of MBA students from the Brunel Business School attended a regional networking event organised by Association of MBAs held at Fyvie Hall of Westminster Business School. The event was designed for MBA students with an interest in global business and BRIC economies.

Around one hundred MBA students from seven business schools and a few other interested individuals attended the event.

Sharon Bamford, Chief Executive of the Association of MBAs, introduced the two distinguished speakers of the evening: Anna Stupnytska, Executive Director of Goldman Sachs Investment Management Division, and Guy Fraser-Simpson, lecturer of Cass Business School in London and Dubai and a distinguished author of many books such as No Fear Finance and Private Equity as an Asset Class.

Speaking on behalf of Goldman Sachs Investment Management Division, Anna Stupnytska presented views and predictions for the BRIC economies for the next 10 years. The views are cautiously optimistic. Whilst excited by the level of rapid growth in terms of GDP in BRIC countries, they also acknowledge potential risks ahead. Broadly speaking, their economic models predict that the peak growth in the world middle class is still ahead, meaning that the rising consumer population in the BRIC countries could potentially challenge or replace US consumer population which has been the driving force for global economical growth in the past three decades. However, eurozone debt crisis, the level of Chinese political adaptability especially in relation to its control over its sustainable economic growth, and less than optimal state of US economy are on the minds of many economists too.

Guy Fraser-Simpson, drawing on his expertise in private equity investment, talked about investment opportunities in the BRIC countries.

The presentations were followed by a Q & A session, during which various interesting questions about China, India, Russia and UK were put to the panel of experts, sparking even more insightful comments from the panel.

Amid an atmosphere of friendliness, delegates were encouraged to network with fellow MBA students and graduates by the warm hostess Sharon Bamford both before the presentation and after the Q & A session.

Report submitted by Elizabeth Huang, MBA Student Ambassador

Brunel investigates demographic challenges with Tokyo University

Dr Gabriella Spinelli from the Brunel Business School has received a Daiwa foundation award of £9000 to support a research collaboration with Tokyo University. The research will investigate the demographic challenges in UK and Japan with specific attention to the role of ageing users as catalysts of technology  innovation. The grant compliments her current stream of research and contributes to the Business Strategy and Innovation programme that she leads within BIAS (Brunel Institute for Ageing Studies).

Dr Spinelli provides supervision on the MSc dissertation and MBA project for students of the Brunel Business School.

BBS Alumni Lunch in Shanghai, China

Brunel Business School has booked an Alumni Lunch at the Westin Bund Hotel in Shanghai for Saturday 3rd December 2011. BBS graduates with a Business MSc or MBA currently living or working in or around Shanghai are invited to join us to establish the first overseas Alumni Chapter in China!

Please email Business School Alumni Administrator Francesca at for more details.

BBS Alumni Lunch in Mumbai, India

Prof Ashley Breganza will meet with the MBA and Msc in Management Alumni in India for a lunch organised by the Brunel Business School. The event will be hosted in Mumbai on Saturday 26th November as part of the Alumni Chapter for students who completed thier MBA and Msc in Management programmes at the Brunel University.

Please contact Francesca Vitale for Alumni Events for Brunel Business School students on

MBA Guest Speaker Series: Jim Bodoh from Radley Yeldar

MBA students at the Brunel Business School will have another opportunity to “talk business” on 14th November when Mr Jim Bodoh gives a talk as part of the MBA Guest Speaker Series.

Jim is responsible for delivering robust brand strategies and appropriate creative solutions designed to help clients achieve their strategic ambitions. He has worked on major branding and communications projects for all sorts of clients in the public and private sectors. These include Balfour Beatty, Capita, P&O Cruises, Hermes, the NHS, Allied Irish Bank, Christian Salvesen, the British Council and more than 20 UK colleges and universities. He’s also held senior academic posts, running postgraduate graphic design at Central Saint Martins and visual communication at Ravensbourne College. He is a Visiting Professor of design at University of the Arts London and was a board member for The Centre for Creative Business (a joint venture between UAL and the London Business School).

This is the second business speaker this year on the MBA programme, where students already enjoyed the company of Dr Fran Beasley, Deputy Chief Executive, from the London Borough of Hillingdon.

Brunel University Students in the 2011 University Trading Challenge in London

The University Trading Challenge has three main components: Long-Term Portfolio, Short-Term Trading, and Case-Study Presentation. The live portion of the competition (Short-Term Trading and Case-Study Presentations) will take place on December 2-3, 2011.
The participation falls under the umbrella of the Business Life headed by Prof Ashley Braganza– the employability commitment to its students of the Brunel University.

Participants will experience an incomparable simulation of real-world trading while demonstrating their abilities to analyze, strategize, make decisions, and give presentations. They get an invaluable glimpse into the real world of the capital markets as well as true insight into themselves and their suitability to a finance career.
The University Trading Challenge is supported and attended by the who’s who of the industry. Students will meet the leaders of the finance world, who are there looking for bright young minds and the young talent they want to employ. The UTC is an opportunity to demonstrate trading abilities and showcase student potential to the right people.
Students who compete in the University Trading Challenge, a simulated real-market competition, gain intense insight into the real world of commodities trading—and their own talents and abilities.