Anglia Ruskin University reapproved as an IOEE Centre of Excellence

This month, following a comprehensive re-accreditation visit, we’re delighted to announce that the outstanding Anglia Ruskin University has been reapproved as an IOEE Centre of Excellence.

Anglia Ruskin University’s Centre for Enterprise and Development Research (CEDAR), as part of the institution’s Lord Ashcroft International Business School, originally achieved IOEE Centre of Excellence status in late 2013. Now, the centre has been replaced with a new facility, the Anglia Ruskin Enterprise Academy (AREA). AREA has a more comprehensive reach than its predecesor. The new centre delivers an enhanced programme of activities related to enterprise and entrepreneurship, taking learning beyond the business school and into every corner of university life. As well as introducing entrepreneurial thinking to different parts of the formal syllabus across faculties and campuses, AREA also facilitates links with the Students’ Union and the Student Enterprise Society.

When re-accrediting an IOEE Centre of Excellence, the team sets out to achieve several objectives. As well as defining new opportunities for the IOEE to add value to the enterprise and entrepreneurship activities of the university (and vice-versa), the review process also presents the chance to reflect on past developments in the enterprise arena across the Centre of Excellence. Additionally,

re-accreditation helps us all look ahead and consider future plans.

At Anglia Ruskin University, as well as meeting up with key staff like Vice Chancellor Professor Ian Martin and Professor Gary Packham, Pro Vice Chancellor and Dean of the Lord Ashcroft International Business School, we also looked closely at how enterprise and entrepreneurship activity have improved and developed at Anglia Ruskin since the first accreditation visit. For example, in the time that’s passed, the university has received many external awards, including the prestigious Times Higher Entrepreneurial University of the Year Award in 2014. Additionally, real inroads have been made in an endeavour to upscale previously existing enterprise and entrepreneurship activity, both as part of structured learning and research programmes, and as a more significant element of

extra-curricula provision.

Perhaps the most important change to take place in relation to Anglia Ruskin’s enterprise related output, has been the transition from the Centre for Enterprise Development and Research (CEDAR) as the University’s hub for enterprise development to AREA. Talking to those running AREA and reviewing documented evidence, it’s clear that this change has led to a far more diverse range of staff, students and external stakeholders becoming involved with enterprise and entrepreneurship activity. One of the main objectives for AREA’s introduction has been to provide students with real-world experiences of enterprise activity, encouraging them to develop entrepreneurial thinking and behaviours that will be invaluable as they move into the workforce. Marcia Baldry, Enterprise and Entrepreneurship Support Manager at Anglia Ruskin Enterprise Academy said:

“Receiving re-approval of the prestigious Centre of Excellence Status from the IOEE recognises the already excellent work that we undertake within Anglia Ruskin University and our Enterprise Academy. We established our Enterprise Academy as a distinct ‘hub’ where all enterprise / entrepreneurship could be promoted, facilitated and coordinated across Anglia Ruskin’s five faculties and four campuses. Working with the IOEE will further support and develop entrepreneurial learning and skills development as a source of competitiveness for our graduates and make an ongoing contribution to the communities we serve in terms of wealth and employment creation.”

SFEDI Group’s Executive Chair, Ruth Lowbridge MBE, said:

“Anglia Ruskin have embraced opportunities to integrate enterprise and entrepreneurship into provision, both within the curriculum and extra-curricula resulting in a wide diversity of staff, students and external stakeholders being involved with enterprise and entrepreneurship activity. We look forward to working with the team at ARU to support their success through IOEE.”