Creating mobility visits with impact

impact

Dive into the transformative world of international mobility with Manchester Metropolitan University and the American University in Cairo School of Business. The BSIS team is pleased to see how effective impact assessment can be across continents for two high-profile members of the Business School Impact System (BSIS) community, who have collaborated to amplify their educational impact.

Explore the GoGlobal initiative, where sustainability meets impact, offering students a diverse range of experiences to enhance their professional, cultural, and educational profiles: The value of a good internationalisation strategy proceeds from its capacity to be impactful, delivering a broad approach to an enhanced student experience, pedagogic evolution and heightening cross-cultural competency through various activities such as mobility.

Previously, traditional mobility focused on strategies that involved sending students to partner institutions on one or two-semester visits. Today, most universities have evolved to offer a more extensive portfolio of mobility experiences that embrace sustainability values and encompass important metrics, such as ensuring students are career-ready. Many business schools now demonstrate their contributions to international mobility with international accreditation and labels, which require us to track, enhance and evidence activities.

Prioritising sustainability and career readiness

In 2022, the Faculty of Business and Law at Manchester Metropolitan University created their version of a GoGlobal brand, which began as a week-long series of events, guaranteeing every student the opportunity to engage in an international experience. GoGlobal includes a vast range of activities, including training events, virtual work experience, international guest speakers, and short-term mobility experiences and now operates across the whole academic year.

This diverse and extensive offering is particularly important in the UK context following Brexit, which has reduced our access to funding longer term mobility opportunities and created visa complications for students. In addition, our university prioritises sustainability values, necessitating the introduction of a range of mobility experiences to support students; therefore, we have extended our engagement with COIL projects to gain sustainable yet impactful experiences.

Today, most universities have evolved to offer a more extensive portfolio of mobility experiences that embrace sustainability values and encompass important metrics, such as ensuring students are career-ready. Many business schools now demonstrate their contributions to international mobility with international accreditation and labels, which require us to track, enhance and evidence activities.

In addition to engaging in an extensive range of online mobility opportunities, we also understand the need to offer some physical visits overseas. We have, therefore, created visits that focus on creating impact by enhancing our students’ professional, cultural, and educational profiles, and we are currently collecting data using pre- and post-visit surveys to assess their value.

One such recent opportunity involved rewarding ten of our highest GPA-scoring students with a visit to the American University in Cairo School of Business (AUC), with whom we are developing a partnership. Two Triple Crown institutions worked together to design a visit based on an established course called ‘Doing Business in the Middle East’ to impact the three target areas mentioned. The course involved lectures from senior AUC staff, corporate visits, networking with AUC students, and a range of cultural immersive activities.

American University in Cairo "Doing Business in Middle East"

Exceptional social media feedback

Student feedback was very positive; all the students completed the post-event survey, and 100% rated the week as excellent or very good (90% excellent). In the high-level analysis, 92.5% agreed the visit had provided them with a very good opportunity to develop their professional profiles, 95% considered it to have been a very important visit in terms of raising cultural awareness (increased cultural competency), and 90% agreed that it had provided them with very important educational opportunities. The feedback the students posted on their professional social media included:

‘During our last two days in Egypt, we had the wonderful opportunity to experience ancient Egypt, as well as large current market players. We got to visit the Egyptian German Automotive “EGA” factory, where we learnt about the extensive process in car manufacturing, and Juhayna Food Industries that are leading the market.’

‘As we approach our final few days in Cairo, it really puts life into perspective. Learning about new cultures, languages, and differences that paves the way for #globalisation and new bonds that form relationships.’

‘I studied a range of topics relating to the business climate in the MENA region and the specific challenges faced there. These talks were given by very inspirational individuals who are remarkably successful and passed on invaluable information to me and the other students from The Manchester Metropolitan University. I found particularly interesting the talks on labour capital, sustainability and the state of the economy.’

Students voted the top three benefits as:

  1. Networking opportunities
  2. Experiencing life in a different country
  3. Providing new experiences

In addition, while our undergraduate programmes all have carbon literacy training embedded, we have added a further element to our GoGlobal mobility project, requiring every student engaging in overseas visits to actively participate in planning how they will personally offset their carbon emissions resulting from the visit. We, therefore, look forward to showcasing our detailed impact data from these GoGlobal mobility visits in our future reports.

Authors

Manchester Metropolitan University, Faculty of Business and Law: Prof Liz Warren, Dr Dario t Dieck, Prof and Dean Hannah Holmes, Dr Reece Garcia and Stewart Morrell.

Students: Omar Aya, Taylor Butterworth, Adam Rayyan Bin Ahmad Fadzli, Daniel Finnigan, Isobel George, Jacob McGuinness, Sadie Lee, Laura Pilnikovaite, Sophie Winfield and Chloe Wray.

American University in Cairo School of Business: Farida Mahgoub, Professor and Dean Sherif Kamel, Professor Maha Mourad.

For additional insights, trends and perspectives on BSIS and impact assessment, visit the conversation here.

2 Comments

  1. Gary on January 15, 2024 at 12:16

    Thank you for this experience sharing.
    May I know how were students taught / how did they offset their carbon emissions resulting from the visit? Would you please share a bit more insight?

    Thanks.



    • Liz Warren on January 15, 2024 at 13:16

      Gary, the sustainability part of this project actually starts with our next visit, where our students will be going to Brussels. Most of our students are familiar with carbon literacy because it is designed into their programmes. However, students who get selected for these international opportunities will be asked to attend a briefing session, and within that, there is training on how to calculate the carbon miles of this visit and then, using education, get the students to pledge how they will change their lifestyles to compensate for these miles, in hope that they will continue to make these changes long term. We will be collecting data on their pledges and follow up to see if they implement what they have agreed to. So, in summary, we are doing this by educating our students to understand how they can change their day-to-day lives to support this space. As part of the briefing, we also talked about how we have chosen the transportation and what a difference this can make – so, to travel to Brussels, our students will be using the train rather than a flight.