Sheffield management school urges firms: ‘use us’

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It may have students from 60 countries, advertise in the Middle East and South America and battle for custom on a world stage - but Sheffield University Management School wants to work with locals too.

The department, one of more than 50 at the university, earns a seventh of its teaching income thanks to hundreds of foreign students - including more than 400 from China.

And it is proud of its triple crown accreditation, which was renewed last year, which puts it in the top 80 management schools among 14,000 worldwide.

But Ian Proctor, head of external relations, is keen to highlight its work with local companies and its support for local events and organisations.

Above all, he wants to break down any perception it is aloof and instead be thought of as “approachable” and an asset to be used.

He said: “We are based in the region - how can the region benefit from us? We are home to experts and high quality students who want real world experience.

“We have alumni network that runs into thousands who live all over the world and vast knowledge about economies such as the Balkans or India.

“It’s a resource for people to draw on and we want them to realise we are approachable.

“We are passionate about the city region’s development and the university believes it can make a significant difference.”

The school recently ran a free business growth catalyst course for 35 local bosses after an academic obtained European funding, he added. It hosts a networking event for HR directors four times a year.

A SUMS student from India who took an MBA now works for wire rope giant Bridon in Doncaster, while PhD students worked on Doncaster Council’s masterplan.

It also sponsored the Young Business Person award at the City Region Business Awards earlier this month - won by Alistair Myers and Tom Lawson of Rafters Restaurant - and is involved in MADE Entrepreneur Festival in Sheffield on October 22 and 23.

But much of that is possible due to the overseas students.

The school, based on Conduit Road in Crookesmoor, has 2,000 students. Some 1,200 are undergraduates taking a degree in business management, accounting finance or international business management. Some 30 per cent of them are foreigners.

It has 700 on Masters courses and 100 taking a PhD - and 80 per cent of them are from overseas. They pay between £10,000 and £21,000-a-year in fees and each one is estimated to pump £15,000-a-year into the local economy.

In total, international students are believed to benefit Sheffield’s economy to the tune of £120m-a-year.

Ian added: “I think it’s a great thing, driving growth whether it’s businesses springing up or apartments or taxis.”