An innovative education scheme at the University of South Wales is enabling students to participate in a ‘consultancy firm’ to provide advice to all types of companies from SME’s to multi-national and non-profit organisations.
South Wales Business students offer clients a full consultancy experience through the South Wales Business Clinic. After initially scoping the project clients can expect students in groups of three/four to get hands on and tackle the organisations problem. Generally, this consists of visiting the organisation, communicating their progress with clients, conducting primary or secondary research on behalf of the client and finally making recommendations in a form of report and/or presentation. Potential areas of support inculde accountancy, digital marketing and social media, strategic decision making, human resources, logistical reviews and strategic marketing.
The Business Clinic has created a triadic business relationship that encourages students, academics and organisations to collaborate. The relationships are mutually beneficial: providing business students with the opportunity to develop their personal skills, awareness and discipline, which is essential in the workplace. Academics gain access to latest industry trends/issues that informs their teaching and encourages applied research. Organisations gain a fresh perspective on their business, with enthusiastic students conducting robust research, supported by subject specific experts.
The University of South Wales vision re-iterates the purpose of The Business Clinic: to be the University of Choice for students, organisations and communities who value vocationally focused education and applied research, which provides solutions to problems that affect society and the economy.
The Business Clinic’s focus to add value to lives, communities and the economy through sharing of knowledge clearly demonstrates a strategy in action. The Business Clinic has been in operation for over 16 months and continues to add value to student’s skills, academic’s research and organisation’s performance. Since its launch:
- It has provided service to 21 organisations (private, public and third sector).
- 85 students gained training by industry experts (Search Engine Optimisation, Google Analytics, Negotiation Skills, Investigation in the workplace, Employment Law and Excel).
- 8 modules (undergraduate and postgraduate) embedded The Business Clinic methodology into the assessment.
- Over 170 students engaged with at least one clinic project.
Andy Harvie, TPG Managing Director said: “Excellent research presented to me (…) by South Wales Business Clinic. The Brand Analysis was very impressive and provided the organisation with the knowledge and direction to re-brand – something we have been unsure of for a long time. The Business Clinic really is addressing the challenges of today by developing the skills of tomorrow”.
Susie Ventris, Chief Executive at Welsh Centre for International Affairs said: “I was extremely impressed by the student’s ability to listen to our needs, ensuring they were able to design and implement this complicated study. The work conducted by The Business Clinic is being used to shape the next phase of our work”.