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I will be supporting the BPP Student Engagement team for the BPP Innovation Award

The BPP Students Association is quite new, but is growing very fast, and has the following aims:

  1. An independent voice for BPP UC students and to work closely with the institution to put students at the heart of everything BPP UC does;
  2. Information, support and guidance to students about their academic and personal life during their programme of study;
  3. Academic, cultural, social and professional enrichment through the development of clubs/societies/events/initiatives;
  4. Awareness and enhancement of students’ employability.

I will be supporting the BPP Student Engagement team for the BPP Innovation Award, not least because Olivia, Clare and Laila have always been extremely kind, helpful and thoughtful to me, as I go about my business with my BPP Legal Awareness Society, but because innovation matters hugely to me. Dr Vidal Kumar taught me innovation as a special elective over several autumnal months in the building next to the Gherkin, at BPP Business School. As it happens, I came top in the year in it with 72% (the pass mark was 50%). I remember the task well – it was all about network theory of innovation, a hugely explosive formulation of how innovation works. Innovation is a really important topic in business management. BPP Business School will be formally conferring my MBA degree on Wednesday 21 February 2012, and I was the first in my cohort to pass the entire exam at one go earlier this year.





The student engagement team behind the nominated best innovation comprises Olivia (based in London), Clare (based in Manchester) and Laila (based in London) but, each, in fact, travel all over to meet with BPP students, organising student societies and empowering students through the “Student Voice” process to contribute to the development of BPP. They are always at the end-of-the-phone, or contactable by email.

You can easily search for the BPP students collaboration through the internet:

They have designed their own website which features short videos from centres, created by students as a guide to each of BPP’s centres. You can find it here. This video provides a general overview, however.

Their unique BPP Students interactive website, representing the BPP Students Association, provides information about clubs and societies in general, discounts from local and national businesses (including those discovered by students on a weekly basis), there are student association’s organised social events (including fairs, balls, nights-out), and help with finding accommodation guides (including rooms, hotels, and halls, and fairs where you can meet people face-to-face). You can run for various rôles in “Student Voice”, where you can run for any number of positions of responsibility, or even write for one of two publications “Business Brief” and “Legal Incite”. Their Facebook page currently has over 1000 likes.

The whole point about an innovation is that it is more than an invention – the interaction with the adopter is what makes it unique. The adopter in this case is a BPP student, and the innovation has to be simple, accessible and useable enough to allow ready ‘diffusion’ to the end user. The whole success of an innovation depends upon its uptake.

Here you can see their uptake has been very successful:








That was from a Leeds student. This is from a Birmingham student.






This is from a Swindon student.





And finally, from where I started off, a BPP Business Student:





Furthermore, in this case, the success of the innovation is that it is all about building a collaborative network where the whole is greater than the sum of the individual parts. Through meaningful interaction between members of the network (and interestingly there is no hierarchy which can scupper such communications within (infra) a large organisation), links can be made between diverse areas of the network (e.g. a direct communication between a student, lecturer and professor) which would be hard to achieve otherwise. Building up such networks is a powerful way for any organisation to live in a dynamic way, and the organisation can take on a vibrant culture and learning of its own. In this way, students can directly contribute to their courses which they’re studying, and genuinely feel a part of it. I am a huge believer in inclusivity and accessibility, so this for me is very important. And finally – it is genuinely disruptive. In my day (I was a student at Cambridge in the 1990s originally where I did my undergraduate, Masters and graduate degree), we had cumbersome committees, with lots of pen-pushing, but where you didn’t get much done. I’m sure those still exist, with people taking minutes, etc., but this is a much more innovative way of doing things. The Government wished higher educational facilities to put students “at the heart of the system” in their White Paper published last year, and this for me is a perfect way for BPP to demonstrate innovative excellence in doing so.


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