Since Henley first began to spread its wings across the world, our European partnerships have been of great importance.
In Denmark for example, Henley has recently hit the 1,000-student milestone, and there is a vibrant local alumni community.
Five years after being established, Henley Germany will soon be moving into new facilities in Munich to better serve an increasing number of students in the new Centre for Reflective Leadership. While at the other end of the Baltic Sea, Henley Finland is becoming increasing influential in the region and celebrated its 30th anniversary recently.
Henley’s operation in Malta continues to serve the Mediterranean region, including the Middle East and North Africa and, closer to home, in Ireland, Henley programme members have produced some wonderful results recently, with an Irish student winning the prize for the best MBA student last year.
Indeed, Henley’s Flexible Executive MBA programmes, which include all these countries, currently have around 1,700 active students. And while Henley is increasingly embracing the entrepreneurial challenges faced by small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), it is extremely proud of its relationships with blue-chip organisations such as Deutsche Telekom, the European Commission, Danone, ING Bank, Shell, Pernod Ricard and Zurich Insurance.
So, how will the Brexit vote affect all of this?
Henley’s Associate Professor in International Business, Dr Elena Beleska-Spasova, is confident that unless there are significant future changes in the legislation governing the movement of students, there should be no major implications.
“Students come to Henley because of our global triple accreditation and our reputation for high-quality teaching,” she says. “They are also attracted by having access to our global alumni community, which offers an exceptional networking opportunity.”
“The UK is still perceived as a leader in higher education,” she adds. “We’re seen as being a stronghold of academic excellence and research, and leaders in innovation.”
Elena is currently preparing a survey for Henley alumni covering attitudes to Brexit and anticipated opportunities and challenges over the next two to three years, and the results of this should be available for the next issue of Focus.
In the meantime, she is cautiously optimistic that the net outcome of the Brexit vote for UK academic institutions will be all positive. “Certainly there are some concerns – especially among the academics – that European research funding might be adversely affected, but I see lots of opportunities to strengthen our collaborative network both within and beyond Europe.”
And what impact might the outcome of the recent US presidential election have?
“It certainly proved to be an interesting event,” says Elena, “and only time will tell what the implications might be. But if, as Mr Trump has promised, he tightens border controls, many foreign students may opt to base their learning in the UK instead of the US, especially those aspiring to Masters and PhD qualifications. So, there could be some positive effects for British academic institutions.”
More details on Henley’s Flexible Executive MBA.