Looking Beyond London: Why Newcastle Could Be Your Ideal MBA Destination

Looking Beyond London: Why Newcastle Could Be Your Ideal MBA Destination main image

Sponsored by Newcastle University Business School

With Brexit fast approaching, the UK’s economic landscape is undergoing significant changes. Where once the country was driven by London’s financial sector, a slowdown the city’s population boom has seen businesses and talented individuals look elsewhere for growth. Cities such as Newcastle in the North of England are among the chief beneficiaries of this shift, with investors, businesses and students drawn by the infrastructure and opportunities on offer. As evidence of this change in thinking, in May 2018 Barclays announced a £500m growth fund for businesses in the north of England, in a huge boost to the region. In the same month, publicly owned broadcaster Channel 4 announced several northern cities, including Newcastle, as candidates for its new creative centers, demonstrating that the region may well be the future and economic saviour of a country that is looking to move away from dependence on its capital.

Capitalising on this shift, Newcastle has set itself up as an entrepreneurial heartland. The North East Growth Hub offers finance and business support to ambitious startups, while events such as Newcastle Startup Week and Newcastle Scaleup Summit have broadcast the city’s desire to encourage and develop new business growth. This has not been lost on those responsible for driving the country’s future, with the city recently ranked as one of the UK’s best for MBA entrepreneurs, and Newcastle University Business School’s customisable MBA program offering dedicated modules in entrepreneurship and innovation.

The North-East region also hosts Europe’s largest Business and Innovation Centers, which combine office space and tailored business support services. Newcastle University, meanwhile, is home to Newcastle Helix, a £350m flagship project for the city, aiming to combine the strengths of academia, business, communities and the public sector to drive growth in tech, data science and cloud computing.

Future leaders

In order to maintain this momentum, Newcastle University Business School is working to train the next generation of business trailblazers and innovators. Its MBA program has deliberately been expanded beyond the bounds of the traditional management training course, in recognition of the fact that the C-suite is no longer the only target for MBA graduates, and that even for those who do target an executive role, entrepreneurial skills are vital. The course aims to guide students to a point of self-discovery, with a focus on practical experiences. The Business in Action module is based on real-world business challenges and corporate engagement, while the intensive business awareness experience and business-led competitions such as the Transatlantic Virtual Case Competition give students an opportunity to put their skills to the test.

Of course, location matters regardless of the content of the course. In this respect, Newcastle itself is the perfect destination for MBA students and graduates to make the most of what they learn on the course. With its booming tech sector, the city clearly offers the environment, support networks and talent streams that startups and SMEs require. Added to this, Newcastle also provides these businesses’ employees with the location and amenities they need; it is a beautiful city to look at, and a friendly one in which to live – hugely important features when it comes to attracting and retaining the next generation of leaders from around the world.

Enabling growth

Evidencing the benefits of this pro-business, entrepreneurial outlook, Newcastle boasts a number of successful startups, including social network Leaf and e-commerce API provider Moltin, both of which were founded within the past five years, and have already raised over £1m each in investment. MBA students and graduates play a key role in this entrepreneurial growth, and Newcastle University runs an Entrepreneurs Society that helps students and alumni share ideas, partner up, and help one another to develop concepts into marketable products and services

Ultimately, the UK’s post-Brexit future could take a number of directions, with London set to struggle with an exodus of talent and businesses. But, however things end up, Newcastle is already one step ahead. From an internationally minded business school to huge multinationals and exciting startups, the city is moving forward at a rapid pace, while remaining true to its identity as a welcoming, unique location. This has proven to be evidence enough to draw bright students, ambitious entrepreneurs and experienced professionals alike to the region, and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future.

Written by Temoor I.

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