Wednesday, October 25, 2006

October e-newsletter

Hello all,

It's been a year since I started working here at Henley and I suppose it would be cliched to say that the time has rushed by, but too true not to say it anyway. It's also true to say that I'm really enjoying myself working here. What makes Henley such a vibrant and rewarding place to be is an esoteric blend of location, intellectual focus and network. The location I've often commented on, the intellect is often apparent in the quality of input and output from workshops, assignments and research, and the network encompasses both what sometimes feels like a village atmosphere here at the College and also connections among and between all the students who make the place tick.

In the year I have been Programme Leader I have tried to look for ways, this e-newsletter being one, of bringing DL students closer to the College. When we go live with the new virtual learning environment, I hope to add to that with regular synchronous online Q and A sessions for each Intake.

As I write this, the large marquee that will host the October graduation ceremony is being put up on the lawn in front of the main entrance. To anyone receiving this attending on the 28th, congratulations. To all others, keep that vivid image in your mind of you walking up to collect your award.

Good news on Ranking

Some of you will already be aware that the College did very well on the latest Economist MBA ranking. Our full-time MBA has now been placed 14th in the world (up from 21), fourth in Europe and second in the UK (behind Cambridge). Henley was ranked first for personal development and learning experience. This is excellent news for all the modes of study as it helps cement our reputation, and reinforces the choice you have made.
The FT ranking for this year is also just out. Henley is ranked 42 in the world, which is down on last year, but worth pointing out our position to our main UK competitors hasn't changed as they also slipped, partly due to the appearance of several new global consortium MBAs.

Optional Skills Workshops

Bookings for this event have been going well, with the Consulting Skills workshop on Saturday just about fully booked. There are still spaces on Sunday and room available on the other workshops, so if you haven't yet booked for one or more of the workshops, please do so quickly. Workshop booking forms (one for each day) are available in your eLearning area.

Completion statistics from earlier intakes

A while ago I shard with you some statistics on average pass marks, and got the feedback that it was useful. Another often raised question is how many people actually complete their studies, so I thought you might appreciate some statistics on this also. Since it is the 'not-finishing' rather than the failing that is the main reason our completion rates are not as high as we want them to be, a lot of energy is going into seeking more ways of keeping you on track to graduate. Of course, much of that quiet, persistent work is done by the course administrators and Personal Tutors.

First, though, I should point out that data on genuine benchmark programme completion rates for our DL competitors is sketchy, particularly as business schools record statistics in different ways. However, it is fair to say that most achieve between 45 and 60% completion. Our aim is to do all we can to get well above that 60%.

The second point is that, inevitably, we are now looking at completion from the older intakes and many innovations, such as Personal Tutors, will only begin to bear fruit in the coming 2 or 3 years.

Caveats in place, let me run through the completion stats for Intakes 10 to 17 which are (respectively), 46%, 57%, 54% 53%, 52%, 48%, 53% and 54%. For Intakes 16 and 17 (the final two in that list) the figure is likely to rise as some of you are now in your second period of re-registration and have or soon will be submitting your dissertations.

Intake 18 has a completion of 48% so far, but 25% of the remainder are still in study. For Intakes 19 and 20 the completion/still-in-study rates are 30%/34% and 25%/38% respectively. What this means is that the potential exists to exceed 60% completion by the time all registration and re-registration has been used.

Naturally, if you are into extra registration time and have not yet submitted your dissertation proposal, you are in real danger of not completing and wasting the time, money and effort you have invested so far. We'd like to do all we can to assist you, so don't be afraid to ask for help from your Personal Tutor. Personal Tutor support is withdrawn after 60 months and a request for further re-registration at that time is only granted for those who have started work on their dissertation.

Intake 33

Welcome to all of you reading this from Intake 33, which completed the Starter Workshop in October. At the risk of making this newsletter too statistical, I can tell you that there are 75 new members enrolled, their average age is 35, they have an average of nearly 13 years work experience, just over eight of which is in management. The group is 30% female and has representation from 16 nationalities.

Recruitment for January

Our next new Intake is due to come online in January, with a February workshop. As ever, and as witnessed by so many on Intake 33, word-of-mouth is the best marketing tool and I'd like to encourage (if not insist...) that you look around you at colleagues and friends for potential candidates. Just to remind you also that the College has a referral scheme which pays you a commission for each person you tell us about who then applies and joins.

We'll also be at the World MBA fair at Westminster [The QEII Conference Centre, Broad Sanctuary, Westminster, London SW1P 3EE] this Saturday October 28th (3 - 6) if anyone you know would like to meet us.

Intake 24

As we are doing with each Intake, there will be a dinner at the College for the (I always want to say 'surviving') members of Intake 24. It's a great opportunity to come back into the College and catch up on dissertation progress, meet personal tutors and hear from the Principal. Dates for Intakes 25, 6 and 7 will be made available for next year.

Dissertation Clinic

One more Dissertation Clinic to run this year, on December 1st. The administrator to contact if you'd like to come along is Kim Harris.

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