Robert Kennedy College Students attend Residential Week in Cumbria

Robert Kennedy College in an exclusive partnership with the University of Cumbria, held the residency programme for our online MBA students. Held at the University of Cumbria’s picturesque Ambleside Campus, the residential week covered the module “Tackling Global-Local Challenges in Ethics, Responsibility and Sustainability.”

The residential week gave the students an opportunity to complement their online learning with a conventional classroom experience. And the diverse group of students coming together from different countries, cultures and backgrounds and professional experiences, made the week all the more enriching. The residency was attended by more than 25 international students from countries like Canada, United Arab Emirates, Nigeria and South Africa, to name just a few, for a face-to-face opportunity to enhance their learning experience.

The students participated in various activities and classroom sessions in this action-packed week as well as learning about research methodology for their dissertation. The unique experience left them feeling invigorated and inspired to put the techniques learned during the week into practice. And more importantly, the week gave them an opportunity to connect with their classmates, to forge new friendships and establish relationships with faculty and directors.

“The residential week is an integral part of the course. It’s the only chance the students get to meet one another face to face as opposed to engaging with each other online. The week is really varied. We have a number of education sessions from different guest speakers and faculty throughout the programme. We also have a number of experiential activities and we spend a day enjoying the landscape.” said Emma Watton, Senior Teaching Fellow, (Lancaster University), MBA Leadership and Sustainability Programme graduate.

Students also had the opportunity to explore the idyllic settings of the Cumbria campus and participate in various outdoor team-building activities.

Professor Jem Bendell, Director of the Institute for Leadership and Sustainability, commented, “The residency brings professionals together from around the world. We went with the students on a trail walk that William Wordsworth took and heard about his poem where he talks of letting nature be our teacher. This is something quite unique, a heritage we can explore and find ways of building that into our teaching practice”.

With students from every continent, it was a truly international experience and an opportunity to network with colleagues from all over the world. This unique learning experience left every student with lifetime memories.

 

Dean on CNBC: European Banks Preparing for the Stress Tests

 

European Banks preparing for the stress tests
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The latest comments of Ms Nouy, the Single Supervisory Mechanism Chair, picture a new scenario for European banks. The new pan-European regulator certainly wants to establish an high degree of credibility and is sending a clear message to the banks: act now or fail.
 
Overall the new stress tests will strengthen the banking sector that faces several challenges.
One of these challenges is the intimate link between banks and sovereign bonds that the SSM is trying to break. 
Several European banks still rely on the profitable carry trade that lead to an increase of EU Government-debt holding to 4.3% of last December from a 3.5% of June 2012. 
Said increase underlines how the ECB financing is not always used to lend and relaunch the economy. The upcoming stress tests will apparently use leverage ratio as a “crucial measure” that creates some disparity with the way U.S. banks are assessed.
Some failures are to be expected and can be positive to reinforce the European banking sector but several unpredicted failures might create a sense of insecurity to both investors and the public.
 
It seems that banks that have recently received state aid would have to pass a more simplified stress test based a on profit and loss statement set in the restructuring plan.
 
National regulators should conduct their own reviews and provide with clear alternatives to these banks that might not pass the stress tests and are in need of capital. 
Lending and Growth
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It is clearly very challenging for several European companies to remain competitive in a climate of higher fiscal pressure and limited lending opportunities. The ECBE should think about ways to solve the transmission mechanism weaknesses and ensure both the good health of the European banking sector and access to credit (particularly relevant for SMEs). 
 
National Governments should also ensure that the current austerity measures are combined with incentives for companies to hire and therefore reduce unemployment.
 
Over the medium and longer term this is one of the main European challenges: maintain and increase competitiveness during the recovery process.   
 
In Short
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– SSM is determined to conduct reliable and credible stress tests but National Regulators should ensure that ill-capitalised banks act now
– The Transmission mechanism might not provide sufficient lending to European small and mid size companies and therefore needs to be improved.
– European countries facing austerity measures should be concerned about maintaining and increasing their competitiveness. 

 

Robert Kennedy College – University of Cumbria MBA 2013 Graduations

We are excited and proud to share the success of our MBA Class of 2013 graduates that attended the graduations ceremony in the wonderful setting of the Carlisle Cathedral.  The Robert Kennedy College University of Cumbria MBA class of 2013 received their award by the University Chancellor: The Most Reverend and Right Honourable Dr John Sentamu, Archbishop of York. In behalf of the College I extend my most sincere congratulations for their outstanding achievement.
I am certain that this video will inspire both existing and prospective students in achieving their dreams and be part of our next graduations.
Are you ready to achieve your goals and graduate next year? Click Here to apply now!

The Dean on CNBC: Swiss Banks & Gold will rise again

In my latest interview on CNBC I discuss about the outlook for Gold and the Banking sector, especially the better than expected results of some Swiss Banks like Credit Suisse. My students in the class “Money Management” – that is part of our Master in International Business Management and MBA in Leadership & Sustainability have a chance to combine theory with practice: the assessment of the course consist on a personal portfolio that each student can build and track on a daily basis. If you are not a student in the University of Cumbria Master in International Business Management or MBA the next intake is starting in June (with the induction starting in May) and we are currently accepting applications for the last places.

DEAN’S LIST: Bernadette O’Neill, RKC Graduate with MBA in Leadership and Sustainability

“I came across an advertisement through the internet about the RKC program for the MBA in Leadership and Sustainability. It was these two words that attracted me so I applied and was accepted for the program – it was a great choice.” – Bernadette O’Neill

Bernadette O'Neill and husband in Cambodia

Bernadette O’Neill and husband in Cambodia

Bernadette O’Neill (Bernie) was born in a small farming community in Ireland. In the mid-1980s she volunteered to work in Africa for a development organization and knew that she had found her niche in life. Since then she has worked for development organizations in many countries in Africa and Asia, settling in Cambodia in the early 1990’s where she met her husband. In 2007, she became Country Director for ZOA, a Dutch NGO.

Bernie meeting with farmers in rural village in Cambodia

Bernie meeting with farmers in rural village in Cambodia

Kelly Boler: What do you do as a Country Director?

Bernadette O’Neill: As Country Director, I am responsible for all the work of ZOA in Cambodia. Our work concentrates on supporting the resettlement of families previously displaced by civil strife and poverty. As these families mainly settle in remote rural areas, our work focuses around agriculture. A great challenge is climate change which is causing hardship to farmers as the rainfall patterns continue to be erratic so water management and other vulnerability mitigation measures are an important part of our work. To support our projects with these newly settled families, I have to prepare project proposals to donors to access funds, recruit and train staff to implement the projects, monitor the works in progress and prepare reports to all stakeholders. The most interesting part of the work is the regular visits to the beneficiary groups where is it rewarding to see the positive changes in their livelihoods brought about by our work with them.

K.B. What drew you to do your degree at RKC?

B.O. It was sort of accidental!! I had been thinking for some time of pursuing a degree in a field more relevant to my work than my accounting background and some friends suggested an MBA. I did not feel that an MBA was what I wanted but then came across an advertisement through the internet about the RKC program for the MBA in Leadership and Sustainability. It was these two words that attracted me so I applied and was accepted for the program – it was a great choice. I am not particularly religious but sometimes I feel there is some divine guidance to our lives and what I call “accidental” can often be someone guiding us in the right direction.

K.B. Have you done your residency?

B.O. I attended the Residency in Cumbria at the end of 2011. What a wonderful experience! The anticipation beforehand of meeting our “virtual” colleagues in person was rewarded with some animated discussions and sharing of experiences. It was kind of strange walking into a college campus after an absence of over 25 years but the professors were brilliant and the program was stimulating.

K.B. Do you have suggestions for students thinking about their upcoming residencies?

B.O. For students planning their residency, I think it is important to “blank out” that week; don’t come cluttered with other things on your mind (either work, personal or other RKC courses). Normally you will take your residency in the middle of another course so make sure you are up to date with that course work and then forget about it for a week. This is possible because you will be given an extra week’s extension if any exams are planned around your residency. Coming with your mind free will give you more time for social interaction with your colleagues which is as rewarding as the discussions at the University.

K.B. What are your plans for your career post-graduation, and how do you think this degree or what you have learned effect it?

B.O. I will continue to work for development projects in Cambodia but now we have just phased out the ZOA program (as ZOA focuses on countries emerging from conflict and now Cambodia is past that stage), so I am taking a break for now but doing short term consultancies where they interest me.

I did not really do this degree to improve my career. I did it for the joy of just learning again – although I had always said that we learn more from practice than from study, it was most interesting to see how our practical knowledge is supported by various academic studies. Nevertheless it certainly enhances my reputation among my colleagues and future employers. Doing this MBA has also enhanced my capacity for research and showed me how much we can learn from previous research into subjects of interest to us.

K.B. What has been the best part of your experience doing this online degree?

B.O. It has been such fun over the past two years that it is difficult to say what was the best part. Certainly exploring new subjects was stimulating but probably the best part was the interaction with other students and tutors. I now have a great number of additional friends all over the world, many of whom I will continue to keep in touch with.

K.B. What do you enjoy doing? Hobbies, pastimes?

B.O. When I was younger I loved playing all kinds of sports – hurling (a unique Irish game), football, squash and running. Now I am a bit older I focus more on long walks and watching other (younger) people playing these sports. I love reading and get through a few books a day on my days off if I am alone – but I live in such a lovely place (Cambodia) where people are always dropping around for a chat that time alone is rare but these discussions with family, friends and neighbors are always stimulating. Apart from these things, I love travel – whether by bike, car, train, boat or airplane – and meeting new people.

Bernie's grandchildren

Bernie’s grandchildren

K.B. What is your favorite local food?

B.O. There is such a range of great food in Cambodia that it is difficult to say which is my favorite. Because I love to eat a big breakfast and then just top up a bit throughout the day, I could say that the best start for me is a big plate of rice topped with chicken liver, red chilies, garlic and lemons, washed down with a nice beef soup and a strong coffee. Maybe not everybody’s ideal start to the day but if I fill up with that I can go the whole day without anything else if necessary (until evening time of course, when the need for a beer sets in! – and my favorite snack with the evening beer is fried frogs in garlic sauce).

K.B. What is the perfect day?

B.O. A perfect day is of course a day when at the end of it I feel satisfied that I have achieved what I set out to do – sometimes this may relate to work (as in submitting a proposal within the deadline) or personal like sorting out family issues.

K.B. What is the perfect working day?

B.O. I love a day with a mixture of things to do, not just doing the same thing for the whole day – fortunately for me, most of my days are highly varied. The perfect working day includes some travel, meeting with project staff and target groups in their villages and feeling at the end of the day that I have achieved something.

K.B. Are you reading anything right now?

B.O. Since I finished the research for my dissertation at the end of January, I have taken a bit of a break from serious reading as I read so much leading up to that. So my current books are more light reading – some interesting stories of people’s lives around the world (e.g. a prostitute in Brazil, a coal-miner in Chile, etc.).

K.B. Do have any favorite books about business that have influenced you?
B.O. Regarding business books, a book that really inspired me was one of the books recommended to us during our marketing studies at RKC as it looks at business leadership that combines profit making with sustainability – that is Let My People Go Surfing by Yvon Chouinard. It is a book that should be read more than once to absorb the learnings from it.

K.B. What is your motto?
B.O. I can come up with no personal motto greater than the words given to us by God – “Love your neighbor as yourself.” It is very difficult to put into practice but keeping it in mind can help us to avoid selfishness and greed which are two things that drive injustice in our world and lead to unsustainable use of resources.

Robert Kennedy College Online MBA Financial Times 2013 Listing

We are happy to announce that the University of Cumbria MBA at Robert Kennedy College has been listed again this year on the Financial Times 2013 Online MBA Listing.

The University of Cumbria long history that dates back to 1822 has been combined with the unique expertise of our College to offer one of the most content and cost competitive programmes in the World.

The Financial Times listing highlights that the The University of Cumbria MBA at Robert Kennedy College is now one of the largest MBA programmes in world. (you can download the full listing and report here ).

Our Students come from all over the World our programme incorporates a one week residency in Cumbria, England and allows our graduates to enjoy the same benefits of full time students including attendance to the annual graduation ceremony at the Carlisle Cathedral. 

We are currently accepting applications for the April 2013 and May 2013 intakes. If you are ready for this challenge you are welcome  to apply now!

 

In the video below you can see the impressions of our students during the residential week at the University of Cumbria World class campus in the idyllic Ambleside

 

Are you ready for the challenger and start your MBA ?  click  to apply now!