As the global economy continues to evolve, business education systems around the world have changed their positions and offerings as well. Today, executives and professionals across various fields need unique skills such as the ability to negotiate, influence & transform, and to allow the creative and commercial elements to work in harmony. Over the years, the MBA programs have been instrumental in inculcating these skills among students and boosting their careers. Known as one of the top accredited business schools in the UAE, Westford University College aims to prepare future business leaders by actively embracing the constant dynamic changes across the globe.
Making Students ‘Corporate Ready’
Westford University College was founded as Westford School of Management in 2009, with a humble beginning of 3 employees and 1 program from Pearson. The institute is a result of the vision of its young founders who were educational enthusiasts, with an entrepreneurial mindset. As part of the founding vision, they believed in providing graduates with experiences and opportunities that will make them ‘corporate ready’.
From the very beginning, it was identified that the institute’s strength is in providing executive education to professionals looking for career enhancement. Hence, it focused on executive education and developed an educational curriculum that is different from other institutes in the region. WUC aims to be student-oriented, providing a 360-degree perspective of the business, its working environment, and the community it operates in. Moreover, it retains a multicultural environment conducive to learning as students from all around the world enroll for their career advancement.
A Bouquet of Academic Programs
The programs and curriculums offered by WUC are designed to bridge the gap between industry and academia. Focusing on being the region’s leading provider of certified industry-relevant skills, the institute provides programs starting from the L3 foundation program, HND, BABM, MBA, DBA, and other professional courses. The undergraduate aspirants are offered a three-year bachelor’s program with a unique blend of qualifications from the Liverpool John Moore’s University (LJMU)—ranked in the top 50 universities in the UK, Canterbury Christ Church University (CCCU), UK, and a Higher National Diploma from one of the most renowned awarding body—Pearson.
The institute offers the MBA aspirants of 2020 a “Triple Crown MBA” which focuses on professional networking and practitioner training apart from academic qualifications that come from reputed universities in the UK and Spain namely—Cardiff Metropolitan University, UK, UCAM Spain, CCCU, UK, and Girne American University, Cyprus. A prestigious addition to WUC’s existing portfolio is the newly launched Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) program from UCAM, Spain. Westford has also collaborated with the University of California, Los Angeles Extension (UCLA Extension) to provide an outstanding “Online Leadership and Management Development Program” for today’s industry players.
Special and Individual Attention
Each candidate receives special and individual attention in the admission process at WUC. As with many selective universities, it undertakes a comprehensive and holistic review of their applications to consider academic and personal characteristics. Candidates’ performance in school or college, the rigor of the program, their writing skills, and their grades are assessed. WUC also looks at their personal qualities, as evidenced by community engagement, leadership, and achievement.
Ensuring Students’ Growth
The teaching at WUC has a distinctive feature that blends the theoretical aspects taught to the students with pragmatic, practical practices—allowing them to effectively relate to any work environment. Alongside academic support, the growth of the learners’ soft skills is also of utmost importance for the institute. The members of the faculty serve as mentors, making the student interactions fruitful.
Furthermore, accessibility has been of prime importance to the institute and every student is provided with resources to serve their purpose. They are encouraged and are free to contact the faculty or administrators regarding any query or concern they face in their educational pathway. Moreover, every student is given one-to-one feedback regularly concerning their growth and contribution towards their academic success.
WUC believes in educating its learners beyond the classroom and campus, thus it initiated various experiences and excursions to continue to bridge the gap and bring together the industry’s best performers, speakers, and leaders to explore and share their thoughts and ideas—enabling students to gain fresh perspectives and stay up-to-date with the current business landscape.
The Shift to Virtual Learning
When the COVID-19 pandemic struck, business schools around the world were forced to close and completely shift learning into the virtual or hybrid environment. One of the more significant changes was a shift away from lectures. The use of classroom lectures as a teaching method has been replaced with more engaging and enhanced tools and software. Zoom-based socials and streaming activities have become prevalent, aiding business schools with their attempts to replicate the extracurricular activities that make in-person classes appealing.
WUC has been a pioneer in online educational teaching for over a decade, through its indigenously developed LMS and use of asynchronous e-classroom platform. Hence, the transition towards an online setting has been seamless for the institute. The Academic Head at WUC, Mr. Col (Rtd) Anil Ahluwalia asserts, “Going ahead, making use of the changes that the education sector has witnessed, we will focus on designing student journeys to be a more connected and an engaging experience, whether it is virtual, in-person, or hybrid.” Having recognized the necessity of virtual programs and events in 2020, WUC is looking forward to getting together in person in 2021.
Preparations for the Future
2020 was a challenging year for everyone around the world. WUC hopes for 2021 to be about rebounding from the crisis of the COVID-19 pandemic. Last year came as an opportunity for many to reskill and upskill. This year, the institute aims to emphasize its commitment to inclusion for every person without exception, take accountability for the cultures it creates, and how the leaders it creates think of humanity.
WUC strives to include more substantial co-curricular programs. It expects to be bold and take major strides towards using new technologies and initiatives to create more accessible, flexible, and personalized education models. As online technology is expected to play a major role in the coming years, WUC is committed to exploring its full potential.
Skills to Thrive
Today, employers want more than a polished resume and sparkling recommendations. Most organizations want leaders who understand more abstract and innovative ideas such as transformational management. As leaders, their ability to influence others is also critical to their success. As an MBA program fosters a holistic attitude and a unified corporate perspective, students must be a part of a professional and organizational network that communicates approaches, establishes new standards, and facilitates problem-solving.
Mr. Hanil Das (Executive Director at WUC) adds that students who aspire to have a great landing post their academia or at their current workplace should consider an inclusive mindset. “It requires a great deal of sensitivity, respect, and diplomacy but also an open mind,” he adds. According to him, the learner’s mental tenacity and resilience are key skills because failure and setbacks are a fact of life, but defeat is not.
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