This week the Business School welcomed Gurdip Anand from the Universal Business School (UBS), Mumbai, India. It was a real pleasure to meet with him again and enable him to see our impressive campus.
UBS is located about an hour and a half drive from the centre of Mumbai in beautiful surroundings and a backdrop hills. The local community is an agricultural one. In the hustle and bustle of central London, we had an interesting discussion which focused on our shared ideas about social responsibility and ethical professional practices. It was interesting to hear about UBS activities within the local community where they have been actively involved in building a reservoir and dyke to help ensure that local farmers and villagers have access to water. Apparently, the water table has dropped due to business activities in the region and so colleagues in UBS are doing their best to help improve the local environment and welfare of local people and are involving their students in different activities.
I picked up on the theme of water by describing the MBA Social enterprise module and the way in which a team of MBA students and a staff member went out to work in a village in Uganda in September 2012 where they helped fit a water filtration plant and then train villagers in its use. Students came back with fresh perspectives on making a difference to the world and the importance of incorporating social responsibility into business (as well as personal) life.
As dean of the Westminster Business School, it is very important that we continue to build on our ethical practice and corporate social enterprise, and this involves taking it into account in our everyday activities, embedding it within the curriculum and also providing a wide range of opportunities for students and staff to engage in it throughout their time here. It is an area that we are actively building up. This will help us to develop students who are able to make a positive difference to the complex world we live in and ones whose professional practice is under-pinned by ethics and an understanding of the need to think about the impact of their activities on the wider society.