University of Hertfordshire Vice Chancellor speaks to the Chamber

Posted: 19th October 2011, 11:57am

Chamber members from across the District attended the business breakfast at The Quality Hotel, St Albans to hear what Professor Quentin McKellar had to say about changes and challenges higher education.

Professor Quintin McKellar, Vice Chancellor of the University of Hertfordshire (UH) proudly informed local business delegates that the university had won the award for  ‘Entrepreneurial University of the year 2010’ and of 7,500 universities from across the world assessed recently our University ranked in the top 4%.  This is really quite an accolade when you think that it has only been established as a university 20 years ago! There are currently 19,000 students on campus and 2,700 staff are employed at the Hatfield site.

He told us that the University is a business with a £260M turnover.  Students are encouraged to develop and embrace a business facing agenda so that they are ‘business ready’ upon graduation.  The values they teach students on campus are to be global citizens, employable, positive attitudes to work hard, problem solving and to be active members of communities supporting charities and volunteering.

He spoke about feedback from businesses regarding attributes they look for in graduates, unsurprisingly they are: to be good at problem solving, going the extra mile, good interpersonal skills, social responsibility and to have intellectual depth, breadth and adaptability.  

One delegates asked about internships, Professor McKellar said he felt it can be difficult to demonstrate the vast benefits to students as they can often be reluctant to take an extra year out before earning – this is a big ask!  But there are significant vocational benefits to be gained, UH is one of very few universities to waive fees for the year in which a student is in such a placement.

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