Orient Magazine Issue 79 - October 2020 | Page 57



The Future is Here: Business Education for Tomorrow

There may well be a strong argument for evolution and change based on all these drivers, but what’s in it for business? The Ellen MacArthur Foundation, a not-for-profit pioneer of the circular economy estimates that widespread adoption of circular economy principles would result in a CNY70 Trillion saving for households and businesses in China by 2040; and in Europe, a EU3,00 increase in annual household disposable income. These are clearly not trivial amounts, and alternative financing models, with attractive rates of interest are already available to organisations and projects with sustainable credentials; a point which may help to convince that traditionally-minded Finance Director.

A sustainable approach can clearly yield significant opportunities to business of all sizes, in all areas and in all sectors. But how can organisations adapt, evolve and make the best of these opportunities? Upskilling and re-skilling, training and education. This is an area that, in turn, also has to innovate and change, and many students and their employers are looking beyond the traditional MBA to something more focussed.

A Master’s in Management (MiM) are being increasingly offered by business schools around the world and indeed, the data suggests that MiM degrees are growing at a faster rate than the traditional MBA. MiM tuition fees are undoubtedly more attractive but it is also the flexibility of focus and content that an MiM affords: a focus on the ‘soft’ skills such as leadership, working in teams and emotional intelligence that have been identified by employers as important qualities. Whilst demand for MBAs may be reducing in some areas, it is likely that MBAs and MiMs will co-exist quite happily for a long time to come. What is readily apparent is that COVID-19 has shifted focus to both MBAs and MiMs delivered by online and distance learning. A combination of careful course design and the use of technology now makes such programmes viable alternatives to attending a university in person, essential given the travel restrictions which are likely to be with us all for some time.

Sustainability is becoming a watchword for business success, innovators and early adopters are likely to become sector leaders. Choosing the right educational course and qualification in business is critical, and the Master’s in Management qualification can provide much-needed flexibility. Now is the time to embrace that sustainable future.

About the Author

Dr Richard Thain founded and was CEO of an online education business, and now leads sustainable management programmes at Plymouth Marjon University in the UK. He is a passionate advocate for sustainability as a strategy for business success. He has developed a range of online distance learning courses to provide the broadest range of educational opportunities to support businesses and individuals alike.


At the forefront of education for 180 years, Plymouth Marjon University is a highly respected small university, currently ranked the No 1 university in England for teaching quality. Marjon’s four values of humanity, ambition, curiosity and independence mean that we believe in others, and we care about the success of all our students. As well welcoming International students to our green and spacious campus in Plymouth, UK; Marjon offers a range of online distance learning Masters degrees, including the new MSc in Management for a Sustainable Future.Find out more at www.marjon.ac.uk