BA Business and Enterprise (BABE) – an impactful journey
Keywords:Enterprise education, entrepreneurial learning, experiential learning, work-based learning, cros-border collaboration
Although the Scottish Executive (2003) and Skills Sector Councils (Lifelong Learning UK, 2008) have published reports to highlight the value of lifelong learning, there is no easy path for advanced entry to degree programmes in the United Kingdom (UK). We became aware that there were an increasing number of mid-career workers who had achieved progression in their fields to a certain level without going to university, but now found themselves unable to advance without a degree qualification. The BA Business and Enterprise (BABE) was developed to address the learning needs of this audience by Edinburgh Napier University (ENU) in 2007, as a one year ‘top up’ qualification, flexibly delivered, for students with recognised non-degree level prior learning or significant workplace experience. It targets employees of small and medium-sized business enterprises and not-for-profits, as well as members of the armed forces, who wish to study while they continue to work. This paper plots BABE’s journey across national and cultural borders to meet the needs of a niche student market. It focuses on the experience of Tai Poutini Polytechnic (TPP), a small New Zealand (NZ) polytechnic, which is now teaching the degree in partnership with ENU, in a new and innovative educational arrangement for the NZ tertiary sector. The paper critically reviews the process by which an international qualification was adapted to suit the NZ market and the requirements of the New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA).
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