Anglia Ruskin University

Transforming lives through innovative, inclusive and entrepreneurial education and research.

Lord Ashcroft was Chancellor of Anglia Ruskin University from 2001 to 2020, during which time he donated a total of £10 million towards an international business school bearing his name which has buildings on two Anglia Ruskin University campuses, at Chelmsford and Cambridge.

He made the donations because he wanted to encourage young people to have the chance to succeed in the world of business. With his donations, the environment and facilities for business students at the Chelmsford and Cambridge campuses were greatly enhanced. The Lord Ashcroft International Business School Building on the Chelmsford campus was officially opened by HRH The Earl of Wessex in 2003.

The Business School has over one hundred teaching staff and approximately 7,000 students from more than 100 countries.  It is well-recognised as a centre for business education and training by students, employers and professional bodies.

Anglia Ruskin University was awarded university status in 1992.

Today the university has more than 39,000 students.  ARU has campuses in Cambridge, Chelmsford, London and Peterborough, while some students study internationally and others by distance learning.  Lord Ashcroft also ran a $1.5 million scholarship programme for up to nine students a year from Belize to study for a three-year business degree at the Business School.

The Business School’s philosophy
What makes the Business School standout is that it is determined to root its courses in the real world of business: many of them blend sound academic theory with solid management practice and use live briefs to work with businesses to help solve a business task or opportunity. They produce research that impacts and contributes to building a better and more equal society. To ensure that the Business School remains at the cutting edge of management practice, and therefore entirely relevant to the contemporary world of commerce, it forges close links with the business community and external partners within a wide variety of businesses and public-service organisations to enhance and improve business and society

The Business School’s mission:

  • To be a destination of choice for those determined to help build a better, smarter and more equal society
  • Provide our students, whatever their background with the confidence to make things happen and challenge traditional ways of thinking and doing
  • Be an inclusive community and engage in debates which address major societal and economic challenges faced by our communities, particularly around social innovation and justice
  • Ensure our teaching makes a real impact, shaping and influencing policy and developing the next generation of responsible leaders and organisations capable of transforming business and society
  • To seek out our business and law graduates for their innovative and enterprising mindset, future oriented skills and unswerving commitment to ‘doing well by doing good.

In 2018, Dr Trevor Bolton, ARU’s then Dean and Pro-Vice Chancellor, said: “We seek to develop our students to be critical, thoughtful and challenging of both current and emerging business practice. We prepare our students for a world of work that is diverse, changing and increasingly international.”

Students learn business theory and develop skills practically, through exciting simulations, real case studies and business competitions – Anglia Ruskin students have won the IBM University Business Challenge three times. Some students also choose to study abroad at a partner university or take a work placement, enhancing their chances of a job offer at the end of the course.

Course content and assessment are carefully designed to develop the skills employers want and put into practice throughout the students time with Anglia Ruskin using active collaborative working and working together in simulated work environments They also embed employability skills and help students become work-ready with ARU Certificate for Professional Development modules that help the  students to enhance their skills, gain extra credit and build their networking opportunities.

ARU Certificate for Professional Development came 3rd out of over 70 submissions for Most Innovative Approach to Developing Employability Skills at the Pearson HE Innovate Awards 2022.

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