Highlights from the CMI Higher Education Conference

05 March 2019

The CMI HE Conference 2019 took place on 27th February, this was an opportunity for University partners and key stakeholders to celebrate success and look to the future in developing CMI’s influence on students’ capabilities to meet the dynamic needs of the workforce. The conference was attended by policymakers, HE sector regulators, university leaders, Deans and academics and CMI student ambassadors.

So, what did we learn?

We heard from CMI CEO, Ann Francke CMgr CCMI, who highlighted that the only true certainty in today’s climate is uncertainty and the importance of creating your own certainty. In addition, Ann pointed out that the apprenticeship levy is extremely underutilised, which presents a key opportunity to be proactive in training a workforce and planning for the future.

Tanya Aitken CMgr FCMI discussed how poor management costs the UK economy £84bn, which demonstrates importance of addressing leadership skills gaps. Tanya also discussed the positive impact of CMI accreditation, which boosts employment prospects by 10%. 

We learnt how Higher Education Institutions are working collaboratively with CMI in a multitude of innovative ways. 

The University of Huddersfield’s Vice-Chancellor, Professor Bob Cryan CBE CMgr, discussed the importance of asking fundamental questions such as; what gives us the right to lead?

The University of Huddersfield is the first higher education institution in the world to require all managers to become qualified as Chartered Managers and to date has enabled 83 senior leaders to achieve CMI Chartered Manager status.

We heard from Steve Galliford CCMI on how Coventry University successfully took CMI beyond the Business School. Coventry University offer embedded modules with CMI accreditation across various course disciplines, such as nursing and engineering. This demonstrated that is essential across various degree subjects in improving long-term employment and progression prospects for graduates. 

What do students think of CMI? 

We heard directly from students on how CMI was beneficial to their career prospects.

Alexis Pepin gave insight into how CMI adds value to London College of Fashion and the networking and career development opportunities of being a CMI Student Ambassador.

Sophie Scoular described the positive impact of CMI resources, which supported her studies at Nottingham Trent University. The accreditation enabled her to stand out which improved employment prospects.

Waqar Arshad of Coventry University explained on how management tools were useful during his placement, which allowed him to stand out. CMI had a positive impact on his employability as a master’s graduate.

How are we working in International Partnerships?

Professor Jonathan Winterton described how graduate employability and preparing students for work was a key driver for their CMI Partnership at Taylor's University in Malaysia. He discussed the widespread concern with qualification inflation and brain drain of Malaysian graduates leaving to go to the UK and Australia. Employers have input which helps to co-create the curriculum at Taylor’s University, which is enables graduate to be better prepared for the workplace.

Gail Thrippleton, talked about how CMI accreditation is offered through International Partnerships at the University of Derby.  Extending CMI Partnership Internationally gave ownership to international partners, which enabled them to create their own local leadership programs. 84% of students at partner institutions chose their course based on CMI accreditation.

Mike Winter OBE explained how University of London graduates are boosting their employability by obtaining CMI accreditation in addition to their MBA. This enhanced professional opportunities and meant they were more likely to get jobs.

In summary, this year’s CMI HE conference was an opportunity to hear some inspiring  examples of the value CMI adds to our Higher Education partners. We look forward to working with you throughout 2019 and hope to see you at next year’s conference.


Gina Hardcastle