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Southern Illinois University Edwardsville How Southern Illinois University Edwardsville uses the Financial Times to prepare students for business reality

The challenge

SIUE is looking to give their students an international perspective and a better understanding of real-world business issues.

The solution

Access to the FT allows students to connect classroom theory to real-life examples and gives them a global perspective.

The benefits

The FT is available to all students at SIUE and can be used to supplement text books and encourage class discussion.

Founded in 1957, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville (SIUE) offers a range of well respected and high-quality undergraduate and post-graduate courses, helping to prepare students to become tomorrow’s professionals and leaders. The university currently has 14,000 students and the School of Business has 1,200 undergraduate and 250 graduate level students. The university makes a significant contribution to the wider economic development of South Western Illinois.

The Financial Times is a valuable resource for our students and faculty. A requirement for entering the Business School for students is to write reviews on articles from the FT in their first semester.

Janice Joplin Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, School of Business, SIUE

The university enjoys a strong reputation in its home state and is now looking to build on this at a national and global level, through its innovative and interdisciplinary programs that are helping individuals fulfil their potential and gaining prominence for the university as a whole.

The School of Business is playing a large role in helping to further the national and international reputation of the university. Students taking a business degree course have the opportunity to study a wide range of disciplines, including accounting, computer management and information systems, economics and finance, and management and marketing, as well as MBA and graduate programs.

Both the School of Business itself and the accountancy program are accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business International (AACSB); something only 10 percent of business schools globally have achieved.

To help the school deliver on its aim of producing high- potential and business-ready graduates, all students and tutors have access to an FT Group Subscription, which supplements the traditional text-book approach to business learning. The FT plays an important part in helping students at the school throughout their course, including assisting them in transitioning into the Business School in the first place.

Janice Joplin, the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs at the Business School highly recommends the FT and the benefits it offers students. “The Financial Times is a valuable resource for our students and faculty.

A requirement for entering the Business School for students is to write reviews on articles from the FT in their first semester. This familiarizes them with this resource when it makes the most difference - their first semester as a business major. FT is available to all business majors for the duration of their time in the business school.”

I make use of the FT every day. It’s one of the first of three things I look at every morning.

Dr. Clay Williams Assistant Professor of Computer Management and Information Systems, SIUE

Students are offered a one credit hour orientation course during the first semester of their first year, where they must select two articles from the FT related to their major area of study and use this to write a reflection piece. This not only helps them get to grips with topical business issues but also helps to familiarize themselves with the FT itself – requiring them to create an account – which will be an important part of their ongoing development.

Bridging the gap

One of the challenges for any business school is being able to bring the subject matter to life, and to bridge the gap between academic and business theory and the real world. At SIUE, the FT is a critical part of the solution, as a source of timely and relevant information and practical examples.

Students regularly use the FT and its other channels to identify real-life business issues and challenges and explore possible solutions, linking these back to course themes. Not only does this give students a broader understanding, it also allows them to refer to case study applications when suggesting how particular issues could be addressed.

Dr. Clay Williams is the Assistant Professor of Computer Management and Information Systems, which is taught as a compulsory module on all undergraduate and two masters degrees. The course helps prepare students for entry into a professional career in business computing, providing students with the technical skills needs to work as professionals in the management, design and development of business information systems.

Each week students are asked to focus on a different system or issue – such as security – and use the FT to identify the impact of technology and systems in particular areas or organizations. “The FT is an excellent resource to help students understand real- world examples happening in business and relate it back to course themes,” says Dr. Williams. “My students regularly read the FT as they know I will refer to specific articles in our classroom discussions.” The

FT also provides students with timely and reliable information on industries and companies, which helps them understand the systems they are learning about; something they cannot get from textbooks alone.

An FT Group Subscription also enables professors to develop and maintain an understanding of contemporary and international business, providing an essential source of breaking news, comment, data, analysis and tools for the global education community. Dr. Williams, for instance, says he refers to the FT as one of the first three items he looks at every day, paying particular attention to the headlines and the business- focused industry section of the newspaper.

Classroom application

The FT also provides an important basis for both classroom discussion and group analysis. Ayse Evrensel, Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Economics and Finance, teaches a range of courses, including international finance, international trade, macroeconomics (graduate level) and a basic finance course in the summer for thirdyear undergraduates. She uses the FT in the first 10 minutes of each class, asking students to speak about articles they have read in the FT which relate to their course, providing real-life examples which can be used to stimulate group discussion.

I use the FT in the first 10 minutes of each class, asking students to speak about articles they have read in the FT which relate to their course, providing real-life examples which can be used to stimulate group discussion.

Ayse Evrensel Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Economics and Finance, SIUE

Students are able to use the FT to follow a particular theme or topic over a term, and produce an indepth report at the end of it. This could include monitoring company, industry, political or economic developments in a specific country or market.

Many graduate students are already working full-time, and will be able to relate the material they read in the FT to their day job, as well as their studies.

Digital access means that FT content is available to everyone 24/7, enabling users to work remotely and with complete flexibility. Unlimited access to the FT.com archive, dating back to 2004, also allows also allows individuals to track trends and cases over time, enabling them to see the long-term implications of business decisions and evaluate their merits or otherwise with a longer-term perspective.

Growing careers

The FT is helping students at SIUE understand both the academic theory and practical realities of business, to become better informed and well adjusted to the world of work, and ultimately more employable.

The FT is an excellent resource to help students understand real-world examples happening in business and relate it back to course themes.

Dr. Clay Williams Assistant Professor of Computer Management and Information Systems, SIUE

The university prides itself of creating “global business-ready graduates”, and sees the FT – with its international reach – as the perfect tool to help it achieve this, providing vital insight into different business cultures and helping individuals stand out at interview.

For those who are in masters programs and have already started their career, the FT can prove vital in delivering the kind of knowledge and experience required to further their career, providing insight, which would not have been possible from a purely theoretical perspective.

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