Do UK Business Schools Adopt A “One Size Fits All” Approach?

    By April 5, 2019 July 11th, 2022 2 Comments
    Overhead view of an executive woman typing in her laptop. View from the back of a female sitting at the table with a cup of coffee and computer.

    One size fits all.

    It is the blanket term used to describe something that has been made to ensure that a large groups of people can use a particular thing. Generally, whether it’s used to describe clothing or courses, the term “one size fits all” usually means that a product will mainly be unsuitable for those seeking a more personalized approach.

    That being the case, as a student searching for a path to higher education, should you enrol in an institute that does not take into account the unique aspects of yourself? The answer to that question is yours to find as some may prefer a broader approach to their studies or perhaps have not yet experienced the alternative enough to fully understand its importance within one’s path.

    Whatever may be the case, you must first discover whether or not your chosen institution abides by a one size fits all approach towards education or if seeks to create tailored courses which account for individuality within studies. So, do UK business schools adopt a one size fits all approach towards higher learning?

    A Bit of Yes and a Bit of No.

    Much like all things in life, when painting with too broad of a stroke, the details can be lost to generalizations. So, rather than answer with a simple and resounding yes or no, it’s necessary to look at each institution, letting its record speak to the answer.

    That said, yes, there are many UK business schools that employ this approach when preparing students to further their careers. As a great number of such institutions operate under the title of a business school, there, of course, will be many that have adopted an approach that is considered one size fits all. 

    Is this to say that all business courses offered across the UK do the same? Of course not, as with all things in life, there exist a variety of available options, each unique in approach. So while, there do exist many higher learning institutions that utilize a one size fits all approach, there do exist many that prefer to create tailored coursework while celebrating individuality within the institution. 

    This being the case, how is a student to know the difference between the two when searching for a university in which to further their studies?

    The Key to Finding the Right Institution.

    While the task of discovering which approach an institution employs would be made easier if institutions just announced their approach, though this is usually never the case.

    Rarely will an institution announce directly that they have opted to overlook the individuality of their pupils in favor of a one size fits all approach. It is then the responsibility of the student to determine such through careful research into the institution in addition to speaking with a representative of the university. An easy question to ask regarding the approach is ‘Does this particular university tailor its courses to accommodate my chosen goals?’

    If the institution instead opts to enrol all students within the same courses regardless of chosen path, it is safe to assume that the institution applies a one size fits all approach. On the other hand, institutions that celebrate individuality within studies will generally discuss this fact with students. Additionally, the institution will take measures to identify the unique aspects of each student’s chosen path as to create tailored coursework which fits their needs.

    Also, to further note, for those students that have a clear idea of the industry they’d like to enter there exist another option as well. For those, in addition to institutions that celebrate individuality, it would be of benefit to enrol within a institution that has a stated focus upon preparing students for entering their prefered industry. These more industry focused institutions often utilize smaller classroom settings, which can also stand to benefit students that prefer a more in-depth approach to learning or those that may need a bit more attention to succeed.
    Often, the combination of the two results in a classroom setting that is more conducive to success while accommodating students’ individual needs.

    How do universities determine individuality within students and create programmes based around positive student learning outcomes?

    Well, the answer is a little more low tech than you might imagine. Generally, counsellors for the university will be the front line of determining a student’s unique path. With frank discussions, one on one meetings, and just simple interviews, a university counsellor can not only determine the unique aspects of a student’s path but also help point that student in a better direction if needed. 

    For student learning outcomes, the answer is a bit more varied as universities that actively seek to better their programmes utilize quite a few tools at their disposal. Among those tools are exit interviews, capstone project reviews, SLO matrices, SWOT Analysis, as well as a variety of embedded assessment techniques, to simply name a few. 

    This being the fact of the matter, it is now appropriate to answer the question posed from above.

    Do UK Business Schools Adopt A One Size Fits All Approach?

    Yes, some do. That said, there exist a great number of institutions that celebrate individuality and embrace the unique aspects of each pupils’ chosen path. Determining the nature of a pupil’s choice for institutions falls upon the student to ensure that the institution’s methodology falls in line with their needs. To that end, one has a spectrum of resources available at their disposal, one being the very institution itself.

    In this case, a simple question can yield everything needed.