University partnerships

January 17, 2023 •

7 min reading

Networking to success: Why academic partnerships are so beneficial

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In the past few years, the world witnessed an explosion of research partnerships between universities and business organizations. Statistics from the National Center for Universities and Business (NCUB) say that there were over 100,000 corporate partnerships between businesses and universities across Europe in 2017. This figure has undoubtedly increased, but why? 

Limited by their organizational goals or budget, businesses are reducing their expenditure on early-stage research. Instead, higher education institutions are filling the research gap. 

The academic-business partnerships are a welcome change for universities. These partnerships provide funds for academic research, which are difficult to come by when there's no government support. 

Both universities and business organizations ultimately benefit from forging long-term collaborations rather than one-off projects. These partnerships matter now more than ever, considering how they impact students of the modern era. 

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This article dives deep into why university partnerships are vitally important and how they benefit students. 

Universities need effective academic-industry networking to gain a competitive edge and empower learners

In the past, universities competed independently for the brightest students, teaching staff, and academic prowess. Then, their main goal was to boost research and ensure learners graduated with extensive academic knowledge. 

Today, these goals are still paramount to higher education institutions, but how universities achieve them has significantly evolved. Students in the digital era have more options than ever when choosing higher education. 

They can easily join a  certificate, bachelor's, or graduate program from an international school, online or on-campus, in a partner institution of their preferred school. This ensures students who can't physically move abroad to join their dream university can still enroll in the institution's programs.  

In short, international study is rapidly rising. Academic institutions are not only competing on the local scale but also globally. Networking enables academic institutions to prepare students for an international career so that they remain competitive when working in different parts of the world. 


Partnerships provide institutions with research funds and offer students job opportunities

University education in its fullest, truest and greatest form serves three primary purposes: 

  • Help students gain decent employment
  • Assist learners in achieving personal growth and take their skills to the next level
  • Make the world a better place through research and innovation

Through partnerships and networking, universities stick to these three purposes. 

Higher education institutions and corporations have long worked together to enjoy mutual benefits. Students access experiential learning, mentorship, and real-time industry jobs. 

Students can also leverage internship opportunities with the university's partners. Learners involved in incubator projects can get a role within the partner company after graduation. 

If these students become full-time workers because of the partnership, it can be a powerful PR tool for higher education institutions. Universities can use the placement numbers to attract prospective students and potential corporate partners. 

On the other hand, partnerships allow corporations to tap into a talent pool that helps solve business problems. 

Additionally, university-corporate partnerships in the sponsored research arena are a source of funds that promote discoveries and innovations in academic institutions. An open exchange of ideas between partners also helps modernize higher education and set students up for success. 

In addition to corporate partnerships, universities can work with government entities and other higher education institutions to strengthen their academic programs and expose students to opportunities. 


University partnerships help students improve their skills, even post-graduation

Part of ensuring students succeed involves equipping them with the relevant skills in the workplace. Partnering with the right organization not only offers job opportunities for students but also helps them flourish in the long term after graduation and in their careers. 

Let's say you land a job in one of the organizations your university has partnered with. The free flow of ideas between the academic institution and partner firm can mean sharing knowledge that helps the business organization upskill its employees. This could be through exchanging publications, research material, and educational resources between the business's employees and the university students. 

In short, a university-corporation partnership allows academic support to the corporation's employees, who can update their skills using the university's programs. Such networking ensures your skills remain relevant as the industry evolves. 


University partnerships promote innovation

Globally, there's a focus on bridging the knowledge gap to support innovation. Collaboration between universities and businesses can help achieve this. By working together, higher education institutions and businesses can create new solutions to solve problems.

That could mean developing new commercially-viable technology based on the most recent discoveries. It could also mean using academic insights to build more efficient business models. These innovations allow university students to use their academic knowledge to invent new solutions. 


Strong university partnerships rely on compatibility and common goals

For university partnerships to work seamlessly, higher education institutions should build high-quality connections with other organizations. Achieving this requires compatibility between the partners to ensure they are working towards common goals and missions. 

Effective communication and trust are also critical. If you want an institution with effective networking, check the goals and compatibility between the school and its partners. 

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Academic-corporation partnership is a win-win for both parties

University-business partnerships are a hotbed of valuable ideas and talent. Businesses looking to innovate can leverage a wealth of knowledge from world-class academic researchers and brilliant university students. 

On the other hand, universities need to work with industry partners to source funds and support for research. So, collaborating is often a win-win for both parties, and the results of such partnerships are mostly groundbreaking. 


EHL Knows the value of academic partnerships

Our partnerships with the University of Houston and Hong Kong Polytechnic University allows students to access our Master in Global Hospitality Business program from different continents. We've also partnered with a top-ranking business school in Asia (CEIBS) to allow students to get a joint degree in our Hospitality Executive MBA program.

We also collaborate with businesses in different industries on research, talent development, innovation projects, and thought leadership. The Student Business Project (SBP) allows final semester Bachelor students to put their academic knowledge to practice, with many resulting in projects which come to fruition in the real world and job offers following graduation. This 20-year-old scheme is highly sought after by hospitality businesses around the world who know they will benefit from the consultative advice of EHL students with their expertise and pioneering spirit. 

Furthermore, the EHL Alliance is a membership program which leverages the power of the EHL Group to give member businesses privileged access to exclusive services and activities focus on business development, brand awareness, talent acquisition, networking, knowledge sharing and innovation. Each EHL Alliance member can also benefit from the EHL Alliance ambassadors program, in which one or several students support them in various projects. And likewise, those student ambassadors benefit from the exposure and networking links the business offers them. Members include the likes of Coca-Cola, IHG Hotels & Resorts, Laurent-Perrier, and Chopard. Discover the full list of founding members in this article. 

We know that academic-industry partnerships have a significant impact on students. Our institution welcomes collaborative opportunities that expose students to jobs and a vast external network. 

Written by

Business Development Senior Manager - Consultant at EHL

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