La Trobe Business School


La Trobe Business School’s 2016 UN PRME Report released

PRME La Trobe Business School

The United Nations’ PRME secretariat has recently released the third sharing of progress (SIP) report submitted by La Trobe Business School. In the document, LBS details the achievements that illustrate its ongoing commitment to each of the six  Principles for Responsible Management Education (PRME), developed further since the last report was submitted in 2014. This work makes a significant contribution to the ways in which LBS fulfils its mission.

The report can be viewed here.

What does PRME stand for?

The six PRME principles provide a framework for business schools as they seek to develop competent and responsible managers through education. The program was conceived by way of a recommendation of the academic stakeholders from the United Nations Global Compact. The six principles were developed and adopted in 2007 by an international task force of sixty deans, university presidents and official representatives of leading business schools and academic institutions.

The PRME philosophy sits alongside the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), formally adopted in Paris in 2015, as part of the universal, integrated and transformative 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The 17 SDGs balance the three dimensions of sustainable development: the economic, social and environmental. The Goals and targets provide a framework to stimulate action over the next 14 years in areas of critical importance for the long-term sustainability of human society and the planet, build on the Millennium Development Goals (MGDs) and complete what the MDGs were unable to achieve.

LBS’s commitment to the UN PRME

Since joining UN PRME in 2007, La Trobe Business School has been actively engaged in embedding responsible management, not just in its curriculum and research activities, but also at an institutional level. The School has laid the foundations for the next phase to expand its activities through dialogue (the sixth principle). This success to date means that LBS can more effectively engage in dialogue with stakeholders, and share its understandings more broadly.

La Trobe University values its Business School’s capacity and the opportunity to engage with the demands of responsible management education. LBS and the University have a longstanding commitment and philosophy to foster new generations of responsible professionals. La Trobe Business School aims to educate and encourage students to carry responsible management into their workplace along with a thorough understanding of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

LBS also continues to take the requisite steps to ensure that undergraduate and postgraduate courses, research programs and activities, strategic frameworks and its overall philosophy provide enabling environments for meeting the principles and the accompanying demands of educating about responsible leadership. This includes teaching current perspectives in corporate social responsibility, corporate governance, business ethics, gender balance, diversity, sustainability accounting, and environmental and resource economics across many of the LBS courses and subjects. In addition, the assessment modules are consistently reviewed and designed to emphasise these values to students and provide them with practical applications of responsible management.

New initiatives taken by LBS

Since 2014, many exciting new developments have taken place within La Trobe Business School that further contribute to its work around responsible management. The creation of the Yunus Social Business Centre, the SAS Analytics Innovation lab and the appointment of 11 Professors of Practice to the Business School stand as flagship achievements between 2014 and 2016.

The Sustainability Thinking, Global Citizenship, and Innovation and Entrepreneurship Learning Essentials of LTU provide an excellent platform to further support, grow and direct LBS students to recognize the global contexts in which they will work, exchange values and perspectives, act across cultures and borders and to work with, and within, diverse communities.

Since mid-2015, more than 2000 undergraduate students have completed La Trobe Business School’s second year Sustainability subject, one of three Learning Essentials for the School and the University. Within the MBA Program, LBS offers core subjects that engage with PRME. The University is also leading in the creation of innovative learning and research environments for students through the Hallmark Program and industry outreach including partnerships with local government, and in the community. The University also provides greater access to tertiary education through scholarship programs and the early entry Aspire program.

A number of LBS academics from a wide range of disciplines continue to undertake research projects that are closely aligned with the PRME principles.  These include projects related to sport and social impact, the role of technology in supporting the wellbeing and sustainability of human society, climate change impacts on business, accounting and human rights, rural tourism and sustainability, and data analytics for improved healthcare outcomes.

LBS will continue to use this research platform to create new, and build on existing, engagement opportunities with external stakeholders and partners such as sporting organisations, government agencies and departments, accreditation bodies, NGO’s, private sector organisations and consultancies.

Finally, La Trobe Business School is proud to be nominated as one of 30 leading institutions from around the world to participate in the pilot phase of the PRME Champions Group.

Starting out at La Trobe: the experiences of a first year LBS Aspire student and La Trobe Student Ambassador

By James Alvarez

            I am a first year business student at La Trobe Business School who came straight out of high school and jumped head first into university. My university journey started before I had even begun my year 12 final exams, searching through endless course guides and attending so many Open Days I found myself dreaming of La Trobe University. The colourful and natural environment of the Melbourne campus was so inviting, and La Trobe quickly became my first choice. After going to Experience La Trobe days, Aspire, an amazing early admission program, became a clear and easy to follow way of getting into university.

            Before entering my VCE exam period I filled out the online Aspire application, in which I highlighted the community work I have done for my school and the fundraisers I have organised, one being for the Royal Children’s Hospital. To my excited surprise, my Aspire offer came through in September for the Bachelor of Business in La Trobe Business School. This took a lot of weight off my mind before I sat my exams!

            After my high school life had come to an end, my uni life had already begun and, attending all the ‘days’ La Trobe offered, I quickly became friends with both students and staff.. I must have been smiling nicely and shaking the right hands because before the academic year had begun I was offered a role in the Student Ambassador program. Just recently I was assigned to a photoshoot with the Vice Chancellor, Professor John Dewar, for a brochure and I made the cover! Amazing networking and great fun and a pleasure to be involved in.

            The 2nd and 3rd year ambassadors became like older brothers and sisters to me, helping me to understand a range of university jargon such as referencing and the LMS. If truth were to be told, this made university seem larger than life. But I was quickly brought back to earth when an ambassador told me where the best coffee was on campus.

            And then the academic year began. Attending my first ever university seminar in Business Foundations I was warmly welcomed and given detailed explanations on anything I needed to know. I found that business students at La Trobe are very like-minded people, all very keen to help one another and being open to group work activities.

            Feeling alone at La Trobe University and within LBS has not been an issue for me. The support liaison team were an amazing help when they noticed I had accidentally enrolled myself into a 2nd year subject in my first semester! They emailed me outlining the problem and then took the time to call me and guide me through my StudentOnline to get the issue rectified. After the problem was sorted, they gave me their contact details for any future questions I have. This is a huge helping hand for a first year with no prior knowledge on such matters, like myself! Similarly, the Ask La Trobe team have always been quick and easy to talk to. Want to know how to print? Ask La Trobe. Don’t know how to get your student ID? Ask La Trobe. Don’t know who to ask about a problem with a specific subject? Ask La Trobe.

            So far my academic year has been driving along a very smooth road. The LMS makes this possible by giving me metaphorical road signs that point me to my destination, such as assignments, readings for that week and awesome online lectures I can do from the comfort of my own bed if I please! In my two weeks at university I have already built a note taking system and handed in my first short writing diagnostics take through TurinItIn which a 3rd year commerce student helped me through.

            This is only the beginning of my university journey and it has already been an amazing one! I hope to continue my study and to continue to have a great time with all the new and amazing people here at La Trobe. Now I am going to continue my online lectures!

James Alvarez is a first year La Trobe Business School student who is involved in La Trobe University’s ASPIRE programme.

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