Partnership with BIA: the gate for future leaders of global biotech industry

Radi Haloub, UCL

We spoke to Dr Radi Haloub, Associate Professor/Programme Lead for MSc Biotech and Pharmaceutical Management at UCL's Global Business School for Health (GBSH) about bridging the skills gaps between academic qualifications and requirements of employers. He also spoke about how our members' participation in the recent career festival at GBSH helps support the next generation of healthcare leaders.

The increased number of MSc graduates has led students to think about their return on investment and how they will stand out amongst the crowd. Embedding employability skills in the design of contemporary courses begins with employers’ needs and demands because they are the ultimate arbiters of employability. The Office for Students highlights that “the provider [universities] must deliver successful outcomes for all of its students, which are recognised and valued by employers, and/or enable further study”. To achieve this, partnership with BIA is crucial to narrow down the gaps between academic qualifications of GBSH graduates and demands of current and future employers.

Industry specific skills: the challenge of business startup!

McKinsey & Company identified the UK as Europe’s leading biotech hub in breakthrough life-sciences start-ups in 2021. The UK biotech CEOs acknowledge that some of the main challenges facing biotech industry in the UK include translating science into commercialised products and securing funding to support biotech startups. Currently, biotech companies are looking for graduates with a unique set of skills in multiple fields of expertise to demonstrate their resourcefulness and adaptation to changes in the business environment and sustain companies’ development. These skills may vary depending on specialisation, availability of funds and profit orientation of the produced portfolio. The demands for skills of employees depend mainly on the product portfolio and types of investors as these will have direct impact on the availability of resources and shape the structure and culture of biotech firms. All these industry-specific skills are embedded in new courses that we deliver at GBSH. These skills require more focus on the industry level analysis and ability of companies to satisfy the needs of different markets and launch world-class science in the form of profitable products.

At GBSH, we speak the industry specific language in teaching our courses

We discuss careers with our students starting from induction by engaging them in employability discussions before they become occupied by assessments and exams. GBSH graduates drive forward their career progression by studying in-demand subjects and specialisms that directly relate to specific career paths. By engaging our students at GBSH in action learning sets and utilising a blended content delivery to solve real-world projects, they will become part of the change in global healthcare management to reshape and drive the success of healthcare management ecosystem. Our students and graduates alike can take advantage of GBSH leading partnerships, which stimulate true innovation and creativity and give students 360-degree insights into the global health economy.

Partnership with BIA in delivering Biotech and Pharmaceutical Management programme

The BIA promotes an ecosystem that enables innovative life science companies to start and grow successfully and sustainably, enabling our world-leading research base to deliver healthcare solutions that can truly make a difference to people's lives. Our partnership with BIA exposes students to different challenges that biotech and pharmaceutical companies face locally and globally, enhances their autonomy and improves their intellectual abilities. Our collaboration with BIA ensures that our students’ learning is novel, highly transferable and competitive. Recently, BIA’s contribution to the career festival allowed students to meet representatives from different organisations who provided valuable, insightful and inspirational advice to the next generation of healthcare leaders.

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