Dr Susan Laing

Dr Susan Laing

Susan is currently interim lead of the School of Management and Marketing at University of Westminster.  She accepted this role to support the School with their transition back on to campus, lead a culture change and build the community of practice across the seventy strong team, and develop the senior leadership group of the School.  During this role Susan has been awarded the title of Professor of Enterprise.

Susan stepped down as Dean for Teesside University Business School in 2020, to allow her the opportunity to build a portfolio focussed on enterprise education agenda and supporting entrepreneurial businesses to grow.  She was appointed as Dean in June 2017 to relaunch the School and has grown the income by 62% to approaching £12.5mn and increased student numbers by over 50% to July 2020.

Prior to Teesside, Susan spent more than twenty five years at Edinburgh Napier University where she led the Enterprise strategy (academic and commercial income) creating a track record of leading innovative courses locally, nationally and internationally.

Key Enterprise Projects

University of Westminster - Leading the team to a shared vision, culture, behaviours

Authentic Assessment Hackathon – an intervention to ensure that the School of Management & Marketing (SMM) could address a University requirement to refine assessment methods to remove examinations and ensure they met the authentic criteria.  The School portfolio meant that this affected almost 100% of the module provision.  The Hackathon was a staff development / community of good practice event to create a stronger understanding of authentic assessments and build course team relationships.  A key output of the event was that individual module leaders were better informed and able to confidently complete the quality assurance requirements, and as a School we met the University deadline ahead of schedule.

Curriculum Development Rapid Improvement Groups (RIGs)

Two of the largest courses in SMM (and the University) had been revalidated in early 2021, but the full course curriculum development was behind schedule.  I put in place an intervention focussed on the development on the curriculum at Course and Year level.  This was run over two days with a third day led by individual course leaders for their teams.  A series of on-line drop in clinics allowed course teams to access expertise on a series of topics, e.g. NSS, course handbooks, UN sustainable development goals, and EDI.

Let’s Do This – Transformation Project delivered through a Task & Finish Team (TFT)

This project was managed by a team within the School who were mentored by me to support the School transition back on campus.  Terms of Reference, Project Lead & Depute roles and specific outputs were identified.  One key activity was to design, organise and host two ‘Away Days On Campus’ to provide reassurance and guidance to colleagues with regard to returning on campus.  

Teesside University

Scale Up Project – Leap 50 @ Teesside University Business School

Susan was the architect in designing Teesside’s first scale up programme to offer growth support across Tees Valley to businesses from a range of sectors.

Higher Degree Apprenticeship – MBA course

Led a team in the Business School to design an entrepreneurial leadership focussed MBA under the apprenticeship levy framework.  Over 100 managers and leaders from across Tees Valley are studying to gain this highly applied MBA award and generating £1.8mn income for the University.

Edinburgh Napier University

Scottish Development International

Susan was commissioned by Scottish Development International to scope, design and deliver a four day workshop to Develop an Enterprise Curriculum for 30 university staff and invited entrepreneurs in Barbados.

Fife Council

Designed, developed and delivered a 6 month accelerator growth programme for Fife Council – Fife Entrepreneurial Leaders Programme.  The pilot (first of three cohorts) was composed of 13 SMEs who signed up to develop the entrepreneurs’ capability and capacity in Entrepreneurial Leadership. Contract value circa £100,000

British Council

Invited as subject expert by British Council (BC) in Sri Lanka, to scope, design, and deliver a three day workshop to Develop an Enterprise Curriculum for 20 government funded universities (45 participants ranging from Vice Principals and Deans to Lecturers and support teams).  This knowledge transfer workshop is now being developed with BC support to other regions where enterprise education is deemed a priority but the universities lack clarity of direction.

BA Business & Enterprise (BABE) – Top up degree for working learners

Led the design, approval and implementation of this programme that created a route for mature learners who had attained career progression without going to university to achieve a degree award.  The programme has spun out across UK through relationships with Institute of Leadership & Management (ILM) and Royal Air Force (RAF) with more than nine learning hubs across UK. The programme was then offered in New Zealand after she supported Tai Poutini Polytechnic as a subject matter expert gain approval from the New Zealand Qualifications Authority.  It was then developed for on-line learners in the Caribbean islands.  600 graduates are now alumni and the programme has generated more than £2.5mn in income

Ministry of Defence (MOD) contract for University Short Course Programmes

Led the tender submission and then the implementation of the three year contract to deliver courses for the above contract.  Selected courses were Entrepreneurial Leadership and Managing Innovation. 

In brief

Research areas

Enterprise, Entrepreneurship, Entrepreneurial Learning

Skills / expertise

Entrepreneural Learning / Pedagogy

Supervision interests

Enterprise, Entrepreneurship, Born Global Businesses