Discuss the risks to successful implementation of the plan and recommend risk management strategies

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Discuss reasons for the growth in demand for the Grad Dip


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The Background

This is a hypothetical case generally representative of contemporary NZ tertiary business education institute.Any particular resemblances to any actual organisation or people is coincidental;


International Polytechnic (IP) Business School (BS)

For 20 years since it first introduced a degree level programme and until recently IPBS had enjoyed a stable local education market. Employer expectations of graduate capabilities remained largely static. Consequently there was little pressure to change the range or combination of subjects taught or the education processes. Upstream, students and their parents, who by-and-large trusted the established modes, processes and quality controls, were largely content to accept what the tertiary education providers offered.

Concurrently, over that 20 years, increasing competition for state funding together with declining general prosperity resulted in cutbacks to state funding of tertiary education together with increasing scrutiny of the direct value of education to the commercial economy.

One effect of this was for lecturer salaries to lag behind those of professional counterparts in commerce. It became increasingly difficult to attract high calibre teachers with current applied knowledge in Business disciplines. At the same time there was direct Governmental pressure to re-engineer education processes and content to achieve increased value for tax payers’ money.

During the last five years mainstream state tertiary education institutions began to increasingly look for customers outside the local market, to seek to understand changes in the needs of their downstream market, and to seek ways to adapt to the increasingly dynamic market environment.

IPBS responded by totally re-engineering its Business programmes and two years ago began offering an NZQA approved Graduate Diploma (Grad Dip) programme in Applied Business Management in conjunction with its undergraduate programme in Applied Management and a Diploma in Business. At the same time it constructed new purpose built premises designed to enable and encourage radically changed education process to produce market-differentiated graduates

The Grad Dip proved to be unexpectedly popular with international graduates in Engineering seeking to learn about business in New Zealand with a view to finding work in and immigrating to NZ.

Equivalent full-time students (EFTS) studying for Grad Dip increased from 5 to 160 over two years














Over 90% of EFTS on the Grad Dip programme were international students. Growth in the local market has been slow. In response IPBS has increased its international marketing activity.


Several problems have arisen as a result of the change and the growth.

1. Many incumbent lecturers were unprepared for the new meeting (teaching/learning) spaces designed for collaborative group-based learning, and utilisation of web media for reference and communication. Conventional lecture style instruction is difficult in the open meeting spaces that comprise 50% of the available teaching spaces.


2. Many students were also unprepared for the new open plan facilities because they expected conventional lecture style instruction which the open teaching spaces make difficult.


3. Text books were no longer specified: replaced by web-based information resources accessed by students via their own devices. This tended to disrupt conventional classroom process which students and lecturers tended to find unsettling.


4. Rapid growth in previously minor subject areas such as Operations, which has become the most heavily Management subscribed major, has put pressure on the limited specialist lecturer resource and on teaching spaces: the largest closed spaces accommodate up to 40 students


5. The expansion in the number of specialisations (majors) from 4 to a dozen made timetabling classes extremely complex, especially when it is uneconomical to run classes of less than 10, making it uneconomical to offer some courses every semester. Moreover, some courses are prerequisite to other courses, and Grad Dip students have to complete their whole programme in a year.


6. Grad Dip students not only have to master unfamiliar subjects; new understandings of what knowledge is; unfamiliar teaching and assessment processes, expectations and standards; and unfamiliar business and organisational cultures, but typically do all that in their second language. This is effectively a transformation that has to have progressed sufficiently in the first six months for each student to be a credible intern in a local business in their second semester.



1. Discuss reasons for the growth in demand for the Grad Dip.


2. Discuss the capacity constraints in the supply chain.


3. Forecast the growth in IPBS international Grad Dip student enrolments over the next 2 years and discuss the risks in your forecast


4. Generate a draft weekly room/lecturer/course student timetable for next semester to deliver the four majors in Table 2 to your current cohort plus the new intake next semester, maximising utilisation of spaces and lecturers.


5. Discuss the risks to successful implementation of the plan and recommend risk management strategies.


Assumptions (for this exercise):

  • Lecturer availability and expertise is shown in Table 1.
  • Relative demand for each of the four majors and the courses for each major are detailed in Table 2.
  • Each course currently has three hours of scheduled class time/week


Table 1: Lecturer expertise.

LecturersMr AMs BMr CMr DMs EMr F
Avail Hrs/wk1210917913
Proj Mgmt✓✓
Ops Mgmt✓✓
Intro Fin✓✓
Prin Leadrshp✓✓
Prod dev✓✓
Adv Proj Mgmt✓✓
Strat Mgmt✓✓
Bus Tran & Chng✓✓
Adv HRM✓✓
Ind Proj✓✓✓✓✓✓✓✓✓✓✓✓





Maximum of 6 teaching hrs/day, 17 hrs per week per lecturer and 17 weeks per semester.


6 internship student supervisions is equivalent to lecturing one course


Table 2:

MajorHRMOps & Prod MgmtProj MgmtBus Trans & Chng
Level 6 (1st sem) Level 7 (2nd sem)
Proj Mgmt (PM) ✓ ✓
Ops Mgmt (OpM) ✓ ✓
Intro Fin (IF) ✓
E&IR ✓
Prin Leadrshp (PL) ✓
OB ✓ ✓
Ind Proj Part A (IPA) ✓ ✓ ✓
Prod Dev (PD) ✓
Adv Proj Mgmt (APM)
Strat Mgmt (SM)
Bus Tran & Chng (BTC)
Ind Proj Part B** (IPB)


Internship is equivalent to four courses

*Ind Proj Part B requires no classroom


Closed/ openMax capacity
 303O 30-45
 304 C 35
 305 O30-45
 306 C 35
 212C 45


* Flexibility of open spaces is achieved by borrowing furniture from neighbouring spaces.

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