We caught up with Dr Simon Jones for a quick question-and-answer session
What is one word you would use to describe yourself and why?
Persistent, because I apply myself to projects and really do not give up! I am passionate about Higher Education and its ability to transform lives, and throughout my career have persisted in trying to achieve that objective.
Tell us a bit about you
I graduated from the Polytechnic of North London (one of London Met's predecessor institutions) in 1991 with a 2:1 (Hons) Geography. My original university friends are highly amused that I have returned to Holloway Road. After London, I completed an MSc in environmental management at Hull University (1992) and a PhD in environmental policy implementation at the same university (1997). After that, I spent a very happy 14 years at the University of Glamorgan, building a portfolio of geography and environmental management awards, in addition to running halls of residence and being the senior academic admissions tutor for the Faculty of Sport and Science.
More recently, I have worked at the University of Wales in quality assurance – overseeing science, technology, engineering and maths courses delivered internationally. Then at Leeds Metropolitan/Beckett University I was the associate dean (student experience/quality assurance) in the School of Business and Law. I have a long association both with the Higher Education Academy and the Quality Assurance Agency, delivering workshops on teaching and learning, and conducting reviews of universities and colleges, respectively. My background is thus defined by aiming for the best student experience that can be achieved, quality assurance in Higher Education, and bridging the gap between home-taught experience and that delivered internationally.
What is your vision for the Business School?
Key to the Guildhall School of Business and Law's success is the sustainability of student recruitment, which means delivering a high-quality study experience and getting effective graduates into the workplace. This vision also involves support for our high-quality research/consultancy work that has been recognised as influential both nationally and internationally, which in turn forges industry links that help our graduates to be successful. I remember the experiences I gained from studying here that enabled me both to work and study successfully by comparison even to those who graduated from 'top' universities; I want that for our current graduates!
Interesting fact about yourself
I am an avid scuba diver and have been fortunate to dive all around the world. I usually take a camera with me when diving, and have won photography competitions for my images of fish and other animals.
Tips for students to succeed
I think success as a student really can be boiled down to three things:
- Engagement – attend every scheduled lecture, tutorial, meeting, etc. Use the virtual learning environment (VLE), blackboard, chat rooms, hang-outs and other outlets to work with your tutors and student peers. Read text books, follow the news, ask questions... Minimal attendance and handing in work that received scant effort will only mean minimal success.
- Enjoyment – while we all know that sometimes lectures can appear a bit of a mystery to you, and that writing an essay is not necessarily the most fun thing to do, there is some fun to be had studying. Friends and family will be envious that you have this opportunity in your life to be at university. Rather than thinking short-term, know that what you are doing is enjoyable and life-changing!
- Expectation – challenge yourself to achieve, and expect university lecturers to guide you in your study. Be confident enough to demand help from family and friends. If you seek help and support when needed, and expect high standards of yourself and share this with others, then you will be a successful student.