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Redefining Modern ERS in Higher Education

Woxsen University follows a simple but thorough strategy to create an impact in society built on two constituent processes:

  1. Teaching, Research Contribution, case studies and conferences: 
  • For example, the MBA Programme had one 3 credit course titled Ethics and Philosophy in the Year 2021-22 and in the Year 2022-23 has included two 3 credit courses titled Business Ethics and Corporate Governance and Social Responsibility, Sustainability and Climate Change. Additionally, non-compulsory workshops and non-credit courses are offered as added value.
  • The Woxsen MBA programme addresses Ethics, Responsibility and Sustainability issues through adherence to the United Nations Principles of Responsible Management Education (PRME) as demonstrated in the following table:           
PRME PrincipleWoxsen ERS
Principle 1: PurposeWoxsen’s Master of Business Administration Programme aims to sensitise and develop student capability in the area of ethical, responsible and sustainable business practices. 
Principle 2: ValuesOur curriculum and delivery will reflect the values of ERS as enunciated by United Nations Compact.
Principle 3: MethodsThrough dedicated courses, transversal applications of the ERS principles across courses and student activities, students will be systematically exposed to the Universal principles of ERS
Principle 4: ResearchWoxsen is a part of Responsible Research in Business Management (RRBM) and aims to foster cutting-edge research and knowledge creation I these values.
Principle 5: PartnershipWoxsen is a communicating signatory to PRME and networks with other PRME members across the globe. Woxsen is on the way to creating a multidisciplinary research culture in the area of ERS.
Principle 6: DialogueWoxsen has initiated dialogue with student communities, government bodies, NGOs and industry bodies to understand the ERS issue at the societal level and form a multiagency approach to address societal concerns.

These six principles of PRME form the input for the design of the curriculum and delivery process for the Woxsen MBA programme. As a result, dedicated courses Business Ethics and Corporate Governance, Social Responsibility, Sustainability and Climate Change are formally core compulsory courses. Transversal mention and application of ERS in various other courses in Marketing, Finance, HR and Operations. Students at the end of Year 1 are required to submit a dissertation on a topic of their choice within the broad ambit of Ethics, Responsibility and Sustainability. It is a summative assessment of students’ ability to understand, appreciate and internalise the ERS issues.

  1. ERS concepts have been transversally applied across many courses to enable contextual understanding. One example is a rural area-based project which carries 15% of the module score in terms of the outcomes derived from it. A report is subsequently submitted and, if found fit, sent to the digital press as well. 
CategoryERS Inclusion
Use of ERS across modules10%
Publications/ Case Study/ Book Chapters10%
  1. Several faculty are actively pursuing their research in the domains of sustainable energy economics, clean water, inequality, etc which align with the SDGs. This is reflected in the form of a research article, book chapter and conference proceedings. 
  2. One of the university’s most innovative assessment methods is ethnographic research, immersing the students into the research spectrum, quite literally. Imported from social sciences, ethnography is a very useful research method, if appropriately done within the right contextual zone. Especially if we refer to LGBTQ+ experiential research.
  3. The university organised its annual flagship conference “Digitalization, Innovation, Transformation, and Sustainability (DigITS)”, and an interdisciplinary competition “Building Futuristic Sustainable Living: Thinking Smart & Responsible”, based on the concept of sustainability, was conducted for the entire University but was majorly led by the School of Business. Alongside this, the school organised the Global Impact Summit in April 2022, a global event where senior academicians and corporate professionals will touch upon one single aspect – Social Impact and the second edition, this time with industry professionals and senior academic leaders, called the Executive Council Forum 2022.
  4. An in-house magazine Woxsen Business Review (WBR), operated by the Case Centre, features cases, whitepapers and articles, and maintains a sub-section for Sustainability and SDGs. This section aims at creating awareness among the students about the companies’ integration of sustainability and social responsibility practices into their system. 
  1. Institutional activities to contribute to social causes – 
  1. The Institute in collaboration with Monmouth University initiated a six-month Social Impact Project named ‘Woxsen-Monmouth Elevate Programme’, to teach the underprivileged school students of Telangana State, with a vision to uplift the weaker sections of the society. The USA-based University has financially contributed more than $1000 and shared asynchronous content delivered by their students.
  2. The university hosts a chapter called “Street Cause” a nationwide present entity that focused on the social uplifting of rural India. 100+ students contribute in the form of donations, goods or time to the cause.
  3. On the other hand, the university is proud to host a Rotaract Club that focused on the Net Zero initiative, clean energy and gender equity. They ensure the cleanliness and maintenance of the campus.
  4. As part of Rural Entrepreneurship project, which aims at helping rural people in vicinity of Woxsen University through entrepreneurship, a team consisting of 7 members visited Kamkole village, Telangana, India interacted with the villagers.
  5. Lastly, regular conversations take place around this through the Woxsen Debate Club which, once again, focused on ERS as the key motive for its existence. 
  6. The university pledged to become Net Zero within the Woxsen Universit campus by 2030, ensuring a carbon neutral environment.
  7. The university is actively involved in the world of Renewable Energy research through Electronic Vehicle (EV) and its first steppingstone through setting up a Research Laboratory on Electric Vehicles. The journey is initiated on a stronger note by bringing in “Erwin Automotives” an industrial collaborator that has made a significant impact on society through e-cycles. The collaboration focused on the in-depth nature of this technology and its social impact, considering technology, design, and business development.
  8. Under the umbrella of the Centre of Excellence for Ethics, Responsibility and Sustainability, the Product Design Department of SOAD at Woxsen University collaborated with the MBA/BBA department at PUCPR-Brazil in an intense 3-week course (26th August – 16th September) on “Human Centered Design”.

The students were divided into 6 groups comprising of 5 Management students from PUCPR and 3 Product Design students from Woxsen. The students were mentored by faculty from both schools. Mentors from both schools identified a problem area that is common in both geographies, Brazil, and India. The Project Brief was to work with the local rag-picking communities in their respective countries and develop solutions that could enhance their lives.

The students carried out intensive field and literature research and have come up with solutions focused on Upcycling and the creation of value for all the stakeholders involved.

There were 6 groups in total working on the Waste Management project.

Group 1: Developing E-waste management solutions in Zaheerabad

Group 2: Recycling/upcycling the waste generated in educational institutes

Group 3: Upcycling hospital waste

Group 4: ‘Agrosupp’- solution for waste generated in the hospitality industry

Group 5: Management of temple waste in Zaheerabad

Group 6: Solutions for Plastic waste generated at public transport areas

  1. Mr. Vishal K was offered a six-month volunteer position at the Student Voice at the PRME Blog Taskforce. During this period, he will work with other students worldwide to design and implement social impact projects under the supervision of a Taskforce coordinator and oversight of the PRME Secretariat.
  2. Formation of the ERS Advisory Board, created with the sole purpose of seeking the world’s best practices across continents and developing a comprehensive research and action-based framework for ERS initiatives. Some of the members include Dr Ezaz Ahmed, Dean, Division of Business, Leadership and Communication, Columbia College (SC); Muriel Mafico, Deputy Representativeunicef South Africa – Director Of Operations, UN Global Compact Network; Dr. Monique Darrisaw-Akil, Superintendent, Uniondale, UFSD and, Prof. Colin Clark, Professor Of Accounting, Victoria Business Confucius Institute.
  3. Establishment of the Woxsen OneIndia Outreach Office by the student-led group TRY (The Rural Youth) that works closely with the Kamkole School in nurturing entrepreneurship and social uplifting capabilities while organising literacy sessions across disciplines. 
  4. The Centre for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion initiated the ‘Project Aspiration’ as a series of sessions through which female students in non-favourable social conditions were exposed to different aspects of their future, learning about themselves and the world around them. The training program was conducted by MBA students along the faculty mentors. 
  5. Department workshops in the rural areas: faculty members devote themselves to conduct literacy programs during their personal time at the rural locaties surrounding the university campus. One of these programs is the Financial Literacy, organised by the Prasad Padmanabhan Finace Studio, set in honour to Dr. Padmanabhan, who also inaugurated the same during his stay on campus, and planned with the premise that to promote and improve financial literacy within a specific community or group of individuals. Financial well-being and financial wisdom are the areas which should be and can be nurtured within children from their pre-teen and teenage. 
  6. Energy sustainability: The institution is located on a large campus with an adequate green cover. There are facilities to generate solar electricity, water is recycled and used for gardening and a vegetable garden that is fertilised from the manure generated from food waste.
Sustainability MeasuresDetails
Solar ElectricityUsed for water heating in hostels and also a part of street lighting.
Water RecyclingFor the lawns
Waste ManagementWaste is segregated and disposed of as per environmental norms
Vegetable Garden &Vertical FarmingA small effort to make organic vegetables available to students and staff.