University of Bath School of Management University of Bath School of Management

Meet our Students & graduates

Luz Longsworth

Luz Longsworth

Why did you choose to study the DBA (HEM)?

In deciding on doctoral study, I was interested in doing a programme that would be research-based as well as having a more practical application to my career. I had looked at several possible PhD programmes which were primarily very theoretical and I had looked at general DBA programmes which were very practical but focused on a more corporate environment. The DBA (HEM) offered the perfect combination of the two important elements that I sought: a strong research base in higher education and a clear relevance to my professional activities.

Tell me about your current role and how the DBA will feed into this?

In 2008, The University of the West Indies launched a virtual campus (the Open Campus) which seeks to increase access to students regionally in the English-speaking Caribbean. I have the responsibility for, and oversight of, over 40 sites in 16 English-speaking islands in the Caribbean that serve as delivery points for the programmes and services of the Open Campus. The DBA (HEM) programme has already assisted me in understanding the complexities of the higher education landscape of the 21st century and has given me a framework in which to position the stages of development of my new campus. One of our major goals is that of increasing access and embarking on strategies of management in higher education that were previously not well known in the university environment of the Caribbean. These are thematic areas of the DBA (HEM) and they have direct impact on my day-to-day professional practice. Thus, as a member of the senior management team of the Open Campus, the knowledge base that I am building while studying for the DBA (HEM) will help me to be a better and more strategic manager.

What do you think the DBA (HEM) will give you that other qualifications won’t?

The DBA (HEM) will give me an understanding and appreciation of research in higher education management and how this research can feed into improving my professional practice in the field.

What are the residential periods like?

Residential periods are absolutely essential. They are structured to cover topics of interest in a seminar format. These not only expose participants to current issues and themes in higher education management, but help to clarify our own areas of focus for our thesis which is completed in phase two of the programme. The residential periods also offer tremendous opportunities for networking with colleagues within the cohort who come from different institutions and countries. Our cohort members are senior in their institutions and the sharing of experiences and exchange of ideas, both within and outside of the formal class times, are as much a part of the knowledgebuilding process as are the formal seminars. We have also made contacts that will be very useful in the future and have formed long-lasting friendships among persons with whom we have much in common, despite cultural or organisational differences.

Obviously one of the main strengths of the DBA is that, although it’s based here in the UK, it’s made up of a very diverse international student body. Was that something that also encouraged you to apply to the programme?

The international nature of the cohort was a very important factor in my decision-making process. Coming from the Caribbean, it was a major advantage to enrol in a programme that had such a wide variety of participants. It has given me a better understanding of how higher education works in different parts of the world and where there are similarities or differences. My cohort includes people who are from or working in North America, Africa, Asia, the Middle East, the United Kingdom, Italy and Australia. The wealth of experience around the table is immeasurable.

Do you have any advice for someone considering the DBA (HEM)?

Yes – do not delay in applying! The DBA (HEM) is an excellent programme that prepares managers for the increasingly complex environment of higher education, no matter which part of the world you are from. The programme also provides an excellent structure for practitioners who, because of their busy schedules, could sometimes get frustrated in a typical PhD programme... It is an outstanding programme both in structure and content as well as in terms of the academic and administrative staff who support it.

Luz Longsworth has over 25 years of experience in both higher education and business in the English-speaking Caribbean. In her current role as the Director of the Open Campus Country Sites in the Open Campus of the University of the West Indies, she oversees the management of 42 sites in 16 Caribbean countries. In her capacity as a member of the senior management team of the UWI Open Campus, Luz sits on the Committee of Deans and represents the Open Campus on the Council of the University of the West Indies. She is currently completing the Doctorate in Business Administration (Higher Education Management) at the University of Bath School of Management. Her thesis is on Leadership in the Virtual Higher Education Environment.

Back to more student & graduate profiles