Alliance Manchester Business School - AMBS
Article By
Hongwei He

Hongwei He

Director for Social Responsibility, Alliance Manchester Business School.

Socially responsible

The pandemic has strengthened student commitment to Sustainable Development Goals.

The world has faced growing global inequalities over the past year, intensified by the COVID-19 pandemic, and our student community has been quick to respond.

This was particularly reflected in The University of Manchester’s recent recognition as the world’s number one university in the Times Higher Education (THE) Impact Rankings 2021. This accolade measures the considerable impact the University has had in forwarding the aims of the United Nations 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Professor Hongwei He, Director for Social Responsibility at Alliance MBS, said the pandemic had strengthened students’ commitment to SDGs. As he said: "Many masters’ students chose SDGs topics that are COVID-19 related for their dissertations, while we have also seen our existing doctoral students quickly modifying their research topics to cover social issues linked to COVID-19."


Specific examples abound. For instance a team of eight undergraduate students are supporting professionals at the North West Tax Clinic to provide guidance for those living in the region on low incomes who are facing tax problems. Full-time MBA students have also successfully completed not-for-profit consultancy projects with charitable organisations, The Pankhurst Trust and The National Museum of Computing, to help them overcome challenges posed by the pandemic.

And a team of second-year undergraduate students from Alliance MBS placed in the top 10 teams globally at the annual Business Analytics Competition at Manhattan College which explored the links between socioeconomic data and COVID-19 data in New York.

The scholarships support outstanding undergraduates who have made positive contributions to society.


Alliance MBS was the first UK business school, as part of The University of Manchester, to make social responsibility a core strategic goal, and another way in which we demonstrate this is through our Social Responsibility Scholarship programme.

Successful scholars are academically accomplished, achieving AAA at A-Level (or equivalent) and complete a written application demonstrating a significant contribution and dedication to social responsibility. Before joining, they also set out their plans and ambitions for personal development during their time at university, so they can make a difference to the world when they leave Alliance MBS.

As Professor He adds: "One of the main aims of our social responsibility strategy is to develop socially responsible graduates. The scholarships support outstanding undergraduate students who have made positive contributions to society, the environment, and their local communities, typically through volunteering, fundraising or community-based projects."

The awards are worth £2,000 per year across three years of undergraduate study, but students benefit from more than just the financial support the scholarship offers. For instance scholars are also assigned a mentor to support initiatives and personal development for the duration of their studies.

Class of 2020

As we wait for the class of 2021 Scholars to join Alliance MBS, we caught up with the SR scholars who joined the School in October 2020. They told us which social responsibility issues they are most passionate about, and how their scholarship has further motivated and enabled them to take action to make a positive impact.

Xin Ni (China)
BSc (Hons) Management (Accounting and Finance)

"Being a SR scholar gives me the platform and resources to make a bigger impact. I have joined a SR NGO and I hope to utilise the resources to make a greater contribution to SR issues in the future."

Sarina Ramchandani (Spain)
BSc (Hons) in Information Technology Management for Business with Industrial Experience

"I have a strong interest in volunteering for community-based projects and charitable societies. As a SR scholar, I not only gained recognition from my university for something I enjoy doing, but it provides me with the opportunity to work collaboratively on future projects with my fellow scholars."

Zobia Aamir (UK)
BSc (Hons) Management (Marketing)

"Being a SR scholar has allowed me to find more ways to become more socially responsible and get involved in more charitable projects. I am passionate about helping the community, animals and people, and am currently involved in litter picking in my area, feeding stray cats, and the NHS youth scheme."

Rathan Rishi Mohanasundaram (India)
BSc (Hons) International Business, Finance and Economics with Industrial/Professional Experience

"The scholarship motivates me to pursue my interests in social responsibility activities. I am interested in climate change and social issues such as promoting safety for women. This year I have written two blogs about climate change, one focusing on the impact of the US presidential election on the climate agenda."

Eryn Burch (UK)
BSc (Hons) Management (International Business Economics) with Industrial/Professional Experience

"The main benefits of being a scholar are the financial freedom and time it gives me to pursue projects I am interested in, mainly concerning both physical and mental health and wellbeing. Due to COVID-19 and the UK lockdown, mental health issues have become more significant, and as a result, this is something I want to focus on more in the future."

Melanie Preen (UK)
BSc (Hons) in Information Technology Management for Business with Industrial Experience

"I am dedicated to tackling environmental issues and inequality. I have recently been selected for a prestigious European entrepreneurial programme and hope to start-up environmentally conscience companies in future. As part of my degree, I have learned about technological solutions such as Tableau and software development which I can use to deliver solutions to social issues."

Shiying Ma (China)
BSc (Hons) Accounting

"Due to the pandemic I’m currently studying in China. Fortunately I am still able to work with ReachOut, a charity that partners with schools in disadvantaged communities to support young people. Working with teenagers from Stretford High School online, I have learned that inequality has a significant impact on young people's development. The impact of COVID-19, has resulted in even more obstacles to the education and wellbeing of young people from disadvantaged backgrounds."

Grace Mckeown (UK)
BSc (Hons) International Business, Finance and Economics with Industrial/Professional Experience

"There are massive benefits to being an SR scholar. This scholarship provides a platform for me to collaborate with like-minded people and access the resources needed in order to achieve our SR goals. The financial component of the scholarship also enables me to work fewer hours and consequently focus more of my time on SR initiatives and volunteer schemes."

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