Posted Friday 25 July 2014
Kingston University's new Dean of Business and Law plans to focus on helping students spend time abroad as part of their degrees when he takes the helm at the start of the next academic year.
Professor Ronald Tuninga, who is currently dean at the prestigious AVT Business School in Copenhagen, Denmark, will take up his post at the Faculty in September. "What I am particularly looking forward to is attracting more international students to the University," he explained. "The widest diversity possible will create great ideas and help students to think in a more entrepreneurial way."
Professor Tuninga said he wanted to build Kingston's reputation at both undergraduate and postgraduate level by helping more students gain international experience. "We have a lot of first generation students and I want to make it possible for them to spend a period in another country which will mean working very closely with different partner institutions around the world," he explained.
Having worked extensively in the United States and Denmark, Professor Tuninga said higher education globally was facing testing times. "The biggest challenge to tackle is how we can keep the system affordable for students while providing the best possible education," he said. "In many countries, governments are less and less involved in paying for university education so we have to make students see it as an investment in their future and come up with creative ways of keeping it affordable. If we can focus on helping students get good jobs after they graduate then that investment will be much less painful."
Professor Tuninga, who is currently living in the Netherlands, said he was looking forward to the move to London and said it would be the first time he has taken a permanent posting in the United Kingdom. "The nice thing is that I will be coming fresh to the country so I can bring in ideas from other universities around the globe," he said. "My most important goal overall is to make the educational experience a really worthwhile one that students will value and companies will appreciate when hiring Kingston graduates."
A busy academic, Professor Tuninga's research interests focus on international marketing and high-performance organisations. He is also director of the PhD programme at the Open University of the Netherlands and visiting professor of management at Hult International Business School. He advises many international business schools on accreditation, strategy and curriculum design and was previously director dean of the Maastricht School of Management. He has also lectured extensively in graduate and undergraduate programmes in North and South America, Europe, Asia, the Middle East and Africa. In March 2011, he completed a three-year term as the vice-chair of the International Management Board of the Association of MBAs (AMBA) - one of the bodies which accredits global business schools. Currently, he is the honorary chair of the Faculty of Assessors of AMBA.
Kingston University Vice-Chancellor Professor Julius Weinberg said the new appointment emphasised Kingston University's commitment to further building its global reputation. "Higher education needs people who can think creatively and develop ideas about how to tackle the evolving issues we face today," he said. "In that respect, Professor Tuninga is an ideal candidate to continue to develop the Faculty and I look forward to welcoming him to Kingston University."