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International business students help community radio station measure success

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L-R Dr Ian Chapman with Marius Waldenburg, Lara Schafer, Georgia Farebrother-Dunn, Cameron Green, Carolin Stadtkowitz & Christina Kothe ( Hayley White absent.)

International business students from the University of Cumbria have worked to help a Lancaster-based community radio station with a project which it’s hoped will bring benefits for both.

The international business management students worked for Beyond Radio as part of a consultancy project within a module which sees real life experience gained as part of the qualification.

Acting as a business consultancy, the group met with the radio station’s business manager to decide a plan of action that would be useful to the community group but also satisfy the need to be a robust piece of academic work.

“Throughout December a team of seven students, including four from Germany who are taking the course alongside UK counterparts, undertook audience research survey work to identify the number and variety of people listening to the radio station which broadcasts to Lancaster and Morecambe,” Dr Ian Chapman, senior lecturer in business, said. “As well as the radio station project others have included working with an ice cream parlour, two social media marketing projects and a local mattress manufacturer.”

Consultancy projects in previous years have ranged from working with social enterprises to Carlisle United. The links are made by the university’s business and enterprise team.

The aim of all the projects is to offer students the chance to put into practice the theory gained as part of the course.

“We surveyed 350 people, each of us taking 50 questionaire’s which contained 10 questions asking details of when and where they listened, how long they listened for etc,” student Cameron Green said. “This was practical work, part of what has been a fantastic course.”

The research revealed detailed audience data, the first time the radio station has been able to acquire this level of information.

“We were pleasantly surprised with the detail and quality of this kind of research,” Nathan Hill of Beyond Radio said. “It’s far more detailed than the research used by the radio industry more widely and will help us develop our programming. We hope to collaborate with the University of Cumbria much more in the future.”

The students involved, Georgia Farebrother-Dunn, Cameron Green, Christina Kothe, Lara Schafer, Carolin Stadtkowitz, Marius Waldenburg and Hayley White who will all graduate this summer.