REFINING STANDARDS IN HIGHER EDUCATION (2005.02.28)
RTU Riga Business School Starts Training Business Managers in SAS
Established in 1991, RTU Riga Business School (RBS) is a management – education institute at Riga Technical University (RTU). It works in close cooperation with the State University of New York at Buffalo (UB), USA, and University of Ottawa, Canada. Being an internationally oriented centre of excellence, RBS provides its students with high–quality internationally competitive management education, and conducts state-of-the-art management research.
The oldest and most prestigious part-time MBA program in Latvia, the Professional MBA, offered by RBS, is designed for busy professionals who are serious about their career development and advancement. Up-to date curriculum provides a strong academic foundation combined with intensive analyses of current business issues and mastery of skills for real-world business goals. Professor Andrejs Koliškins uses SAS software while teaching his students applied multivariate methods for business; so, they may develop the necessary skills to be competitive in the real business world.
SAS Academic Program
Collaboration between SIA "Paspara", representing SAS in Latvia, and Riga Business School began in January, 2005, when RBS acquired Chair License as part of the SAS Academic Program, a program that makes SAS software available to students, researchers and professors in more than 3400 degree granting institutions worldwide.
RBS Professor Andrejs Koliškins uses SAS Enterprise Guide, (which is a part of the special academic software package called SAS Academic Analysis Suite), while teaching the elective course "Applied Multivariate Methods for Business". Spring Semester, 2005 is the first time the course is offered at RBS and 8 students are enrolled in it. The number of students is expected to increase substantially in near future, after some schedule modifications are made.
Solving Real Business Problems
The need for introducing such an elective course was stipulated by the strongly expressed market need for managers who should be able to analyze and interpret statistical data for business purposes. Hence, during the course, the professor does not simply teach multivariate methods - he integrates practical activities into the study, thus developing the ability to solve real business problems. "There is no doubt that SAS makes solving real business problems much easier, and our students in turn become more marketable in today’s competitive business world", - says professor Koliškins.
Extending SAS Teaching to Business Topics
RBS plans to include using SAS in teaching such courses as “Managerial Statistics”, “Decision Making and Forecasting Using Statistical Methods” and “Marketing Research”. The emphasis would again be put on a seamless combination of theory and practice. RBS management, especially director Jānis Grēviņs, PhD, agree that they want their students to have a good feel for business, at the same time staying exact in their approaches. This is what makes them highly marketable individuals, because only a minority of management school graduates in Latvia offers a thorough knowledge of quantitative methods and their real application in business world. And it is SAS that is the best possible support for such an excellent approach.