In recent years we can observe a slow change in the role of the Universities, as educational institutions. While in the near past, Universities has been perceived as the institutions which teach the students, recently we can observe the growing shift to research activities. The modern university today, is both an educational and research institution. Also, educational activities are not limited to the young generation, but to all generations in order to fulfil its mission in Lifelong Learning.
One of the research missions of Tomas Bata University, Faculty of Management and Economics is the Business research and research of Entrepreneurship. While the business environment is dramatically changing due to technological development, changes in the customer´s needs, traditional business models of many companies are becoming obsolete and needs important changes, in the ways in which they generate profit. One of the business areas dramatically affected by the technological development, changing customer´s needs and finally by the Covid pandemic, is the area of Language schools. Language schools, which are mostly private educational institutions, have been operating their businesses without many significant changes for most of last three decades.
But the world is changing. The business environment is no longer the same as used to be in the last decades. Customers very often turn into alternative educational schemes, many new on-line products in the field of language education are being introduced and finally, classes remained closed for most of last 15 months. These facts have a dramatic impact on the profitability of language schools, their revenues and finally to the simple survival. We can observe that traditional business schemes and models are no longer sustainable. Language schools are fighting for simple survival. Due to our opinion, the only solution and the only way to survive is to turn to alternative business models. In other words, to find different schemes how to generate a profit, by turning to alternative products and customers.
These dramatic changes in language school’s business environment were at the beginning of our research project. Our consortium, including our University as a leader and 5 other language schools (From 4 countries) was successful in getting funding for project ERASMUS+ KA203 Transformation of a traditional language school by means of business model innovation. The project reflects the current changes in the business environment and aims at the development of a new business model for business school, which is based on the transformation of the product to the more value-adding form of language education which connects the language and professional education. Such transformation allows the language school to be not only the provider of the language education, but effectively connect it with professional education focused on business and personal development.
We believe that project could significantly contribute to the transformation of the traditional language school’s business into new type of business model, which reflects the changes in business environment, customer requirements and challenges of the new digital era. Project outputs could contribute to the development and boosting of the language school business and bring new value to the customers of language schools.
Prof. Boris Popesko, Ph.D. (*1978)
Works as a professor of Business Administration at Tomas Bata University in Zlin. Currently holds the position of Deputy Dean for Research and Business Liaison. He has been appointed also as a visiting professor at the University of Essex, UK, Ton Duc Thang University, Vietnam and Al-Farabi Kazakh National University in Almaty, Kazakhstan. He professionally focuses on the issues of Business Administration, Entrepreneurship, Management Accounting and Decision and Performance Measurement and Management. He is the author of many research papers, journal articles and books. He is also active in management consulting and leads his own consulting company.