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Chris Birch

Professor Chris Birch MA, MBA, MInstKT, FHEA

Chris Birch

Professor Chris J Birch

Director of Enterprise & Innovation

Department of Systems Management and Strategy

Business School

For the past ten years, Professor Chris Birch has worked at executive level in two universities, including Pro and Deputy Vice-Chancellor roles. Currently, he is Director of Enterprise & Innovation at the University of Greenwich Business School. His responsibilities have included research, enterprise, employer engagement, income generation, regional development, estates and marketing. He has been involved in significant change management programmes, borne out of both necessity and in recognition of the need to become more efficient and effective, in order that more self-generated resource can be used sustainably to support investment activity.

Professor Birch is committed to the principle of creating mutually value-adding partnerships, particularly when shared development of secondary functions lead to more resource being made available for the delivery of core business. He is clear that universities will now have to look very hard at all aspects of their work, and how they operate, as public funding becomes more constrained and contested and as the competitive global environment, underpinned by high speed and cheap communications infrastructure, increasingly challenges traditional university dominance in the provision of higher education services. Furthermore, the impact of forthcoming demographic change will have profound effects and impact on the fitness for purpose of current provider models, which are likely to necessitate systemic structural change.

His experience of the governance and leadership of universities, their overall cultural composition and the fundamental issues relating to funding, quality and the student experience, alongside his political empathy and business knowledge, infer that he can realistically and credibly assess options in a sensitive but rounded way which will be critical to future success.

Research/scholarly interests

  • Curriculum design
  • Pedagogy
  • Workforce development
  • Technology enhanced education
  • Marketing and contemporary social history.

Selected publications

Conference papers

Birch, C. 1996. The International Student: A consumer-oriented approach to recruitment. International Education Symposium, Southampton University (Centre for Research in Education Marketing), 1996.

Birch, C. 1996. The perception of potential international students to UK universities. Marketing Education Group Conference, Strathclyde, 1996.

Birch, C. 1997. Lost on the way to market. Factors influencing potential students decision making process in their choice of university. Joint paper with D Gilliland, Academy of Marketing Conference, Manchester, 1997.

Birch, C. 1997. The potential use of the internet to marketing researchers in the distribution and completion of questionnaires. Academy of Marketing Conference, Manchester, 1997.

Birch, C. 1997. Do UK primary schools (4–11) make use of marketing principles and techniques now that they operate in a competitive environment? An initial study based on primary schools in Stoke on Trent, Staffordshire. Academy of Marketing Conference, Manchester, 1997.

Birch, C. 1997. Developing a marketing culture in a non-profit making organisation (the Severn Valley Railway) to enhance overall effectiveness. Joint paper with J Leach, International Symposium, Effective Organisations. Bournemouth University, 1997.

Birch, C. 1997. The extent to which Colleges of Further Education are able to use the strategic plans (submitted to the FEFC) to achieve medium and long term organisational objectives. A case study approach. Joint paper with J Allen, International Symposium, Effective Organisations. Bournemouth University, 1997.

Birch, C. 1997. Developing a marketing philosophy within the context of UK primary schools (4–11) to enable them to be more effective in an increasingly competitive marketplace. International Symposium, Effective Organisations. Bournemouth University, 1997.

Birch, C. 1998. New centre, new learning culture, new millennium. International Conference, Bringing Information Technology to Education, University of Maastricht, 1998.

Birch, C. 1998. New course structures, new opportunities. 6th EDINEB Conference (Educational Innovation in Economics and Business), Ohio, 1998.

Birch, C. 1999. Fibre optic motorways and software cars in Staffordshire, UK – a short case study. International Conference on Teaching and Learning, USA, 1999.

Birch, C. 1999. Using fibre optic motorways and software cars to enhance the student learning experience in an undergraduate marketing module at Staffordshire University. Joint paper with Dr M. Clements, International Conference: Educational Innovation in Economics and Business, Bergen, 1999.

Birch, C. 2000. Quo vadis: paradigm shift or drift? Holistically managing multi-dimensional paradigm movements in UK Higher Education. The Learning Paradigm Conference, San Diego, 2000. Published in The Catalyst, 2001.

Birch, C. 2000. Embracing ILT within a new learning paradigm in UK FE colleges. International Conference on Teaching and Learning, Florida, April 2000. Presented with an Award for Innovation in Teaching and Learning at this conference, and the paper was one of ten (out of 800 submitted) published in a ‘select’ edition of papers.

Birch, C. 2000. Keeping knowledge workers up-to-date: creating just-in-time, virtual, micro-learning opportunities. 7th EDINEB Conference, California, 2000.

Birch, C. 2000. Using electronic, micro-learning materials for updating marketing skills in the emerging knowledge society. Joint paper with Dr M Clements, Academy of Marketing Conference, Derby, 2000.

Birch, C. 2000. Developing electronic micro-Learning materials for the emerging e-learning business community. With Dr M Clements. International Conference, Towards the e-learning community: Challenges for Business and Education, Bolton, 2000.

Birch, C. 2001. An initial evaluation of the UK national, e-learning project, ‘learndirect’. 8th EDINEB Conference, Nice, 2001.

Birch, C. 2001. Learndirect: The UK national online learning initiative. International Conference on Teaching and Learning, Jacksonville, USA, 2001.

Birch, C. 2001. SMILE – A granular approach to off-campus learning and teaching delivery. With Dr M Clements. International IT Conference, Bringing Information Technology to Education, Eindhoven, 2001.

Birch, C. 2002. Grains of learning: an innovative approach that encourages, and enables, small businesses to become learning organisations. International Conference on Teaching and Learning, Jacksonville, USA, 2002.

Birch, C. 2002. Establishing a virtual campus for distributed learners. With Dr M Clements. International Conference on Distributed Learning, Lugano, 2002.

Birch, C. 2002. A report on the delivering off-campus granular e-learning using SMILE. With Dr M Clements. BEST conference, Herriot Watt University, 2002.

Birch, C. 2002. Nurturing tomorrow’s entrepreneurs. 9th EDINEB Conference, Mexico, 2002.

Birch, C. 2003. Establishing an enterprise culture with on-campus science and technology students using distributed learning support. 5th International Conference (ATINER) The Athens Institute for Education & Research, Athens, 2003.

Birch, C. 2003. On-campus business villages at Staffordshire University: Making graduate start-up enterprise an aspiration and a reality. International Entrepreneurship and New Venture Creation Conference, Durham University.

Birch, C. 2003. Engaging small businesses in learning. International Conference on Teaching and Learning, Jacksonville, USA, 2003.

Birch, C. 2003. Creating a culture that encourages graduates to start up their own businesses. 10th EDINEB Conference, Salzburg, 2003.

Birch, C. 2004. Establishing an enterprise culture to retain graduates in an area experiencing relative economic decline. With Dr M Clements. BEST conference, Edinburgh University, 2004.

Birch, C. 2004. Can do, want to do and am going to do! Changing an anti-entrepreneurial culture to enable sustainable economic regeneration. International Conference on Teaching and Learning, St Augustine, USA, 2004.

Birch, C. 2004. Repositioning learning from work-based obligation to leisure-based fun. International Conference on Problem-Based Learning, Mexico, 2004.

Birch, C. 2004. Bi-directional knowledge transfer: interfacing SMEs with universities. 11th EDINEB Conference, Maastricht, 2004.

Birch, C. 2004. Knowledge transfer in a global competitive environment: the challenge for smaller firms to consider e-learning. The Cyprus International Journal of Management, Vol 9, No 1.

Birch, C. 2005. What do we want from our business schools? 12th EDINEB Conference, Antwerp, 2005.

Birch, C. 2006. Nurturing graduate enterprise through self-employed work placements: 13th Edineb conference, Lisbon, June 2006.

Birch, C. 2006. Enterprise models for creating a sustainable research base: Keynote: Modern Universities Research Group Annual Conference, Edinburgh, March 2006.

Birch, C. 2006. Delivering an undergraduate enterprise agenda using an e-pedagogy originally developed for off-campus, non-traditional learners. Ponte Verde, USA, 2006.

Birch, C. 2006. Creating graduate entrepreneurship through self-employed work placements – Project SPEED. Institute for Small Business and Entrepreneurship conference, Cardiff, October 2006.

Birch, C. 2007. Encouraging a journey into self-employment – a re-interpretation of the meaning of in-course work placement. 14th EDINEB conference, Vienna, 2007.

Birch, C. 2008. Using YouTube to distribute enterprise learning and activity to a global community. International Conference on Teaching and Learning, Jacksonville, USA, 2008.

Birch, C. 2008. Using technology enhanced learning processes to deliver learning in enterprise, innovation and communication to 15000 learners. 15th Edineb conference, Malaga, 2008.

Birch, C. 2009. Creating an innovative market-led, work-based learning paradigm that will enhance commercial competitiveness and support the achievement of social justice. International Conference of Learning and Teaching, Jacksonville, March 2009.

Birch, C. 2009. Re-thinking the mission of a modern university: shifting a learning paradigm into the workplace. A case approach based on Thames Valley University, London. EDINEB, John Hopkins University, June 2009.

Birch, C. 2010. Graduate Internships – bridging the academic and vocational divide. 17th EDINEB Conference, London, June 2010.

Birch, C. (2011) A new marketing paradigm for work-based and work-related learning. Proceedings of the Edineb Conference, Lyons.

Birch, C. and Clements, B. (2012) Working for a degree; a new entrepreneurial structure for 21st century Business Schools. Proceedings of the Entrepreneurial Universities Conference, Munster.

Birch, C. (2012) Quo Vadis universitas? Proceedings of the Edineb Conference, Haarlem (a prize winning paper).

Birch, C. (2012) @work, 4work, 4life – lifelong learning for lifetime working. Proceedings of the International Conference of Teaching and Learning, Jacksonville.

Birch, C. (2013) Rhetoric to reality – using innovation vouchers to drive value-adding business engagement, Proceedings of the Edineb Conference, London.

Birch, C. (2013) Creating effective knowledge exchange through mini-innovation vouchers. Proceedings of the Institute of Knowledge Transfer Conference, Derry.

Birch, C. (2013) Models for bi-lateral knowledge exchange – Innovation vouchers, Proceedings of the International Conference of Teaching and Learning, Jacksonville.

Birch, C., Meredith, R., Allen, J. and Robson, R. (2013) Universities in the global marketplace: a market-focussed approach for interaction with industry. Proceedings of the International Conference on University – Industry Interaction conference, Amsterdam.  

Birch, C. and Lichy, J. (2014) Higher education: creating a new business-oriented paradigm. Proceedings of the Conference of New Business Models in International Higher Education, Lyons.


Birch, C. (1998) New centre, new opportunities. Adults Learning Journal: NIACE.

Birch, C. (2003) A report on the delivering of off-campus granular e-learning opportunities using Project SMILE. The International Journal of Management Education, 3(2).

Birch, C. (2010) Re-thinking the Marketing Mix for Universities: New Challenges, New Opportunities and New Threats. Vistas Journal: Education, Economy, Communities, Vol 1, pp 8-25.

Birch, C. (2012) The road ahead. Compass: The Journal of Learning and Teaching at the University of Greenwich, Issue 4, pp 41-49.