AEE: Teaching

The academic contributors at AEE are widely recognized for their extensive expertise in formulating, delivering, and overseeing higher education programs. As a collective team, they have educated hundreds of thousands of students across the globe, crafted numerous higher education programs within their respective domains, and accredited many of these programs from the UK to Malaysia. Many of our contributors are in high demand as instructors, both in the realm of higher education and industry, focusing on key areas such as creativity and innovation, design thinking, business expansion, strategy development, intellectual property, branding and marketing, sales, operations management, digital technology, cybersecurity, and small business finance. For inquiries, please reach out to us at

Case Study: AEE’s International Start-up School with NexGen Careers (June 2023)

Background: In June 2023, the Academy of Enterprise Education (AEE) partnered with NexGen Careers in Barcelona to host an International Start-up School, providing a transformative learning experience for a group of students from UK Higher Education Institutions (UKHEIs). This collaborative endeavour aimed to empower students to not only develop commercially viable ideas but also future-proof their professional profiles in a hybrid learning environment.

Week 1: Idea Development in Glasgow The journey began with an immersive week at the University of the West of Scotland (UWS) in Paisley campus, Glasgow. During this initial phase, students delved into the art of idea development. Under the guidance of experienced mentors and industry experts, they honed their concepts, refining them into commercially viable prospects. 

Weeks 2 and 3: Hybrid Learning in Barcelona Transitioning into the second and third weeks, students embarked on a journey to Barcelona, where NexGen Careers took over and AEE collaborated remotely to provide an enriching educational experience. Students continued to nurture their ideas, focusing on generating brand identities and crafting a robust social media presence. Moreover, they had the opportunity to explore innovation labs, gaining insights into emerging trends and future opportunities within their chosen industries.

Week 4: The Grand Finale in Glasgow Returning to Glasgow for the final week, students were well-prepared to showcase their entrepreneurial journey. They pitched their refined ideas, demonstrating their growth and development throughout the program. The culmination of this Y experience was marked by innovative ideas and professional profiles primed for success in the ever-evolving landscape of entrepreneurship.

Outcomes and Impact: The iSUS proved to be a remarkable learning journey. Students not only gained practical knowledge in the start-up process, but also experienced first hand the innovation landscape in Barcelona. 

Through this immersive experience, AEE and NexGen Careers demonstrated their commitment to bridging the gap between academic theory and real-world application. The program fostered the growth of commercially viable ideas and empowered students to adapt to and shape the future of their chosen industries. A testament to the power of experiential learning and collaborative partnerships in shaping the entrepreneurial leaders of tomorrow.

Sheila Graham Graduate Designer

Julie went over and above during our international mobility. Her good humour, cast iron work ethic and wealth of experience in education and entrepreneurship was evident from the start. She provided a robust and engaging programme of educational entrepreneurship activities and provided extra support and activities (language lessons, cultural excursions, educational visits) while we were in Barcelona. She also checked in regularly and ensured we had everything we needed while we were abroad.  She worked tirelessly with her partner organisation Nexgen Careers (who also provided excellent educational content and gorgeous premises for us to work in) to provided a valuable programme. I would wholeheartedly recommend AEE's services to anyone who is interested in entrepreneurship.

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Specialist Areas

At AEE, our team collectively boasts more than 40 years of experience in the field of education. Each one a fellow of the Higher Education Authority. We have had the privilege of instructing students from diverse corners of the world and have taken immense joy in witnessing their remarkable accomplishments in various industries. 

Former Students

Over the years, we have had the privilege of not only teaching these students but also providing guidance, mentoring, and unwavering support. Our experiences have included awarding Erasmus scholarships, participating in graduation ceremonies, and even celebrating the weddings and births of Erasmus program alumni. These represent just a few of the most cherished moments we’ve encountered as educators, accompanied by heartfelt comments from our former students.

Julie was the program director when I was studying at Heriot-Watt University as part of the 10th IMIM-Edition (International Master in Industrial Management). From the first day, she was a tremendous support for us, international students, with a big curiosity for the University and the country, but also lots of insecurities, typical of moving into a new country. Knowing that she was on our side made the experience even more joyful and enriching. I will never forget the many laughs and the hard work that semester. It was also a real honour for me to have her as my mentor writing my master thesis. Even when we weren't physically in the same place, I had a very good guidance through the process and could always count on her. Thank you, Julie, for all your support, your commitment and your always beautiful energy!

Flavia Hernandez Former Erasmus Student IMIM

I met Dr Julie McFarlane when doing my Master course at Strategic Project Management, where she was the program director and a coach on business projects development. I must say that apart from a whole toolbox of knowledge and skills that Julie was sharing with a great professionalism, it was a huge pleasure to deal with her as a person. She is a very engaging person with great charisma which is why her ways of coaching are never boring. She always sticks to the point giving valuable information and all support needed during the course.

Elena Chepkasova Former Erasmus Student, MSPMe

Julie I have been cursing you for quite some weeks, thank you so much for stirring such a response from deep within that I never knew I had. I just thought I’d share this with you to let you know how much your lecture touched me. ext

Shauna Killen Former Student, Heriot-Watt University

Julie is a passionate and supportive lecturer who truly cares about her students and their projects. She was very supportive and always happy to answer any questions. Her course, entrepreneurship, theory and practice, was an interesting and practical course which encouraged creativity and innovation throughout.

Ross Wilson Student, Strathclyde University

Kyle Andrews tutored me in Business Strategy and due to his astute teaching skills, managed to get a complete novice a respectable high B pass in 3rd year Business & Management degree course at Heriot-Watt University. Kyle has the unique talent of paying attention to people on an individual basis, and tailoring his teaching methods to that particular person. His people kills are of the highest quality and I am quite sure that whichever path Kyle chooses to take, he will enrich those around him. I wish him the best of luck and hope that I might cross his path again one day in the future.

Ruth Alexander Former Student, Heriot-Watt University

Julie was fantastic at explaining things in class and was always super approachable! She always made the classes interactive and has a super energetic way of teaching.

Emma O’Neil Former Student, Strathclyde University

Dr Julie McFarlane was an expert lecturer, educator, director of learning, and inspiration during her time at the University of Strathclyde. As one of her students, it was always a pleasure to attend her classes. The lectures, lessons, and delivery of information was always very informative and resourceful. Within that time, I truly realised the rarity of meeting someone as professional, knowledgeable, and passionate about their work and involvement in academia and enterprise. I particularly recall Dr McFarlane’s acknowledgment of reflecting the reality of corporate affairs, society, and modern entrepreneurship in her work. For me, and many other students, this helped to establish the reality and importance of turning academia into practical, ‘real-life’ application. This inspired confidence and trust, to know that I would be able to apply this wealth of knowledge, and experience to any professional or personal situation.

Andrew Cullen Former Student, Strathclyde University

I had Julie for first year Enterprise at University. It was clear she was passionate about the course and ensured everyone understood the task given. She was extremely kind during the year and offered incentives from her own pocket. Julie ensured we were getting along with our groups and resolved issues right away. She was a lovely lecturer and It was a great experience creating a business in her class.

Lisa Louvieaux Student, Strathclyde University

I had the pleasure of meeting Julie in my first year at Strathclyde as she was the lecturer for one of my classes. A major thing that stood out to me was her dedication to making classes as engaging and enjoyable as possible. It truly made a huge difference, and gave me an opportunity to interact with and meet countless students. Thanks to Julie’s hard work, every student was able to work their hardest and look forward to each class, and always be able to say, “I learned something new today!” This is why, I would wholeheartedly recommend either working with or being taught by Julie, as she is not only a great teacher but a lovely, motivated and a refreshing person to be around!

Sam Freedman Former Student, Strathclyde University

Julie was an amazing lecturer who made an effort to build a personal connection with class members by hosting events that would support our start up businesses during our classes and taught by using relatable and relevant real world examples.

Ibrahim Nasir Former Student, Strathclyde University

Julie is a personable, genuine and knowledgeable lecturer. Attending Julie’s lectures was always easy - her passion for the subject coupled with her personality made the classes fun and motivating.

Jenny Jones Former Student, Heriot-Watt University

Throughout the writing of this dissertation, the support received from the supervisor for the topic, Dr J McFarlane, has been hugely significant in providing guidance when attempting to write the components of the research study. In particular, the assistance provided when discussing how to proficiently write the review of literature was invaluable, as without this, managing to complete this aspect of the study in a competent manner would have been challenging. Support in all aspects of the topic, such as helping structure the dissertation effectively and responding to queries in quick manner, couldn’t be more appreciated, as this helped alleviate concerns

David Farquharson Former Student, Stirling University

Julie is a very kind and friendly individual. The lectures we had from her were very engaging, well-structured, easy to understand and highly enjoyable. She is very approachable and provided lots of help and support when needed. I would highly recommend Julie as a educator.

Julia Wilson Former Student, Strathclyde University

BodySwaps – On the use of Virtual Reality to develop soft skills in Gen Z users (Sept 2023 – Sept 2024)

Project Overview: This project aims to identify the effectiveness of VR simulations in the development of soft skills among Gen Z users.

The Challenge: New applications of VR technologies continue to emerge, however, their effectiveness in settings like soft skills development remains understudied. This project aims to provide evidence of the use of these technologies among Gen Z users.

The Solution: In collaboration with researchers from Loughborough University, the University of Westminster, and Liverpool Hope University, Dr Rodrigo Perez-Vega is leading a project that aims to test the effectiveness of these technologies.

The impact: This study will provide empirical evidence of the effectiveness of the use VR technologies to develop soft skills and will also provide recommendations to industry on how to improve this kind of technology.

NHS – Royal Berkshire Hospital – Feasibility study to adopt social robots in dementia wards (2023)

Project overview: This project aims to identify barriers and enables of adoption of social robots in dementia ward in this particular hospital.

The Challenge: As an emerging technology, social robots have been currently trialled in different healthcare settings. However, there is limited understanding of the contextual elements to consider when looking at the NHS setting. This study aimed to identify enablers and barriers of adoption of this technology in healthcare settings in the UK.

The Solution: In collaboration with the R&I department, Dr Rodrigo Perez-Vega in collaboration with other researchers at the University of Reading have developed a research protocol to first consider the views of frontline employees within the ward. A second stage study will examine the deployment of social robots in wards.

The impact: This is one of the first studies that explores the feasibility of using social robots in an NHS setting.

Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) – 
Social media marketing to promote British pork in Mexico (Jan – Dec 2023)

Project Overview: As a consequence of Brexit, the UK Government and other organisations like AHDB explore new opportunities for British products internationally. Mexico is the third largest consumer of pork worldwide and represented an important market where British pork is not currently sold.

The Challenge: AHDB faced the challenge that previous campaigns did not lead to engagement from the target audience (purchase departments of major wholesalers, retailers and food service).

The Solution: Dr Rodrigo Perez-Vega, in collaboration with a local market research agency developed a social media marketing plan and BTL promotional activities in trade fairs. As a consequence of our activities, a trade mission of potential importers of British pork met with producers to explore the possibility of exporting British pork to Mexico.

The Impact: AHDB has a list of potential importers that can be shared with producers to explore future collaborations.

AzuraBlu’s Brand Transformation Journey with Dr Julie McFarlane (2021-2024)

Project Overview: In September 2023, AzuraBlu, a reputable commercial cleaning company, recognised the need for a significant overhaul of their branding strategy. To address this challenge and position themselves for success in a competitive market, they enlisted the expertise of Dr Julie McFarlane. The project’s objectives were to update their existing brand strategy, formulate a revised brand identity, and establish brand guidelines that would enable AzuraBlu to thrive in a changing business landscape.

The Challenge: AzuraBlu faced the dual challenge of standing out in a fiercely competitive market and enhancing their success rate in winning bids. The rising cost of living had impacted small businesses, necessitating a strategic refresh of the brand to target broader markets effectively. The challenges were to redefine AzuraBlu’s brand identity, articulate their unique value propositions, and create a brand strategy that would set them apart in a dynamic industry.

The Solution: Dr Julie McFarlane embarked on a comprehensive analysis of AzuraBlu’s brand identity. She collaborated closely with the company’s leadership to gain insights into their mission, values, and long-term vision. The key solution was the development of a revised brand strategy that would effectively communicate AzuraBlu’s unique selling points to their target audience.

Simultaneously, Dr McFarlane crafted meticulously detailed brand guidelines and brand packets to ensure consistency in brand representation across all touchpoints. These guidelines would serve as a compass for AzuraBlu’s branding efforts, aligning them with the newly defined strategic direction.

The Impact: The collaborative efforts between Dr Julie McFarlane and AzuraBlu are ongoing, with early signs of positive impact:

1. Enhanced Brand Identity: AzuraBlu is in the process of redefining its brand identity, guided by the insights and strategies developed in collaboration with Dr McFarlane.

2. Competitive Advantage: The revised brand strategy positions AzuraBlu to stand out in the competitive commercial cleaning market, emphasizing their unique strengths and value propositions.

3. Market Expansion: By targeting broader markets, AzuraBlu aims to mitigate the challenges posed by the rising cost of living and create new opportunities for growth.

4. Brand Consistency: The brand guidelines and brand packets created by Dr McFarlane ensure that AzuraBlu maintains a consistent and cohesive brand image across all communications.

Conclusion: The partnership between AzuraBlu and Dr Julie McFarlane represents a commitment to adapt and thrive in a changing business environment. By redefining their brand strategy, AzuraBlu is positioning itself for future success, distinguishing itself in a competitive market, and expanding its reach. This case study underscores the importance of strategic branding in navigating challenges.

Revolutionizing International Education with ZOOM Abroad

Background: In November 2022, Dr Julie McFarlane, embarked on an impactful consulting project with ZOOM Abroad, to develop a series of customised courses designed to create a 2+1 degree program. ZOOM Abroad aspired to expand its offerings to include accredited programs and foster collaborations with esteemed Indian and UKHEIs

About ZOOM Abroad: ZOOM Abroad is an innovative EdTech organization that has set its sights on becoming a premier platform for career counselling and global recruitment of international students. At the heart of their success lies a vibrant community of advisors, educators, and international students, collectively working to provide aspiring learners with extraordinary experiences. With a robust community comprising over 50,000 students, ZOOM Abroad is unwavering in its commitment to helping individuals find their “best fit” in international education. 

The Challenge: ZOOM Abroad recognized the evolving landscape of international education and the growing demand for innovative, accredited programs that bridge the gap between various higher education systems. The challenge was to develop a 2+1 degree program that not only met these demands but also fostered partnerships with Indian and UKHEIs. Dr Julie McFarlane was brought on board to address the curriculum development challenge.

The Solution: Dr Julie McFarlane, leveraging her expertise and experience, worked closely with the ZOOM Abroad team to design a series of customised courses tailored to create a 2+1 degree program. These courses were meticulously crafted to align with the evolving needs of international students and the requirements of partnering HEIs in India and the UK. 

Outcome and Impact: The collaboration between Dr Julie McFarlane and ZOOM Abroad is ongoing but has yielded significant outcomes:

1. Innovative Program Development: The creation of the first year, of a 2+1 degree program, offering a unique pathway for students seeking globally recognised qualifications.

2.  Partnership Opportunities: The project paved the way for strategic collaborations with Indian and UK HEIs, expanding ZOOM Abroad’s reach and influence in the industry.

Conclusion: The consulting engagement between Dr Julie McFarlane and ZOOM Abroad exemplifies the potential for transformation in the international education sector. By harnessing expertise and innovation, ZOOM Abroad is poised to offer aspiring students a unique educational journey. This case is an example of AEE’s commitment to excellence, adaptability to industry changes, and dedication to empowering students worldwide on their path to fulfilling careers.

Strathclyde University – Spin-out Process Clarification and Investment Facilitation (2022)

Project Overview: In June 2022, AEE’s founder Dr Julie McFarlane was engaged by Strathclyde University’s Technology Transfer Office (TTO) to collaborate with academics on a mission to streamline the spin-out process and provide invaluable assistance to those in pursuit of investment for funding rounds.

The Challenge: Strathclyde University recognized the need to enhance the spin-out process and equip academics with the tools and guidance required to successfully navigate the intricacies of entrepreneurship. Additionally, they sought assistance in securing vital investments to support the growth of innovative ventures.

The Solution: Dr Julie McFarlane brought her wealth of experience to the project, working closely with academics at Strathclyde University. Together, they devised a comprehensive strategy to simplify the spin-out process, making it more accessible and efficient. This involved clarifying each step, from ideation to execution, to empower academics to bring their innovations to market effectively.

Furthermore, Dr McFarlane played a pivotal role in facilitating the funding journey. She provided invaluable insights into the investment landscape, helping academics prepare compelling pitches and navigate the intricacies of funding rounds. Her mentorship and guidance were instrumental in increasing their chances of securing essential investments.

The Impact: The collaboration with Dr Julie McFarlane significantly improved the spin-out process at Strathclyde University. Academics gained clarity and confidence in bringing their innovations to market, contributing to the university’s reputation as a hub for entrepreneurship.

Moreover, Dr McFarlane’s guidance in investment facilitation proved invaluable, as academics successfully navigated funding rounds and secured the resources necessary to advance their groundbreaking projects. The partnership with Dr Julie McFarlane underscored Strathclyde University’s commitment to supporting innovation and entrepreneurship within its academic community, leading to impactful outcomes for both academics and the university as a whole. link to the Institutions start-up school for academics.