Tonyversity is the brainchild of ‘Tony Jolley’: me!
Clearly it is a hybrid creation of my forename and the word ‘university’. In short, this is because, at the dawn of the internet age in the early/mid 1990s, before the first simple web-editors were available and hand-coding pages was the norm, I began designing, developing and introducing websites and subsequently ‘virtual learning environments’ for my students of Tourism and Strategic Management at Bournemouth University. The name ‘stuck’ and I am synonymous with it, so in embarking upon my own business it seemed both inevitable and appropriate that I would register the business name and associated domains.
The core team is myself (see further detail in ‘pen portrait’) plus my wife, Ellen, who is also a native English speaker, Prof. Agrégée in English and University lecturer.
Now living in France and looking to develop my own business rather than merely to exchange one university for another, I looked for a gap in the market: a proverbial USP (Unique Selling Proposition) and found it principally in the marriage of Management & Professional Development and English language. There are those who teach basic English and those who teach Management and Professional Development at University, but it seems that ‘never the twain shall meet’ – the two do not seem to come together in the workplace, yet, in Alsace particularly (bordering Germany and Switzerland, the home of many international and multi-national businesses where English is more often than not the common denominator language), there is a proven need for:
• Professional Development in English
• English applied directly to the specific context and the particular professional needs of the individual company or member of staff.
• The development of inter-cultural capability (as well as language fluency)
• Final level ‘finesse’ of key documentation in English to ensure accuracy and cultural sensitivity.
Given my background in Management within the Service Sector (Research and Development Manager) and subsequent career teaching Management at Degree and Masters levels (in England, France and Germany) and managing industry/academic training and professional development partnerships, I believe that I am uniquely placed to lead the delivery of such services.