The University of Manchester Middle East Centre and Cigna Insurance Middle East sign Strategic Talent Partnership to develop professional skills and career opportunities

Cigna STP announcement

The University of Manchester Middle East Centre, one of the world’s top universities, and Cigna Insurance Middle East, a leading health services company, have signed an agreement to collaborate on the promotion of higher education, research and professional networking across the joint communities in the region. 

The University of Manchester’s Strategic Talent Partnership (STP) programme provides a framework for mutual networking across the University’s regional students and alumni, and Cigna employees. The programme helps identify leadership and management skills development areas, and career opportunities with Cigna for potential candidates, among the University’s regional talent pool. 

Cigna employees will also benefit from fast-track access to the University’s portfolio of part-time master’s programmes, including the flagship Global Part-time MBA, which attracts large numbers of highly qualified working professionals across the region. The University’s students also enjoy access to the post-graduate careers service and other networking and professional events organised by the University for students and alumni, and its corporate partners in the Middle East.

Randa Bessiso, Founding Director of The University of Manchester Middle East Centre, added: “We are delighted to announce this new agreement with Cigna Insurance Middle East – one of the region’s top insurance providers – and welcome the company to our corporate partners. The Strategic Talent Partnership will help develop leadership and other skills within the company, while connecting education and industry and employees with our students and alumni, helping enrich the learning experience. We believe this collaboration will make a real difference and add important practical real-world learning for students and networking opportunities for our regional community and for Cigna, as a valued partner.”

Speaking on the partnership, Jerome Droesch, CEO of Cigna MEA and SEA, said: “We are pleased to partner with a reputable university to further empower our employees with tools that would aid them both personally and professionally. At Cigna, we are an advocate of investing in employees to upskill them, and this partnership allows us to provide valuable options to our people. This partnership will hone their skills, broaden horizons through networking, provide new opportunities, enable them to acquire leadership skills, and create a futureproof workforce. We look forward to a fruitful collaboration with The University of Manchester Middle East Centre.”

The University of Manchester Middle East Centre provides access to a dynamic portfolio of part-time master’s programmes for working professionals, including the flagship Global Part-time MBA, Kelley-Manchester Global MBA, and specialist master’s programmes in Educational Leadership, Real Estate, and a new MSc Financial Management, which started in September.
The Middle East has developed into the largest and fastest-growing centre in the University’s international network comprising five hubs in key business cities around the world. It is also the most diverse, with students of over 100 nationalities. The Middle East Centre has supported almost 3,000 part-time MBA students based in the region and graduated around 2,000 MBA students since opening in 2006.

The University of Manchester was named as the world’s 27th best university in the QS World University Rankings, sixth in the UK, and eighth in Europe. The University was named the most targeted institution by the UK’s top 100 graduate employers for the third year in a row by The Graduate Market in 2020. Manchester was also named the University of the Year for Graduate Employment by The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2020.