Leicester’s De Montfort University has signed a deal with fast-food giant Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) to run what is thought to be the first corporate degree course.
KFC will be sending its managers to the university to study on the three-year BA honours degree in business management from January 2013.
Martin Shuker, managing director of KFC in the UK and Ireland, is investing £800,000 in the deal, which should see 60 restaurant managers qualify with an honours degree by 2017.
Mr Shuker said: “The aim is to provide our RGMs with enhanced skills to do their job, and to prepare them for progression within the business, whether that be in head office or as an area manager.
“The degree is a way to reward some of KFC’s best performers, and gives people who never got to go to university the first time around the chance to gain a meaningful and respected qualification, while still earning money as a restaurant manager.”
Professor David Wilson, deputy vice-cChancellor and dean of business and law at the university, said: “This is an important new contract for De Montfort University and we’re delighted to have this opportunity of working with such a major player in the global restaurant market.”
KFC hit back at accusations of dumbing down degree courses by pointing out how complex it was to run a branch of the chain famous for buckets of calorie laden food.
Each restaurant manager is responsible for a business generating £1.25 million a year and employing around 40 staff on average, said Mr Shuker.
KFC is part of Yum! Brands, Inc, the world’s biggest global restaurant group. The group’s brands also include Taco Bell and Pizza Hut.
For more information on DMU’s Leicester Business School management courses go to: www.dmu.ac.uk/home.aspx