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Bridging the Gap. The skills gap between FE and HE, and what can be done to reduce it Chris Fuller, Learn with US Coordinator and Lecturer 24 June 2011.

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Presentation on theme: "Bridging the Gap. The skills gap between FE and HE, and what can be done to reduce it Chris Fuller, Learn with US Coordinator and Lecturer 24 June 2011."— Presentation transcript:

1 Bridging the Gap. The skills gap between FE and HE, and what can be done to reduce it Chris Fuller, Learn with US Coordinator and Lecturer 24 June 2011

2 2 Bridging the gap Introduction and background Highlight specific issues regarding the transition from FE to HE, in particular at Russell Group institutions Examine the Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) as a method of overcoming some of these issues Introduce the University of Southampton’s Learn with US (LwUS) programme and its role in supporting skills development and the EPQ

3 3 Our backgrounds A-levelUG/PG Transition MRes PhD candidate Academic research and Outreach responsibility Helen Spurling PhD UG and PG teaching experience 2002 – Continuing Education teaching 2005 – University Outreach 2009 – Chris Fuller PGCE Secondary A-level teaching experience 2001 – 2008 Evening class teaching 2003 – 2011 University Outreach 2008 – UG lecturing

4 4 Bridging the gap Introduction and background Highlight specific issues regarding the transition from FE to HE, in particular at Russell Group institutions

5 5 Staff ratings: required skills on arrival (1) Generic skillEssentialDesirableNot important Not relevant Writing an essay/report Thinking critically Problem solving Time management Contributing to a discussion Source: Fiona Black and Stephanie Lee, Universities of Glasgow and Manchester, Mission Ambition RG Conference, May 2009 Academic staff drawn for across all disciplines.

6 6 Staff ratings: required skills on arrival (2) Generic skillEssentialDesirableNot important Not relevant IT skills Numeracy20844 Working in a team Interpreting graphs and tables Making an oral presentation Source: Fiona Black and Stephanie Lee, Universities of Glasgow and Manchester, Mission Ambition RG Conference, May 2009

7 7 Mismatch in expectations Students Amount of study time required Breadth of study expected Need to take responsibility for their own learning Staff Basic skills such as grammar and numeracy Critical thinking Ability to demonstrate independent understanding Source: University of Southampton Transition to Living and Learning Conference, 7 June 2010

8 8 Factors pulling the two sectors Guided Learning Independent Learning Results Retention Mixed abilityAssessment Further EducationHigher Education Sources: University of Southampton Transition to Living and Learning Project, Learn with US ContentContact hours Employers

9 9 Twenty-first century graduates The ideal graduate is "intellectually flexible", a critical thinker and a team player; someone who could see their discipline in a wider context; someone who is, above all, employable. Source: University of Aberdeen, Curriculum Reform Consultation, 2010 intellectually flexible critical thinker team player see their discipline in a wider context

10 10

11 11

12 12 Multi-disciplinary study=employability The Top 10 in demand global graduate jobs of 2010 did not exist in US Department of Labor

13 13 The globalization of Higher Education USA - 32 UK - 18 Australia - 8 Canada - 4 Switzerland - 4 Japan - 6 Hong Kong - 3 France - 2 Singapore - 2 Ireland - 2 South Korea - 2 Netherlands - 4 China - 2 Denmark - 2 New Zealand - 1 Belgium - 1 Sweden - 2 Taiwan - 1 Germany - 4 Source: QS World Rankings

14 14 Source: Sunday Times League Table, 2010 Percentage of students in full time graduate employment within six months of leaving university. Score awarded by students for quality of education, facilities, support and social life.

15 15 Factors pulling the two sectors Guided Learning Independent Learning Results Retention Mixed abilityAssessment Further EducationHigher Education Sources: University of Southampton Transition to Living and Learning Project, Learn with US ContentContact hours EmployersHigher fees? Transition

16 16 Bridging the gap Introduction and background Highlight specific issues regarding the transition from FE to HE, in particular at Russell Group institutions Examine the Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) as a method of overcoming some of these issues

17 17 Why the Extended Project Qualification? Skills and qualities required in Higher Education Writing essays/reports Thinking critically Problem solving Time management and independent working Contributing to a discussion IT skills Numeracy Team work Interpreting graphs and tables Presenting Intellectual flexibility Seeing subject in a wider context Source: AQA Level 3 Extended Project Qualification Specifications

18 18 Why the Extended Project Qualification? Skills and qualities required in Higher Education Writing essays/reports Thinking critically Problem solving Time management and independent working Contributing to a discussion IT skills Numeracy Team work Interpreting graphs and tables Presenting Intellectual flexibility Seeing subject in a wider context Source: AQA Level 3 Extended Project Qualification Specifications ‘take responsibility either for an individual task or for a defined task within a group project’ [120 hours, of which 30 should be taught, the rest are independent research and supervision]

19 19 Why the Extended Project Qualification? Skills and qualities required in Higher Education Writing essays/reports Thinking critically Problem solving Time management and independent working Contributing to a discussion IT skills Numeracy Team work Interpreting graphs and tables Presenting Intellectual flexibility Seeing subject in a wider context Source: AQA Level 3 Extended Project Qualification Specifications ‘obtain, critically select and use select information from a range of sources’

20 20 Why the Extended Project Qualification? Skills and qualities required in Higher Education Writing essays/reports Thinking critically Problem solving Time management and independent working Contributing to a discussion IT skills Numeracy Team work Interpreting graphs and tables Presenting Intellectual flexibility Seeing subject in a wider context Source: AQA Level 3 Extended Project Qualification Specifications ‘develop and apply decision- making and, where appropriate, problem-solving skills’

21 21 Why the Extended Project Qualification? Skills and qualities required in Higher Education Writing essays/reports Thinking critically Problem solving Time management and independent working Contributing to a discussion IT skills Numeracy Team work Interpreting graphs and tables Presenting Intellectual flexibility Seeing subject in a wider context Source: AQA Level 3 Extended Project Qualification Specifications ‘analyse data, apply it relevantly and demonstrate understanding of any appropriate linkages, connections and complexities of the topic’

22 22 Why the Extended Project Qualification? Skills and qualities required in Higher Education Writing essays/reports Thinking critically Problem solving Time management and independent working Contributing to a discussion IT skills Numeracy Team work Interpreting graphs and tables Presenting Intellectual flexibility Seeing subject in a wider context Source: AQA Level 3 Extended Project Qualification Specifications ‘The taught element is likely to include ICT skills that will enhance the production of the report and/or the development of the project covering research, analysis and execution’

23 23 Why the Extended Project Qualification? Skills and qualities required in Higher Education Writing essays/reports Thinking critically Problem solving Time management and independent working Contributing to a discussion IT skills Numeracy Team work Interpreting graphs and tables Presenting Intellectual flexibility Seeing subject in a wider context Source: AQA Level 3 Extended Project Qualification Specifications ‘On completion the learners must give a presentation which should be for a non-specialist audience using media appropriate to the type of project. […] The presentation must include a live question and answer session overseen by the supervisor’

24 24 Why the Extended Project Qualification? Skills and qualities required in Higher Education Writing essays/reports Thinking critically Problem solving Time management and independent working Contributing to a discussion IT skills Numeracy Team work Interpreting graphs and tables Presenting Intellectual flexibility Seeing subject in a wider context Source: AQA Level 3 Extended Project Qualification Specifications ‘a written report of between 1000 and 5000 words. The exact length of each written report will depend on the nature of the project, the subject area or topic chosen and the other evidence provided. […] It should use appropriate terminology, style and form of writing.’

25 25 Why the Extended Project Qualification? Skills and qualities required in Higher Education Writing essays/reports Thinking critically Problem solving Time management and independent working Contributing to a discussion IT skills Numeracy Team work Interpreting graphs and tables Presenting Intellectual flexibility Seeing subject in a wider context Source: AQA Level 3 Extended Project Qualification Specifications

26 26 Factors pulling the two sectors Guided Learning Independent Learning Results Retention Mixed abilityAssessment Further EducationHigher Education Sources: University of Southampton Transition to Living and Learning Project, Learn with US ContentContact hours EmployersHigher fees? Transition Not directly linked to offers Experience of independence Self-selecting? Small numbers? More about skills development

27 27 Challenges in implementing the EPQ Encouraging students to undertake the EPQ when it does not necessarily form part of a university offer

28 28 We certainly welcome students who have undertaken the EPQ, as it provides an excellent introduction to the type of work they will be expected to do at university. It encourages development in all the skills required of our undergraduates, such as research, analysis, independent work and thought, and the ability to communicate ideas. Whilst we do not currently include the Extended Project in our offers, we recommend that students discuss their project in their personal statement and illustrate the ways it has helped to build on both their academic skills and intellectual curiosity. University of Southampton Source: AQA [accessed 2 February 2011]

29 29 Qualifications taken in addition to your main exams, such as the Extended Project, will improve your application by enabling you to develop study skills that will be useful in higher education. Although we do not usually make offers based on such qualifications, we encourage applicants to take them and to note them on their application form. University of Birmingham The University is supportive of the requirement to undertake an Extended Project … It is expected that some admissions tutors may make two alternative offers to those offering this qualification, one of which involves success in the Extended Project (e.g. either AAA at A-level or AAB at A-level plus Extended Project). University of Bristol Source: AQA [accessed 2 February 2011]

30 30 We welcome the introduction of the Extended Project and would encourage you to undertake one as it will help you develop independent study and research skills and ease the transition from school/ college to higher education. Completion of an Extended Project will not, however, be a requirement of any offer made. University of Cambridge Source: AQA [accessed 2 February 2011]

31 31 [We] encourage students to complete an EPQ, where possible, as we value the development of skills in independent study and research, which an EPQ can offer. … an EPQ in the subject that is related to the course or discipline that you wish to progress into … may be taken into account by admissions tutors when making decisions between applicants of equal academic standing. University of Sheffield Source: AQA [accessed 2 February 2011]

32 32 Russell Group applications per places ApplicationsPlaces / OffersRatio London School of Economics19,6721, University of Bristol43,8003, The University of Edinburgh48,8084, King's College London32,5843, The University of Warwick33,7563, University College London31,3383, The University of Manchester64,2918, The University of Liverpool33,1664, University of Leeds54,0527, The University of Birmingham40,9645, Cardiff University37,2745, The University of Sheffield34,8235, University of Southampton31,5114, The University of Nottingham41,3575, Newcastle University27,8344, Imperial College London14,6542, University of Glasgow26,6954, Queen's University Belfast22,0053, University of Oxford14,3333, University of Cambridge14,3003, AVERAGE33,3614, Source: Dr Wendy Piatt, RG Director General, Mission Ambition Conference, May % % 08-09

33 33 A-level exam performance A / A* ratio Independent sectorState sector 35.3 % 27.5 % Source: UCAS results summary

34 34 Degree performance 1 / 2:1 ratio Independent sectorState sector 64 % 68 % Source: London School of Economics’ Centre for Economic Performance, 2010

35 35 Degree performance 1 / 2:1 ratio ‘In the state sector there's more independent learning. Students are more used to working things out on their own rather than having a teacher giving them individual attention. When they get to university, where the classes are much larger than at school, they're better equipped to cope than those from private schools.’ Richard Murphy, Research Economist, LSE, Friday 23 July, [accessed 16 September 2010].

36 36 Challenges in implementing the EPQ Encouraging students to undertake the EPQ when it does not necessarily form part of a university offer Training staff to supervise students undertaking EPQs Writing and delivering skills sessions (30 taught hours) Access to resources and materials

37 37 Bridging the gap Introduction and background Highlight specific issues regarding the transition from FE to HE, in particular at Russell Group institutions Examine the Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) as a method of overcoming some of these issues Introduce the University of Southampton’s Learn with US (LwUS) programme and its role in supporting skills development and the EPQ

38 38

39 39 How does Learn with US work? Supported by Academic Guides Outreach Lectures and Seminars Extended Project Qualification Support Research Based Learning Project Multidisciplinary research-based content, hosted on campus or delivered out at sixth forms. Academic workshops, research visits to the Hartley Library (up to 50 students per visit) and online resources. Whole day group project working with primary materials, hosted on campus or out at school.

40 40 Outreach Lectures and Seminars

41 41 How does Learn with US work? Supported by Academic Guides Outreach Lectures and Seminars Extended Project Qualification Support Multidisciplinary research-based content, hosted on campus or delivered out at sixth forms. Academic workshops, research visits to the Hartley Library (up to 50 students per visit) and online resources.

42 42 Extended Project Support Learn, discover, develop & create. 83 pages covering 23 A-level subjects Links to over 700 reliable websites, databases and documents for research provided by our academic liaison librarians Advice on how to conduct multidisciplinary research Freely available PDF on Learn with US website

43 43 Extended Project Support Group visits to Hartley Library (up to 50 students)* Individual or small group independent visits * Depends upon time of year. Group visits include a library induction lecture and guest log-ins to access online journals

44 44 Extended Project Support All freely available in PDF format from website.

45 45 How does Learn with US work? Supported by Academic Guides Outreach Lectures and Seminars Extended Project Qualification Support Research Based Learning Project Multidisciplinary research-based content, hosted on campus or delivered out at sixth forms. Academic workshops, research visits to the Hartley Library (up to 50 students per visit) and online resources. Whole day group project working with primary materials, hosted on campus or out at school.

46 46 Research Based Learning Project 9:30 – 10:30 Lecture to provide background e.g. Our Final Frontier? The use and abuse of space through the 20 th century 10:45 – 11:15 Set up task Brief recap on research skills, referencing, need to balance argument and giving presentations. 11:15 – 15:00 Group research Students split into groups and given specific question to research and answer e.g. Make the case for/against the continued militarisation of space. Groups provided with wide range of primary and secondary materials. 15:00 – 15:45 Presentation Groups must present their cases. Presentations are marked and formal feedback is provided.

47 47 Research Based Learning Project Encourages intellectual flexibility and multi-disciplinary approach. Uses skills developed by Extended Project. Should the militarisation of space continue? Politics Role of the UN, the input of citizens in space policy Law International law and human rights Philosophy, Theology Ethical issues of arming the heavens History Cold War and the space race, arms races and their consequences Mathematics, Astrophysics The implications of space debris for space traffic Physics, Chemistry, Computer Science Assessment of the effectiveness of space weaponry Engineering Sciences Development of space vehicles Economics Cost implications, budget analysis of expenditure English Literature, Film Representation of space and weapons in popular culture, from Jules Verne to George Lucas

48 48 How does Learn with US work? Supported by Academic Guides Outreach Lectures and Seminars Extended Project Qualification Support Research Based Learning Project Multidisciplinary research-based content, hosted on campus or delivered out at sixth forms. Academic workshops, research visits to the Hartley Library (up to 50 students per visit) and online resources. Whole day group project working with primary materials, hosted on campus or out at school.

49 49 Planned future developments More staff INSET and training Research skills short course/module Podcasts and free lesson plans Using PhD students to extend programme

50 50 ? Chris Fuller


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