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Professor David Eastwood Chief Executive Higher Education Funding Council for England HEPI Conference The Higher Education Contribution to the Skills Agenda.

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Presentation on theme: "Professor David Eastwood Chief Executive Higher Education Funding Council for England HEPI Conference The Higher Education Contribution to the Skills Agenda."— Presentation transcript:

1 Professor David Eastwood Chief Executive Higher Education Funding Council for England HEPI Conference The Higher Education Contribution to the Skills Agenda 10 October 2007

2 Or where the novel mingles with the traditional Skills and Employer Engagement

3 HE already a major supplier of economically valuable workforce: HE is a demand-led system Preparing undergraduates for the world of work – high levels of employability and rates of return Excellent post-graduate provision Continuing growth in commercially funded CPD Long history of collaboration with Professional Bodies, now including SSCs Research and Knowledge Transfer.

4 The economic contribution of HE UK higher education is a strong force for economic growth. Already it is worth £45 billion to the economy on a public investment of £15 billion. Income in from: Collaborative research - £440m Contract research - £555m Consultancy - £200m CPD - £335m

5 Two Strong Themes Business/Employer Engagement With HE: Strategic engagement – research partnerships Business improvement – knowledge exchange Responsiveness to demand – consultancy and workforce development High Quality Workforce: Strategic demand – STEM graduates and post-graduates Graduate employability – Generic and vocationally specific knowledge and skills Demand responsive CPD – Keeping graduate skills at the leading edge Workforce development – Bringing more up to HE level

6 The Leitch challenge for HE World class high skills, exceeding 40% of the adult population qualified to Level 4 and above. Encompass the whole working age population Shared responsibility for funding growth – employers, individuals and the Government Focus on economically valuable skills Demand-led rather than centrally planned Adaptive and responsive to market needs Building on existing structures.

7 The unique contribution of HE to workforce development HE can meet the needs of employers for: High level generic skills: communication problem solving, creativity, insight, methods of enquiry etc High level knowledge based skills and competences and the ability to apply them The highest level knowledge and skills at Masters and Doctorate levels to lead the way in innovation and research.

8 SSC collaborative projects, including Cogent, Summit, GO Skills, LLUK Skillsmart and others Joint projects with major employers across the range of skills and qualification levels Development of employer-led consortia, including rail, utilities, aircraft maintenance and bio-pharmacy Partnership with British Chambers of Commerce – now eight SME focused projects Innovation in accreditation of in-house training and qualification frameworks Importance of HE/FE partnerships. FDs have led the way in employer collaboration with HE:

9 Wider HE sector response Engaging with employers on skills is an increasingly familiar task and over the past year or so the sector has achieved much with HEFCE support: Growth in third stream activity Third stream second mission pilots Higher Level Skills Pathfinders Employer Engagement pilots 28 LLNs, many with an employer focus New flexibility in funding and risk sharing.

10 But there is a new challenge: Around 12 million people in work, most of whom will not progress to HE unless we innovate DfES estimates - LFS 2006,Q4 Working Age 000s Level 4+ % Level 3 % Level 2 % UK 36, %19.4%22.0% Eng. 30, %19.2%22.1%

11 Meeting the challenge HEFCE 2007 grant letter: 5,000 employer co-funded places in At least 5,000 per year growth in following years Build capacity to respond to the Leitch Report Increase Foundation Degree enrolments to 100,000 by 2010.

12 Meeting the challenge Growing the new market of employer co-funded provision for people in work who may otherwise never experience HE: Part-time and short course accredited modules/units APEL, progression and credit accumulation Validation of employer in-house training and shared delivery with employers Innovation in teaching and learning delivery Innovative partnerships, including public/private partnerships.

13 HE transforming workforce development programme Action research, to test employer market for higher skills and HE response to supplying it, together with building new capacity and capability in the HE sector: HE provider projects High Level Skills Pathfinders Sector skills development projects Foundation Degree growth Strategy and funding development for next SR Communications to drive change amongst employers and HE providers.

14 But this is not simply about implementing a skills agenda: HEFCE has now committed more than £30m to employer engagement projects: 12 HE employer engagement/co-funded workforce development projects 3 regional HE in Train To Gain Pathfinders. Several of these link employer based workforce development to business transformation through knowledge exchange.

15 HEFCE Development Funded Projects – Breaking New Ground Coventry University Organisational development inside major national and international organisations Innovative, accredited, entirely work-based learning for middle managers, almost all with L2 or L3 prior qualifications Strong HE pedagogical model underpinning a 60 credit qualification. Tutors based in employers workplace Learning and teaching drawn from internal employer case studies of current organisational issues and problems Senior managers involved at every stage of programme design, oversight of delivery, assessment of business impact Employer benefits from better qualified, more highly skilled managers ready to deliver solutions to business challenges.

16 HEFCE Development Funded Projects – Breaking New Ground London South Bank University Central employer engagement unit brings together academic course directors, careers and work-placement services Building local employer networks to deliver work-based learning and tackle key higher level skills deficiencies in engineering, sport and health, cultural and creative industries and public services. University of Salford Transformational programme, creating a university-wide workplace learning infrastructure – responsive quality assurance, new ICT support, HE staff development Working initially with 50 large and small employers to create opportunities for employees to progress from vocational access programmes through to professional doctorate level.

17 Existing Policy and Beyond The relevance of existing HEFCE approaches: LLNs HE in FECs Enhancing provision, especially in HE cold spots Fresh challenges and fresh possibilities for flexible HEIs: mission focus An agenda for all The classroom, the labs and the workplace: sites for learning, sites for excellence Who pays, who gains?


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