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Judith Smith Senior Adviser, HEA Enhancing the taught postgraduate experience: skills, careers and employability HEA, York, November 16 th 2010.

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Presentation on theme: "Judith Smith Senior Adviser, HEA Enhancing the taught postgraduate experience: skills, careers and employability HEA, York, November 16 th 2010."— Presentation transcript:

1 Judith Smith Senior Adviser, HEA Enhancing the taught postgraduate experience: skills, careers and employability HEA, York, November 16 th 2010

2 Presentation- what could enhance employability for taught post-graduate students Policy context Implications for post-grad provision, curriculum Employability development – postgraduate attributes Discussion groups

3 What we dont know 2006 Leitch Review- need for higher level skills, business and university engagement- set target for The new political arena for skills? 2009 Higher Ambitions (Framework for HE); UKCES/BIS National Skills Strategy- Employability development- a new White paper? What we do know New government –continuing work with business/employers- expansion of HEIF; enterprise, New Technology and Innovation Centres (Cameron to CBI) Public information set- need for identification of links with employers and support for employability (Willets) 2009 New Industry, New Jobs – STEM, low carbon, new innovations, responding to social, health issues relating to demographics- remains relevant

4 Graduate unemployment/under-employment- and for postgraduates? Moving from skills development – supply side- to demand side Moving to skill utilisation and high performance working Encouraging enterprise and innovation Public sector reduction- private sector provision of services Big Society – growth of independent, third sector, social enterprise

5 Browne Review on postgraduate study No evidence that changes to funding or student finance are needed to support student demand or access Availability of financial support from employers or from elsewhere HEC (HEFCE) will fund postgraduate courses on the same basis as undergraduate courses – by targeting investment on courses that are a priority for the public interest STEM, NINJ agenda- low carbon, new innovations, responding to social, health issues relating to demographics Trans-disciplinary developments?

6 Taught post-graduate students are distinctively different from undergraduates and from research postgraduate students. Their numbers are now large enough to make them a distinct and important higher education market The number of taught postgraduate students in the UK has increased by 77 per cent over the past 11 years. Can level of recruitment be sustained? (UUK 2008)

7 Employers expect postgraduates to have a range of skills that go beyond the discipline which they have studied. These include business awareness, languages, numeracy and quantitative methods skills. Employers stress the importance of postgraduates being able to adapt quickly and apply their skills in a work environment. There are social and cultural benefits attached to a strong postgraduate sector. By encouraging people to question established knowledge, postgraduate education promotes a culture of open and intelligent debate which stimulates innovation and new approaches to tackling difficult challenges

8 What will be the demand from students? Full or part-time study? UK, EU, non-EU students? Conventionally taught, distance/ e- learning Motivation, expectations Student needs, inclusion Impact of demographic changes- less younger people at undergraduate level, looking to employee learning?

9 Who are your students? What is their motivation for studying? What programmes/curriculum content do you offer? What programmes offer vocational related or professional qualifications; CPD; responding to working futures? Non-vocational? How do you develop employability that is inclusive of all students? What is the student journey on your programme? What are employers to expect from your PG students and their skills development? Where does the world of work feature?

10 Definition a set of achievements – skills, understandings and personal attributes – that make graduates more likely to gain employment and be successful in their chosen occupations, which benefit themselves, the community and the economy (Knight and Yorke, 2003:7). Considering the aspects that make up employability, Yorke and Knight (2004) identify three areas: Personal Qualities, such as self confidence, independence and stress tolerance; Core Skills, for example, numeracy, language skills and global awareness; and Process Skills such as problem-solving, team-working and applying subject understanding.

11 Critical understanding Subject/discipline knowledge An awareness of the provisional nature of knowledge, how knowledge is created, advanced and renewed, and the excitement of changing knowledge; The ability to identify and analyse problems and issues and to formulate, evaluate and apply evidence based solutions and arguments; An ability to apply a systematic and critical assessment of complex problems and issues;

12 An ability to deploy techniques of analysis and enquiry; Familiarity with advanced techniques and skills; Originality and creativity in formulating, evaluating and applying evidence-based solutions and arguments; An understanding of the need for a high level of ethical, social, cultural, environmental and wider professional conduct.

13 Conceptual understanding that enables critical evaluation of current research and advanced scholarship Originality in the application of knowledge The ability to deal with complex issues and make sound judgments in the absence of complete data.

14 Growing demand for better information for students about employability opportunities within HE courses Institutional Statements Institutional Strategy and implementation Value added approaches Information AwarenessInvolvementDevelopmentRecordingArticulation

15 How do you meet the needs of a range of students in your classes? How do you ensure that curriculum content reflects the skill requirements in contemporary workplaces? Enterprise development- for all your post-grad students or selected? To assess or not to assess employability skills?

16 How can personal and career development be an inherent part of every PG programme? How can you best manage work related/work integrated learning in your curriculum? Understanding the business/ having commercial awareness- how to find a place for this in the curriculum? Working with employers for high performance working – how can you support students to utilise their skills more effectively

17 University management of work-based learning Written by members of the PVC Employer Engagement SIG for PVCs and middle managers Quality and responding to employer needs Summary of the learning from the nine HEFCE funded demonstrator projects that the Academy coordinated, Learning from Experience in Employer Engagement Publication with chapters written by HEFCE funded EE projects

18 Judith Smith, Senior Adviser Jane Kettle, Senior Adviser Laila Burton, Programme Coordinator Tel:

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