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Enhancing the postgraduate research experience: skills, employability and careers Chris Park.

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Presentation on theme: "Enhancing the postgraduate research experience: skills, employability and careers Chris Park."— Presentation transcript:

1 Enhancing the postgraduate research experience: skills, employability and careers Chris Park

2 PRES PRES 2007PRES 2008PRES 2009 No. of HEIs No. of respondents 10,54416,52418,644 Response rate 25.2%28.9%28.6% 2

3 Experience vs expectation PRES 2009 % agree met /exceeded Opportunities to develop a range of research skills 85.9% Opportunities to develop a range of transferable skills 84.8% Overall experience of my research degree programme 83.9% Access to appropriate facilities80.5% Supervisory support and guidance79.7% Research environment77.1% Provision of guidance on institutional standards and expectations for my research degree programme 77.1% 3

4 PRES Scales PRES 2009 MeanSD Supervision Skills development Thesis examination Goals and standards Infrastructure Intellectual climate Professional development and career

5 PRES scores on skills development PRES 2009 % agree 2d. As a result of my experience so far I have improved my ability to learn independently 80.7% 2b. My experience so far has improved my analytical skills 78.2% 2a. As a result of my experience so far I feel confident about managing a research project 70.5% 2e. There are adequate opportunities available for me to further develop my research skills 69.9% 2c. My experience so far has helped me to develop a range of communication skills 69.2% 2f. There are adequate opportunities available for me to further develop my transferable skills 64.9% 5

6 Skills development – year of study 6

7 Skills development - variations There were adequate opportunities to further develop research (2e) and transferable (2f) skills 1.YEAR OF STUDY –Highest agreement = 1 st year students 77% (research) and 70% (transferable) –Increase in % agree (2008-9) the same for all 4 year groups = 9% on average 7

8 2. AGE –Highest agreement = students 25 years old or younger 76% (research) and 71% (transferable) –The biggest increase in % of agree Research skills – the age groups (11.6% on average) Transferable skills – the and age groups ( 10% on average) 8

9 3. YEAR BEFORE THE PROGRAMME – Highest agreement = those who completed UG programmes 74% (research) and 70% (transferable) – The biggest increase in % of agree = those who completed PG studies 10.1% (research) and 8.8% (transferable) 9

10 4. OTHER DEMOGRAPHIC FACTORS – Gender: No significant difference between male and female – Domicile, ethnicity: No significant correlations between the two items and domicile nor ethnicity 10

11 11 5. MODE OF STUDY – Highest agreement = full-time Research skills: full-time (70.8%) vs part-time (67.2%) Transferable skills: full-time (66.4%) vs 60.6% (part-time) – The increase in % of agree : Research skills: similar for both groups (9.5% for full-time and 8.9% for part-time) Transferable skills: slightly higher for part-time (9.1%) than full- time (6.5%)

12 6. MODE OF DELIVERY – Same pattern as mode of study 7. CAREER INTENTIONS Highest agreement (73.5%) –those who would like to pursue a research career in higher education Lowest agreement (63%) –Those who would like to pursue any other professional career 12

13 PRES scores on professional development and career PRES 2009 % agree 7b. I am encouraged to reflect on my professional development needs 43.2% 7c. I am encouraged to reflect on my career development needs 39.8% 7a. I am encouraged to think about the range of career opportunities that are available to me. 37% 13

14 Professional development and career – variations 1. OVERALL EXPERIENCE – The better the overall experience (met or exceeded expectations) the higher the agreement with professional development items 2. AGE – Older student tends to agree less with these items – Higher agreement: year olds Also the most motivated by improving existing career 14

15 3. DOMICILE – Non-UK students tend to agree considerably more with all professional development items on average 7% more in agreement than home students – Non EU students agree particularly strong (49%) that they were encouraged to reflect on their professional development needs. 15

16 4. MODE OF STUDY – Full-time students tend to agree slightly more with items 7a (career opportunities) and 7c (career development needs) than part-time students. – There is no difference between the two groups on item 7b (professional development needs) 16

17 5. CURRENT ACTIVITY Those who are making amendments to their thesis following viva agree the least with all professional development items Students in the first stage of their research agree the most (44.5%) that they are encouraged to reflect on their professional development needs. Those awaiting their award agree the most (39.6%) that they were encouraged to think about the range of career opportunities available to them, but the difference to other groups is small 17

18 6. DISCIPLINE The national average for the 3 items = 40% agree Highest agreement Medicine and dentistry (47% on average), agriculture (52% on average), engineering (44%) and business management (45%) Lowest agreement Creative arts and design (34% on average) and law (35%) 18

19 QAA expectations The QAA Code of practice (Section 1) expects institutions to : – provide research students with appropriate opportunities for personal and professional development (precept 18). – have in place procedures for development needs analysis and review (precept 19) – provide opportunities for research students to maintain a record of personal progress, including skills (precept 20). 19

20 One step beyond (March 2010) Making postgraduate provision more responsive to employer needs and encouraging more people to train to postgraduate level will ensure that the UK has the higher level skills needed to succeed in a global knowledge economy. This will be critical to securing the location of high-value business in the UK and to the creation of new employment opportunities in growth sectors. 20

21 Resources Chris Park (2009) The research student experience: lessons from PRES. HE Academy graduate/PRES2009.pdf graduate/PRES2009.pdf Adrian Smith Postgraduate Review (2010) One step beyond: making the most of postgraduate education. DBIS PRES: 21


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