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Higher Education and the current skills agenda Alan Gilbert Commissioner, UKCES President and Vice-Chancellor The University of Manchester.

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Presentation on theme: "Higher Education and the current skills agenda Alan Gilbert Commissioner, UKCES President and Vice-Chancellor The University of Manchester."— Presentation transcript:

1 Higher Education and the current skills agenda Alan Gilbert Commissioner, UKCES President and Vice-Chancellor The University of Manchester

2 A framework for skills and jobs Match Mismatch Positive Economic and Social Outcomes Supply of Skills Employment Demand Negative Economic and Social Outcomes DemandJobsSupply

3 A framework for skills and jobs Match Mismatch Positive Economic and Social Outcomes Supply of Skills Employment Demand Negative Economic and Social Outcomes Economic Performance Employment Reduced Inequality Productivity Dema nd Jobs Supply Shortages and skills gaps Unemployment and Inactivity Over-skilled / Under-employed Migration

4 Robert Reich (1992), The Work of Nations 40% of a post-industrial workforce would be made up of knowledge workers (symbolic analysts) Access to high quality knowledge workers would be the primary determinant of success for corporations and nations in the 21 st Century Relying on poaching other peoples knowledge workers would be a grossly irresponsible, high risk national policy

5 UK Skills Formation in Context UK Commission on Employment and Skills, Working Futures (January 2009)

6 UK Workforce Change : Major growth in high level skills 13,451 Source: UKCES, Working Futures , January 2009 Over 100% of all expansion demand

7 The UK Qualifications Profile : Good progress over last decade! UK Qualification Achievement Change 1997 – 2007 %Nos (000s) % % Level Level Level Level Below Level No Qualifications % -26% Source: Labour Force Survey, 2008 – Note: Working age population 19 – 59/64

8 Productivity and employment in OECD: Where are we now? High employment/ high productivity High employment/ low productivity Low employment/ low productivity Low employment/ high productivity Productivity: GDP per hour worked (US$ at current prices), 2007 Employment: Employment populations ratio 2007, all persons Source: UKCES, Ambition 2020: World Class Skills and Jobs for the UK, 2009, pp Employment: UK 10 th place Productivity: UK 11 th place

9 The competition is global: Improvements are too slow at tertiary level Source: OECD, Education at a Glance Table A1.3a UK Position: 12th in OECD for older workers 15th in OECD for younger workers

10 Overall Commission Assessment 1.Good progress over ten years to Solid employment and productivity positions – but not yet top 8 OECD High level skills improved by more than third No qualifications cohort reduced by more than a quarter Literacy improvements are excellent Performance changes and plans since 2006 offer cause for optimism 2.BUT … progress by many international competitors to 2006 has been better UK productivity slowly improving, employment good but slightly declining Skills improvements by many nations exceeding rate of UK change International challenge will increase as all governments prioritise skills 3.Foundations of policy recommendations already in place or on the way Integrated policy/strategy for business development, employment and skills More strategic, agile, demand-led employment and skills supply side Maximising individual aspiration and opportunity for skills Increasing employer ambition, engagement and investment in skills Support for community level action to maximise skills and employment to close gaps

11 Higher Education Skills Formation At worst seen as precious, arrogant and supply side (Dont worry, we already cover all those skills. ) Graduates (ambivalently) seen as world class and regarded by many employers as being deficient in key employability skills. Many examples of emerging good practice.

12 The baby and bathwater problem There IS a proper tension between an authentic university and employers, politicians and policy makers Destroy it any youve lost something precious

13 The baby and bathwater problem A University PRESERVES and TRANSMITS knowledge; It CRITIQUES and CHALLENGES conventional paradigms; It INVENTS new ideas and technologies and ADVANCES knowledge; It TRANSFORMS current ideas of best practice; and It FRUSTRATES and (sometimes) ENRAGES those with day-to-day economic responsibilities.

14 The baby and bathwater problem We must preserve those profoundly creative, transformational functions of higher education; BUT We must show precisely the same rigour in CRITIQUING ourselves; Instead, universities can be arrestingly complacent and conservative; and At present, the best evidence is that UK higher education is performing sub- optimally in relation skills formation.

15 The Manchester Response AIMS: Superb U/G and P/G degree qualifications combining authentic education (hyper- competencies) with superb skills formation (higher competencies), conducted in professional contexts if possible; AND Superb executive education and CPD: - demand-driven - bespoke - flexible delivery

16 The Manchester Response U/G Degree Programmes: Piloting the Higher Education Achievement Record (HEAR) Transforming U/G curricula in ways that are explicitly purposeful in relation to skills formation.

17 The Manchester Response We have adopted a curriculum design template: THE PURPOSES OF A MANCHESTER UNDERGRADUATE EDUCATION The Manchester Matrix Every unit and every programme must set out explicitly in advance what educational purposes are being served, what particular skills are being developed and how these purposes and skills are going to be assessed.

18 THE PURPOSES OF A MANCHESTER UNDERGRADUATE EDUCATION PurposeGraduate Attributes/SkillsAssessment Criteria 1. To develop critical thinking and higher order conceptual reasoning and analytical skills Manchester graduates will have been encouraged to develop intellectual curiosity, will have learned how to learn, will have a clear grasp of the fundamental differences between fact and opinion, truth and falsity, validity and invalidity, and will have acquired the basic intellectual tools of logical analysis and critical inquiry. Logical reasoning Analysis Synthesis Evaluation

19 THE PURPOSES OF A MANCHESTER UNDERGRADUATE EDUCATION PurposeGraduate Attributes/SkillsAssessment Criteria 1. To develop critical thinking and higher order conceptual reasoning and analytical skills Manchester graduates will have been encouraged to develop intellectual curiosity, will have learned how to learn, will have a clear grasp of the fundamental differences between fact and opinion, truth and falsity, validity and invalidity, and will have acquired the basic intellectual tools of logical analysis and critical inquiry. Logical reasoning Analysis Synthesis Evaluation 2. To promote mastery of a discipline Manchester graduates will have mastered the epistemological, methodological and essential knowledge base of at least one discipline or taught in the University, acquiring a basic understanding of the processes of inquiry and research through which existing paradigms are evaluated and new knowledge created in that discipline or disciplines. Knowledge Epistemology Methodology Comprehension Application

20 THE PURPOSES OF A MANCHESTER UNDERGRADUATE EDUCATION PurposeGraduate Attributes/SkillsAssessment Criteria 1. To develop critical thinking and higher order conceptual reasoning and analytical skills Manchester graduates will have been encouraged to develop intellectual curiosity, will have learned how to learn, will have a clear grasp of the fundamental differences between fact and opinion, truth and falsity, validity and invalidity, and will have acquired the basic intellectual tools of logical analysis and critical inquiry. Logical reasoning Analysis Synthesis Evaluation 2. To promote mastery of a discipline Manchester graduates will have mastered the epistemological, methodological and essential knowledge base of at least one discipline or taught in the University, acquiring a basic understanding of the processes of inquiry and research through which existing paradigms are evaluated and new knowledge created in that discipline or disciplines. Knowledge Epistemology Methodology Comprehension Application 3. To broaden intellectual and cultural interests Manchester graduates will be encouraged to value knowledge for its own sake, and to appreciate virtuosity and creativity, whether in art, music, literature or any other medium through which human discourse and human culture are advanced and enriched. Intellectual curiosity Cultural awareness Understanding of the historical development and cultural context of particular traditions, disciplines or bodies of knowledge

21 PurposeGraduate Attributes/SkillsAssessment Criteria 4. To prepare graduates for professional and vocational work Manchester graduates in professional disciplines will have the knowledge and advanced technical skills demanded in an increasingly sophisticated and rapidly changing professional workplace, and will have been provided with opportunities to develop accompanying skills of initiative, teamwork and professional communication. Professional Knowledge Professional Skills Professional Qualities Communication and Team Work

22 PurposeGraduate Attributes/SkillsAssessment Criteria 4. To prepare graduates for professional and vocational work Manchester graduates in professional disciplines will have the knowledge and advanced technical skills demanded in an increasingly sophisticated and rapidly changing professional workplace, and will have been provided with opportunities to develop accompanying skills of initiative, teamwork and professional communication. Professional Knowledge Professional Skills Professional Qualities Communication and Team Work 5. To challenge and equip students to confront personal values and make ethical judgements Manchester graduates will have been encouraged and enabled to confront their own civic values and responsibilities as local, regional and global citizens. Ethical awareness Grasp of ethical principles Awareness of relevant professional ethics

23 PurposeGraduate Attributes/SkillsAssessment Criteria 4. To prepare graduates for professional and vocational work Manchester graduates in professional disciplines will have the knowledge and advanced technical skills demanded in an increasingly sophisticated and rapidly changing professional workplace, and will have been provided with opportunities to develop accompanying skills of initiative, teamwork and professional communication. Professional knowledge Professional Skills Professional Qualities Communication and Team work 5. To challenge and equip students to confront personal values and make ethical judgements Manchester graduates will have been encouraged and enabled to confront their own civic values and responsibilities as local, regional and global citizens. Ethical awareness Grasp of ethical principles Awareness of relevant professional ethics 6. To prepare graduates for citizenship and leadership in diverse, global environments Manchester graduates will have been encouraged and enabled to confront their own civic values and responsibilities as local, regional and global citizens. Awareness of social, political and environmental issues Sense of social responsibility Leadership skills

24 PurposeGraduate Attributes/SkillsAssessment Criteria 4. To prepare graduates for professional and vocational work Manchester graduates in professional disciplines will have the knowledge and advanced technical skills demanded in an increasingly sophisticated and rapidly changing professional workplace, and will have been provided with opportunities to develop accompanying skills of initiative, teamwork and professional communication. Professional knowledge Professional Skills Professional Qualities Communication and Team work 5. To challenge and equip students to confront personal values and make ethical judgements Manchester graduates will have been encouraged and enabled to confront their own civic values and responsibilities as local, regional and global citizens. Ethical awareness Grasp of ethical principles Awareness of relevant professional ethics 6. To prepare graduates for citizenship and leadership in diverse, global environments Manchester graduates will have been encouraged and enabled to confront their own civic values and responsibilities as local, regional and global citizens. Awareness of social, political and environmental issues Sense of social responsibility Leadership skills 7. To develop advanced skills of written and verbal communication Manchester graduates will be equipped with advanced skills of written and verbal communication, and will be able to present complex material, orally and/or in written reports and formal presentations, in ways that are professional, engaging and persuasive. Ability to express ideas and arguments accurately and cogently. Excellence in written communication Experience in making formal presentations

25 PurposeGraduate Attributes/SkillsAssessment Criteria 5. To challenge and equip students to confront personal values and make ethical judgements Manchester graduates will have been encouraged and enabled to confront their own civic values and responsibilities as local, regional and global citizens. Ethical awareness Grasp of ethical principles Awareness of relevant professional ethics 6. To prepare graduates for citizenship and leadership in diverse, global environments Manchester graduates will have been encouraged and enabled to confront their own civic values and responsibilities as local, regional and global citizens. Awareness of social, political and environmental issues Sense of social responsibility Leadership skills 7. To develop advanced skills of written and verbal communication Manchester graduates will be equipped with advanced skills of written and verbal communication, and will be able to present complex material, orally and/or in written reports and formal presentations, in ways that are professional, engaging and persuasive Ability to express ideas and arguments accurately and cogently Excellence in written communication Experience in making formal presentations 8. To promote equality and diversity Manchester graduates will have been educated in an environment that embraces and values cultural diversity, and that is fundamentally committed to equality of opportunity regardless of gender, race, disability, religious or other beliefs, sexual orientation or age. Human rights – theory, policy and legislation The cultural reality of discrimination The economics of inequality


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