Monday, 15 February 2010

future proofin'

Two local Universities (BCU & WLV) have made early steps to address the employability issues outlined by Lord Mandelson last year. He stated 

"Set out how and what students will learn; their own study responsibilities; what that knowledge will qualify them to do…. Students should know about the opportunities for international experience, and how new technologies are integrated into their programmes. All universities should also be expected to demonstrate how their institution prepares its students for employment."  (Lord Mandelson, 2009)

So now employers and employability is set to mould the way of Undergraduate study in this era of austerity we are now in- especially in the post '92 Universities.  With the recent HEFCE announcement in cuts to HE funding, Universities are now having to look at what they are offering to their local and global economies.  No longer can we expect students to roll out of Uni' with a good degree in yurt weaving (or similar),  they need to have some real saleable skills in this competitive market place.  IMPACT will have to be measured.

BCU have their Creating Futureproof graduates - project 

..which is choc' full of useful methods, approaches, case studies and critical interventions to help prepare Undergraduates for the wider world of work, critical reflection, and autonomy.

while Wolverhampton have their Learning Works agenda

This approach is based on 3 primary student attributes;

It's all being pushed forward as apart of a re-jigging of the whole curriculum with a move to 20 credits. This also involves moving towards a more blended delivery whereby the VLE, eportfolio, and other "e" tools are being blended with F2F delivery over a range of methods (e.g. e-submission, assessment, ePDP).

I sat through a presentation about this the other day, and it seems that the underlying tenet appears to be to redesign curricula to ensure previously seemly unconnected modules are now working in harmony, to "un-stuff" current content heavy delivery, and a streamlining of learning objectives. So the course is king, made up of less , but more focussed modules.  It's all good.  I hope that this means an new pedagogic approach in designing student centred activities?  Let's hope so.

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