AGCAS new strategic themes

19 September 2018

When we launched the AGCAS strategy in December 2016, as well as our five strategy areas: Advocacy; Community; Learning; Quality; and Research and Knowledge, we focussed on four strategic themes. These themes reflect emerging issues and hot topics faced by our member institutions and the wider sector. The AGCAS Board have recently updated two of our four themes. The Social Mobility and Regionalisation themes remain in place, lead by Helen Smith and Paul Gratrick respectively.

Data Insights – Widening the data remit to include on course data as well as post-graduation data

Over the last year there have been continued and significant changes in the Higher Education Data Landscape and in particular with regards to the careers and employability agenda. The prominence of data within our member institutions has increased significantly and there continues to be a growing need for AGCAS to inform and support our members.

In order to respond to a growing need within our membership and the wider sector for more support, advocacy, information and high quality input around student and graduate careers and employability data, we will focus on the different areas of data and capitalising on our relationships with key influencers and stakeholders.

In the last year the remit within this theme has been focused around the evolution and dissemination of information around the new Graduate Outcomes survey. Through regular updates, events and a strong presence at conferences the membership, and in particular heads of service, have been kept informed of developments and given the opportunity to express opinions on the advancement and proposed implementation of the survey itself. The close link with HESA has allowed AGCAS to help shape the development of the survey and advise on next steps. As the first iteration of the survey draws closer, there will still be a need to strategically monitor the survey process and advise on continuous developments as well as ethical use of the data.

There are significant changes currently happening within HESA which reflect the changing regulatory landscape and HESA’s new position as designated data body for the Higher Education sector. This will be an area to watch so we can effectively inform our members and where necessary (and possible) influence changes.

This theme will be Data Insights, and will be led by Director, Naomi Oosman-Watts (previously Graduate Outcomes). Through this Naomi will lead a Data Insights Working Party with three operational groups:

  • Post-graduation data (formerly GEOD)
  • On course data
  • Outcomes and publications (for example, What do Graduates Do?)

Academic Alignment – New strategic theme 

There is a wide variation across our member institutions on how employability is delivered to students, this theme enables AGCAS to contribute to the integration of employability, regardless of whether it’s within the curriculum, co-curricular, or extra-curricular (or a combination); while also encompassing effective relationship building with academics and collaborations around the concept of careers education. 

Academic alignment replaces Internationalisation as a strategic theme in 2018/19.

We are currently seeking nominations for a theme director to lead on academic alignment as their initial theme


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