Various approaches

  • Embedded or Targeted, or a bit of both
  • Dedicated staff or All-team approach
  • Minority or Majority WP cohorts

HE providers are very different to one another and this makes it impossible for any of us to make any definitive statement or suggestion about what approach to take regarding WP and social mobility initiatives. Perceptions about what is the better approach may differ. Our discussions with Heads of Service across the UK and other anecdotal evidence suggest that the ‘a bit of both’ approach is most common, combining some carefully targeted initiatives with the development of embedded, in-curricula skills and careers content designed to reach all students. Embedded learning seems to be mainly focused on undergraduate programmes but in some cases also includes PGT and PGR students.

This Toolkit is designed to showcase case studies of what is being done in a variety of HE provider institutions, giving you enough information so you can benchmark what you are doing or proposing with the work of others. The Toolkit resource will build and become an increasingly valuable resource for you and many others in the sector, all with different student cohorts and circumstances to navigate.

“What works for the big civic universities may not work at my university with a very different cohort of students.”

AGCAS colleagues working in the Academic Alignment working party, the summer 2019 issue of Phoenix, and some of the case studies in this Toolkit provide insights and examples of careers, skills and employability being embedded into academic curricula in a growing number of universities.

“A project team will be recruited by the university to deliver undergraduate curriculum changes to include work based learning and integrated placement year options by 2023. Our research has shown that students from lower socio-economic backgrounds were less likely to engage with extra-curricular work experience programmes.”

NB: Teaching Excellence Framework submissions sometimes provide insight into what HE providers are doing to enhance employability and outcomes including both targeted and embedded initiatives. Copies of providers’ TEF submissions can be viewed on the Office for Students website.

“Management are consulted on TEF submissions, although often with very little turnaround time.”