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Boosting graduate employability

Work-based learning and employability

Universities are increasingly being expected to demonstrate their commitment to the employability agenda, particularly how student engagement in employment-related activities is recognised and verified.

The employability of our graduates is something we’ve always focused on, and an area we perform well in.

However, there is a need to understand more fully the landscape of employability at BU, to recognise and celebrate existing good practice and to reinforce the importance of continued mindfulness at such a competitive time, ensuring we retain that which has already been gained and develop our reputation further.

This theme is committed to:

  • Understanding more fully the employability practices that flourish across the university in collaboration with all services and partnerships
  • Improving the mechanisms and the routes for the sharing of good practice and to promote collaboration
  • Raising the value of and recognition for professional practice-informed teaching
  • Promoting engagement in pedagogy for employability and developing mechanisms to assist the adoption of such practices into the curriculum
  • Finding methods to verify student engagement in employability-related practices which are not recognised by formal credits.

Mission and aims

Under BU’s Strategic Plan 2012-18, the need to ensure the curriculum has market relevance and is fully developed to benefit from knowledge exchange with industry is at the fore. This includes ensuring programme content integrates professional practice-informed teaching and experiential learning opportunities relevant to the employment market.

This acknowledges the importance of preparing students with the skills needed by employers, alongside the ability to effectively network and promote themselves, to be self-aware, and to understand the flexibility of their knowledge and skills base.

As a result, this theme has been established to tackle the following aims:

  • Establishing knowledge exchange with sector, industry and professional bodies to inform and enhance the university’s curriculum, ensuring the currency of BU qualifications
  • Ensuring the curriculum is market–relevant and continuously benchmarked against the skills needed by employers
  • Developing a culture where BU students are treated as early career professionals as they progress through their course; developing professional pride, resilience and tenacity in pursuing their career goals.

Useful resources

Case studies

Professional practice articles

Resources of interest

  • Students’ disclosure of dyslexia and dyspraxia when applying for a work placement.
    Staff from Additional Learning Support (ALS) at BU have been researching how and why a continuous cycle of non-disclosure of learning differences exists which affects the placement experience for both students and employers. Their work was well-received at the 2014 national ASET conference, ASET being the professional body for placement and employability staff. Members of the ALS team are available upon request to disseminate their research findings and/or provide workshops to any staff/programme with an interest or need. A case study is attached above and the videos produced as a component of this research can be viewed on the Additional Learning Support blog
  • Sports students learn about employability of their European peers – and more. Visit the EU Research Blog for BU
  • Olympic swimming champion Duncan Goodhew MBE speaks at BU sports conference
  • Sports students work around the real case of a German sport fashion firm and lifestyle internet platform to support their business activities in the UK.
  • Brief Review of the 3rd International Week of Sport Management. Organised by Dr. Tim Breitbarth from the Sport Academic Group (FM) the 3rd International Week of Sport Management saw international visitors contributing to the research culture, knowledge transfer and student experience on campus.