A monthly roundup of employability issues at MMU
The biting winds and swirls of snow herald the end of term - it must be Easter! The March edition of MMU Employability Digest continues with some now established features as the Careers and Employability team provide an update of developments that staff might find useful. There is some information about the development of this digest, including an invitation to contribute to future editions. Two new features start this month, Employability in the Curriculum Top Tips, a chance to share your vision in 5 Top Tips and Employability News to highlight current developments and achievements at MMU. Worth a Look is just that as it includes a link to the QAA Chapter B4: Enabling student development and achievement. Please feel free to pass on this digest to colleagues and send feedback about the publication.
Former placement students, both undergraduate and postgraduate, from the Environmental and Geographical Sciences Network (School of Science and the Environment) recently participated in a short video, which is now being used to publicise the benefits of course-specific work experience:
The common theme that emerged was that current and former students would not be where they are today without their MMU placement experiences and their enhanced skills sets. Video participants are currently engaged on masters courses, a PhD (Centre for Aviation Transport and the Environment, MMU), as an Environment Agency Advisor, a member of MMUs Environment Team and as Environmental Managers at Total Petrochemicals and the University of Manchester.
Dr Jonathan Lageard, EGSN / School Sandwich Year Coordinator, who has seen numbers of placements rise from 3 in 2005-6 to 24 currently in 2012-13, coordinated the video. EGSN placements seem to buck the current economic downturn, as they are gained in key and currently buoyant employability areas such as the environment, and also in sectors that employ specialist degree-related skills, for example Geographical Information Systems.
Many thanks are due to the students who kindly participated in the video, to Tony Miles for video shooting and editing, and to Andy England for facilitating the web presence.The success of EGSN placements is also marked by the inclusion of a regular placement with the Environment Department at Solvay-Interox in Warrington, and in a recent national good practice guides Hosting Industrial Placements in Chemistry: Guidance and Best Practice (Royal Society of Chemistry 2012).
Dr Jonathan Lageard
Division of Geography & Environmental Management, School of Science and the Environment,
Faculty of Science and Engineering, Manchester Metropolitan University
The Maths Department featured in a recently published MathWorks User story, which draws some clear links between student engagement, satisfaction and employability. To quote from the feature -
“Since we adopted MATLAB, our enrolment has increased year after year, and math has become the best overall course at MMU,” says Dr. Stephen Lynch, programme leader at MMU. “Upon graduation, our students’ experience in solving real-world problems with MATLAB gives them an edge over graduates from other schools.”
This is a new item, which will become a regular feature in MMU Employability Digest as colleagues from across the university share their top-tips about employability in the Curriculum. Carolyn Branston, Senior Lecturer and Enterprise Visiting Scholar from Hollings Faculty shares her ‘Top 5 Tips’ for leading and facilitating employability
‘The service is brilliant!’ ‘Really relevant for all student and graduates’
The Careers and Employability Service are in the process of implementing a comprehensive evaluation of its provision, starting with an evaluation of the advice and guidance services for students. This work is placing an emphasis on measuring impact and satisfaction. 95% of survey respondents rated these services as good or excellent…
‘Fantastic – so good to know that the support is there and that the advice is top notch’
The next step will be to ask for your views on the service – how can we support students to make the most of these valuable services?
Talking of surveys, the latest Destination of Leavers from Higher Education Survey (DLHE) is progressing well. Thousands of our 2012 graduates have now provided detailed information on their current employment and further study situation and the team is busy collating this. This will, in turn, generate MMU’s KIS data.
Elsewhere the Careers & Employability Service has been busy supporting the embedding of employability learning. The term ended with a new initiative in the Manchester Law School, ‘Careers Wednesday’ which attracted over 200 registrants to an afternoon of workshops and one to one advice.
Planning for the Service’s employability week - Graduate To Work Week - which commences 3rd June is now well under way. This will be followed by Enterprise Week starting on the 10th. This will comprise the New Directions workshop and a Business Start Up Boot Camp together with a business development competition. Graduate to Work Week will form part of the developing offering under Futures. Watch this space!
MMU Employability in the Curriculum Digest, has been renamed MMU Employability Digest to reflect the broader range of items and academic practices featured. Past editions are also available to read on this website. Please consider contributing an item to a future digest, send over any news items for inclusion in the April or May editions. Items should be around 250 words, please include a photograph for the web version and your contact details, as you would want them to appear. The deadline for the April edition is Thursday 25th April and Monday 27th May for the May copy.
QAA, UK Quality Code for Higher Education, Chapter B4: Enabling student development and achievement. Published March 2013
“This Chapter of the Quality Code addresses the ways in which higher education providers enable students to develop and achieve their academic, personal and professional potential. The guidance in this Chapter seeks to ensure that higher education providers have given thought and developed an approach to enabling student development and achievement whose quality is adequately assured and which meets the needs of all students. The underpinning approach is that all students benefit from being enabled to develop their potential and engage in their learning.” (QAA, 2013, B4, p.3)
Latest edition: Futuretrack Special Winter 2013
“In this special edition of GMT we focus on the HECSU-funded Futuretrack study which tracked the career progression of the 2005/2006 cohort of applicants to higher education until 18-30 months after graduation. The edition features an interview with Professors Kate Purcell and Claire Callendar and summarises some of the findings from Futuretrack Stage 4 - the stage that tracked most graduates into employment. Important questions were raised including - What type of employment did graduates obtain? How far did the subject studied or the institution attended impact on outcomes? How did they manage their finances? How optimistic were they about the future? Who went on to postgraduate study? And crucially, did they fare as well as those who attended higher education in the past?” (Introduction for the journal from GMT website)
Please contact Linda Matthews (email@example.com) with any comments or items for the Employability Digest
Dr Jonathan Lageard