Universities need to invest more in connecting their students with local businesses so that students learn more about the opportunities for future employment close to where they have chosen to study. Employability remains a key priority, with our surveys consistently showing that students want their institutions to do more to give them the experience of and access to the workplace. By forging broader and deeper links with local employers, universities can kill two birds with one stone – boosting their offer to young people and simultaneously improving their contribution to their local economy by making it more likely that students will stay on after graduation.
With the debate about tuition fees raging fiercer than ever, universities cannot dodge the question of value. Improving graduate retention, by working in partnership with local businesses, LEPs, planners and local government to identify employment opportunities and by providing the housing that graduates need, will help universities to add value to their students and their communities alike.
Universities stopped being ivory towers many years ago. Without a strategic, coherent, multi-sector partnership with local parties, their impact risks continuing to be limited and incidental to their location rather than the deeply rooted economic and social drivers they need to be.
Qualifi provides regulated qualifications from Level 2 to level 8 inclusive and Level 3 to Level 6 recognised as loanable from Student Loan Company, Adult Learner Loan funded qualifications commented that Vocationally Related Qualifications such as those offered by Qualifi approved centres provide the work relevant dimension referred to within the article. Partnerships such as those forged between Qualifi and its partner Universities offer students an opportunity to study vocationally related qualifications while also enabling progression to study final year Top Up to degree or masters. A combination of Vocational Education and Training and Academic studies that is cost effective and provides learners with value in an increasingly competitive job market.