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University leaders commit to pension talks as strikes begin

University leaders have written to the University and College Union to formally outline their commitment to continuing to work with UCU to deliver long-term reform of the Universities Superannuation Scheme. The move comes as UCU members at 60 universities begin strike action in disputes over both pensions and pay.

Gateway to university expertise now provides 'smart match' with business

A platform providing a single access point for businesses to university expertise and funding opportunities has been further developed by the National Centre for Universities and Business, Research England, and UK Research and Innovation, to help 'smart match' business and industry with higher education institutions, in a bid to boost R&D collaboration. Shivaun Meehan, Head of Communications at the NCUB, outlines the latest features of Konfer.

Survey pinpoints ways to make postgraduates even more satisfied

Eight out of 10 postgraduate students taking a taught course in the UK report continued satisfaction with the experience over a five-year period.But a survey of more than 70,000 postgraduates across 85 higher education institutions who responded to the Advance HE Postgraduate Taught Experience Survey (PTES) highlights for the first time areas where institutions could do better still to boost satisfaction levels.

Government should listen to employers on graduate employment

The next government should adopt policies on graduate employment that reflect a less simplistic outlook than the current regime, argues Tristram Hooley, Chief Research Officer at the Institute of Student Employers, which has just published its manifesto wish list.

Government should listen to employers on graduate employment

The next government should adopt policies on graduate employment that reflect a less simplistic outlook than the current regime, argues Tristram Hooley, Chief Research Officer at the Institute of Student Employers, which has just published its manifesto wish list.

 

Over recent years government has been keen to tell higher education providers that they should try to make students more employable. Often this message has been communicated in a simplistic way and codified into metrics and rankings that miss much of the subtlety of the graduate labour market.

Policy has tended to group graduates into broad categories (employable/unemployable/graduate level/non-graduate level) and ignored the subtleties of background, locality, occupation and sector that are critical to the way the graduate labour market actually works.

The Institute of Student Employers’ represents around 300 of Britain’s largest employers, who collectively bring tens of thousands of young people into the labour market every year. We have just released our latest manifesto to try to influence the next government’s policy in a more positive direction.

Our manifesto sets out the six key policies that a future government will need to implement to ensure that firms are able to find the talent and skills that they need and young people are able to make a smooth transition to the workplace and build productive careers:

1. Place greater emphasis on employer and university collaboration in higher education.
2. Maintain and streamline the apprenticeship system in consultation with employers.
3. Facilitate better employment outcomes for disadvantaged students.
4. Renew the Careers Strategy and extend the careers hubs that support schools across the country.
5. Invest in vocational education and engage employers in its design and implementation.
6. Design migration policies that enable businesses to access high quality global talent.  

Bringing universities together with employers

Our members are working with schools, colleges, apprenticeship providers and universities to ensure that the UK has the talent that it needs. They believe that higher education has a critical role to play in ensuring the UKs economic future. Universities are engines of economic development and higher education graduates are a key source of talent for all businesses. Because of this we are calling on the next government to design higher education policy with a clear understanding of the needs of the labour market and a commitment to bringing educators and employers together.

Supporting social mobility

We are also strongly committed to ensuring a fairer system, where an individual’s background does not determine their chance of success. Social mobility and diversity bring enormous economic benefits to our members businesses and to the country. Given this it is important that government supports businesses and educators to improve education and employment outcomes for all young people.

Ensuring skilled migration

With Brexit likely to be a key feature of politics for the foreseeable future, it is also critical that a future government considers the impact of its migration policy on the graduate labour market. Any new post Brexit migration system needs to be designed to to ensure that employers can recruit the talent that they need with the minimum of cost and bureaucracy.

Influencing policy

We hope that all political parties will attend to these policies and work with ISE and its members to build a society and economy that is fair and transparent for young workers and which supports businesses to make the most of the young talent that is available. We would encourage the higher education sector to join with employers in taking this agenda forwards through the election campaign and beyond.

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