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The vast majority of students were satisfied with their university course in 2020, despite the Covid-19 lockdown from March, a sector-level analysis of the National Student Survey results has found.
Jonathan Baldwin, managing director of higher education at Jisc, looks at the changing role of post-Covid university leadership and the enduring need for collaboration.
The government's announcement of a major review of the National Student Survey signals a worrying shift in the HE regulatory landscape, warns Jon Scott, higher education consultant and former Pro Vice-Chancellor (student experience) at the University of Leicester.
Statements from ministers this week have made it clear that higher education in England is facing significant reforms, re-setting its focus towards helping to plug the UK's skills gaps and rebuilding the economy. Fariba Soetan, Policy Lead for Research and Innovation at the National Centre for Universities and Business, argues that the proposed changes bring a welcome focus on graduate outcomes and supporting the careers of young people.
New degree apprenticeships have the potential to help fill skills gaps and meet employers’ needs, according to a new report from Universities UK.
Whilst degree apprenticeships are relatively new, numbers are growing at a positive rate, with an estimated 1,500-2,000 starts for 2016 across 40 universities. UUK’s report The future growth of degree apprenticeships identifies the factors that will impact on the potential growth and success of degree apprenticeships.
Research by UUK has concluded that degree apprenticeships can be particularly attractive to non-traditional students, providing an opportunity for degree apprenticeships to support widening participation goals.
The report also says apprenticeships offer a way for universities to diversify their offer and develop alternatives to traditional full-time on-campus study.
But it adds that there is a need to raise awareness among potential apprentices, their parents and those who support them, such as careers advisers.
Apprentices have full-time employment status – rather than student status – and do not pay for training costs or tuition fees. The government has pledged to create 3 million new apprenticeships in England by 2020. Last year, the coalition government announced nine new industry-designed degree apprenticeships.
Nicola Dandridge, Chief Executive of Universities UK, said: “Universities have been actively involved in the development and delivery of these new, industry-designed degree apprenticeships.
“Combining a full degree, with the real, practical skills gained in work, make degree apprentices highly employable. They benefit from several years of workplace experience, alongside studying a course tailored specifically to employers' needs.
“They have the potential to help fill specific skills gaps and meet employers’ needs. Universities have the facilities and the innovative links with employers that help give UK companies a genuine competitive edge and create high value jobs for employees."
Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, the Rt Hon Sajid Javid MP, said: “Degree apprenticeships give young people the opportunity to succeed like never before.
“We launched them to help employers find the talent they need to grow and innovate their workforces. As part of our offer of high quality apprenticeships at all levels, meeting employers' needs and driving up productivity, I want young people across the country to benefit from the life-changing opportunities that a degree apprenticeship can unlock.”
Tom Banham, Head of Academy Talent Acquisition at Nestlé, who collaborate with Sheffield Hallam University on degree apprenticeships, said: “We have found that the combination of practical, commercial experience at Nestlé and academic excellence at Sheffield Hallam is giving young people the skills that they need to become successful. It’s a great way for us to grow and develop our future business leaders.”
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