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Does Employer Engagement Threaten Student Centredness?

Craig, John, Beckett, Dawn and Kiteley, Robin J. (2009) Does Employer Engagement Threaten Student Centredness? In: C-SAP Annual Conference 2009: Roles, Rights and Responsibilities, 25 - 27 November 2009, Jury's Inn Hotel, Birmingham. (Unpublished)

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Employer engagement has become a key theme in UK Government Higher Education Policy in recent years. Universities and other higher education providers are encouraged to work with employers in the design and delivery of courses that can provide the skills required for the economy over the coming decades. In the words of DIUS (2007: 50) “‘Business facing’ should be a description with which any higher education institution feels comfortable”.

It is widely acknowledged by both advocates and critics of this policy, that its pursuit presents profound challenges to the culture and relationships that currently characterise higher education. For example, a recent report from the CBI (2008: 11), sponsored by UUK and HEFCE, calls upon Universities to “rethink the traditional university-student relationship to give employers a central role”. However, as Drake, Blake and Swallow (2009) argue, for such courses to be successful, it is necessary not just to engage the employer, but also the individual employee.

This session explores these tensions and challenges by raising a range of questions for those attending and offering some tentative answers based on the experiences of staff and students engaged in the context of the Foundation Degree in Police Studies course delivered by the University of Huddersfield. This is one of the largest Foundation Degrees within the UK and is delivered to all trainees Police Officers within the West Yorkshire Constabulary. As such it provides an important context within which these issues can be explored.

The session will make use of interview material to allow a diverse range of student voices to be heard and participants will be invited to share their responses and reflections.

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Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor
L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB2300 Higher Education
Schools: School of Human and Health Sciences
School of Human and Health Sciences > Centre for Research in the Social Sciences
School of Human and Health Sciences > Applied Criminology Centre
Related URLs:
References: CBI (2008) Stepping higher: Workforce development through employer-higher education partnership DIUS (2007) World Class Skills: Implementing the Leitch Review of Skills in England. Presented to Parliament by the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills by Command of Her Majesty, July 2007. CM 7181. Drake,J., Blake,J. and Swallow,W. (2009) ‘Employer Engagement: The critical role of employee commitment’ Education + Training 51:1 23-49
Depositing User: Graham Stone
Date Deposited: 02 Dec 2009 11:00
Last Modified: 28 Aug 2021 22:35


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