Towards a New Generation of Engaged Universities:
The Need to Act, Adapt and Transform

16th – 18thApril, 2024 | Kempinski Central Avenue (Formerly the Address Dubai Mall), Dubai, UAE

Abstract Douglas

[vc_row][vc_column width=\”1/4\”][vc_single_image image=\”7753\” img_size=\”full\” alignment=\”center\”][/vc_column][vc_column width=\”3/4\”][vc_column_text]Douglas Blackstock, Chief Executive, The Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA), UK
Abstract Title: Quality Assured: How UK Universities and Colleges Deliver Employable Graduates
When: Day 2 (15th November, 2017) | 09:20 – 10:00[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Abstract:

The UK\’s universities welcomed over 438,000 international students last year, with the majority of those students returning home to work and live following their study. Additionally, a further 701,000 students were enrolled on a UK transnational education (TNE) programme, working towards a UK HE qualification from their home countries.

Data shows that over 80% of graduates are in graduate level jobs, self-employed or had started their own business within 6 months of graduating with some universities recorded at well over 90%[1]. So what have we learned as a result? And what parallels are there internationally?

The UK\’s HE sector has invested heavily in measures to ensure that all graduates have the right skills and attributes to equip them for the workplace, and can contribute to the wider economy and society.

Douglas Blackstock, chief executive of the UK\’s Quality Assurance Agency, will introduce the UK\’s system of quality reviews, and how, among other issues, they monitor approaches to raising students\’ employability. This includes the UK\’s subject benchmark statements, which offer a shared understanding of the attributes and skills of a typical graduate in a given subject area, which universities draw on when designing their awards.

QAA has worked with universities and colleges to explore employability measures in higher education and to identify graduate attributes, encouraging universities to shine a spotlight on the best practice that they deliver, allowing us to create useful case studies of practice and lessons learned to share with the wider sector. This supportive approach encourages positive change and can help raise standards across the board.

He will also address employability in the context of internationalisation of the HE agenda, including guidance from QAA that helps providers support and create positive international student experiences.

Douglas can also address how and why the quality and standards of UK TNE is assured. For example, 2014 QAA reviews of UK TNE delivered in UAE, with most providers in the MENA-HELF host city of Dubai, found that providers were generally good at embedding employability in the curriculum and in extra-curricular activities.

He will also address the increased focus on fostering entrepreneurial skills in students, looking at QAA-published guidance to help providers embed these skills in the curriculum, whatever the subject studied. At the request of UK Prime Minister Theresa May, QAA is updating and assessing the impact of this guidance. Douglas will explore how this guidance has been embedded in the curriculum by universities and colleges, its take up internationally, and how it can align with the UK Government\’s economic and industrial strategies.

The rise of higher and degree apprenticeships in the UK will also be addressed, as universities, industry and the Government works together to raise the status of these important programmes in meeting the high level skills needed by employers.

Finally, he will talk about the UK\’s National Council for Universities and Business, which since its launch in 2013 has worked to foster world-class collaboration between universities and business.

[1] HESA Destination of Leavers from Higher Education (data release, July 2017)[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][button icon=\”icon-left-big\” background=\”#941c1f\” url=\”\”]Go Back[/button][/vc_column][/vc_row]