‘Moving closer’ – maximising benefits to University courses, students and employers through undergraduate civil engineering placements
To increase understanding of expectations on location of and support to placements, closing existing gap between perceptions of and responding to skills needs.
- Review relevant research, link to relevant activity, communicate project
- Clarify existing expectations of employers, Professional Bodies, industry, students and courses
- By qualitative research, clarify the engagement processes from employer and university perspectives, including how SMEs may be encouraged to participate, structure and assessment of placements
- Form best practice guidelines from findings reflected in short case studies that suggest expectations are clear and met
- Evaluate best practice guidelines including by pilot implementation (within University of Bradford) for impact and benefits derived from different approaches to placements; implications for curricula and/or staff CPD; correlation with Professional Body requirements
- Confirm with employer senior tier
- Recommend how improvements in understanding are shared/disseminated among employer groups/Universities
- Seminar on findings to include participating employers, other engineering disciplines, participating Institutions, STEM Ambassadors
- Report, disseminate outcomes
If followed, these guidelines would enable consistent benefit for students and increased likelihood of ongoing provision of good placements by employers, despite difficult economic times.
Guidelines to the employer (including ‘household name’ senior tier) and universities affirmed, hence will be enhancing HEI graduate employability claims, so attracting good students and therefore benefiting the HE STEM sector. Good placements also increase the quality of the graduates for their employers; therefore there will be real benefits to students and the industry once the guidelines are implemented. The project and its findings will be communicated to the SSC STEM Cluster (see annex) to connect with this Group’s work programme so extending benefits to HEIs, employers and others in the engineering community including and beyond its Built Environment elements.
If you wish to know more about this project, please contact the Programme's Engineering team at HESTEM@raeng.org.uk with Reference Number: FP019 OCT2010.