Just before the Easter break The Guardian held its annual higher education summit, The Future of Higher Education, where industry leaders gathered to discuss changes in the sector and exchange best practice.
A number of interesting topics were covered during the day, but the one that really stood out for me was around graduate employability. More specifically how HE institutions need to offer students direct industry contact to better their chances of getting a job – especially given the news that graduate unemployment is at the highest level in a decade.
This subject got me thinking about a recent conversation I had with Mark Shufflebottam at Bournemouth University. He was telling me some of the ways the Media School is helping students to get into employment – a large part of this is through partnering with local businesses that get students involved in live briefs.
For example, his first year Interactive Media group were recently set a live brief from digital design agency, Thought Den. They were tasked with designing and creating an iPhone application for The Tate Gallery and then asked to present back their ideas, just as they would in a live pitch. What a fantastic way to give students valuable experience and content for their portfolios!
Bournemouth University has also partnered with local agency Bright Blue Day for the past five years, who not only set students live briefs, but also offer graduate roles and placements. Again, another great way to ensure students are equipped with industry standard skills and contacts when they begin their careers.
These are just a couple of examples of how Bournemouth University is linking its students to industry. I’d love to hear about any other ways your institution is preparing students for employment…