July 18, 2024

Vision launched for the future of employer-university collaboration

Author: georgie.myers@jisc.ac.uk
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New report sets out to address the impact that automated technology will have on the future workplace, and how the higher education sector can prepare by 2030.

The report, developed through the employer university collaboration action group of more than 30 university and employer leaders, emphasises the importance of higher education and industry working together to meet both the job needs of individuals and the talent needs of employers.

Employer-university collaboration: from 2020’s quick fixes to future transformation explores four specific areas of employer-university collaboration that can be scaled effectively and rapidly, thanks to emerging trends in the use of technology: course co-creation and co-delivery, experiential learning, career navigation and application support and education as a work benefit. Case studies, advice, and a checklist for universities, all aim to support organisations in their journey towards technology-enabled, mass employer university collaboration (EUC).

Paul Kett, director general for higher education and further education at the Department for Education (DfE), writes:

“We welcome the employer-university collaboration report, which will help to build collaboration between FE providers, HE providers and employers.”

Nick Petford, vice-chancellor at the University of Northampton and chair of the Emerge Education and Jisc action group on employer-university collaboration, writes in the foreword:

“Traditional models of EUC that are focused on skills and employability have failed to scale, but we believe the emergence of new technology platforms will help to address existing challenges. The need for addressing these challenges at speed and scale is now required more than ever, as a result of COVID-19, with job vacancies at 50% of their pre-pandemic levels.”

Rt Hon Justine Greening, co-founder of Social Mobility Pledge and former secretary of state for education and minister for women and equalities, notes in the report:

“Understanding how to build strategic relationships between employers and universities has never been more important – even more so in a post-COVID world. I welcome fresh ideas and innovative thinking that can set out clear approaches to unlock success in this critical area.”

Sue Attewell, head of edtech at Jisc comments:

“We’re thrilled to highlight some leading examples of innovation happening in the sector, and hope that universities, start-ups and policymakers will find this report interesting and helpful as the sector heads towards more impactful and technology-enabled employer university collaboration.”

Nic Newman, partner at Emerge Education, said:

“Employer university partnerships contribute to solving both the skills gap and the levelling up agenda we have for the UK. With our technical partner Riipen, a Canadian scaleup, we were able to include international best practice into the report – it is clear that innovative startups have a lot to offer UK higher education in this important area.”

Paul Kett concludes:

“The lifelong loan entitlement, announced as part of the Prime Minister’s lifetime skills guarantee, will make it easier for adults and young people to study more flexibly – allowing them to space out their studies across their lifetimes, transfer credits between colleges and universities, and enable more part-time study. Strong partnership between providers and employers will be pivotal to delivering this entitlement, and giving people opportunities to train, retrain, and upskill to develop the skills needed by local and regional economies.”

Employer-university collaboration: from 2020’s quick fixes to future transformation, is a collaborative report from Jisc, Emerge Education, and Riipen.

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