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Margaret Berrie

Page history last edited by sceptrept 14 years ago

Shaping the new professional for a complex world

Margaret Berrie, Work Learning Officer, Aiming University Learning @ Work Project, University of Glasgow


Aims: To introduce new work related learning experiences into traditionally non-vocational undergraduate programmes as part of a strategic change project between three partner institutions: the University of Glasgow, GlasgowCaledonianUniversity and St AndrewsUniversity.


Method: Six Pilot Teams were established across the three partner institutions, in the subject areas of Bioscience, Business and Management, History, Maths, Physics and Psychology.  The AUL@W Project Team worked with academics from those Pilots to develop a range of opportunities which would enable students to gain insights to, and experience of, real world contexts. These ranged from non–traditional placements, integrated projects, volunteering opportunities and innovative collaborations, to informal meetings with professionals from targeted sectors through careers talks and site visits. The experiences were evaluated as part of the ongoing Project research which has included surveys, structured interviews, and focus groups with students, academic staff, professionals, and HEI senior management. ‘Models of recognition’ and embedding guidelines are being developed to describe the skills gained and qualities being developed on these life-wide learning journeys, and the students’ reflection on them, and how those can be integrated with academic credit, Career Development Learning and PDP activities.


Findings:  The Project’s exploration of sustainability has highlighted some concerns over the resourcing issues around the provision of life-wide learning experiences and their potential impact on academic course content. Yet, where that impact is positive, academic support, along with the positive feedback from students, and the enthusiastic engagement of professionals, demonstrates a growing demand for real-world experiences, particularly those which are integrated with the curriculum, those which offer insights to the professional world which would not otherwise be available, and those which encourage students to start shaping their own destiny and professional identity experience, integrated, learning, reflection, real-world


Conclusions: In this final stage of the Project, the AUL@W Project Team is continuing to support ongoing and new pilot activity; to consult with, and disseminate to, academic, professional and student representative partners, recommendations for strategic change across the Scottish HE sector about the integration of sustainable life-wide learning experiences. It will look to inform current thinking about, and policy for, the development of ‘graduate attributes’ – the foundation for the ‘new professional’ – through learning journey narratives and a model for the integration and recognition of the key qualities, essential skills and personal agency needed for the complex professional world


Key words:  experience, integrated, learning, reflection, real-world



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