How can universities better build high level skills in partnership with employers? A new report just published sets out some principles that are founded on good practice and informed by case studies.
The launch event in London was downgraded because it was scheduled just before the Scottish referendum. I was at a loss to understand how best practice in employer engagement could be a national issue, prohibiting ministers from attending; Westminster’s political protocols can be deeply mysterious.
Our University has a strong record of support for students who have been in care, and for carers in general.
Carers are the unrecognised heroes of health provision across Britain, relieving the NHS of billions in the cost of support for people with long-term conditions. Many carers are children and young adults, with responsibilities that deny them educational opportunity. And young adults who have been in care are the most under-represented group in higher education, with less than 10% gaining places at universities.
Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg has invited dialogue on “northern futures” (http://northernfutures.dialogue-app.com). Anyone can take part, and here’s the exam question:
How do we build on the strengths in the North to create an economic core in the heart of the region that can compete with the biggest cities in the world?
Seen from a university point of view, we have a key role as anchor institutions in both cities and regions. And seen in international and competitive perspective, this must mean that universities across the North must do more in collaboration, based on the strength of their diversity. Simple geopolitics dictate this. In the near future, the world’s biggest cities will each have populations in excess of 20 million (Shanghai and Karachi already have populations of over 20 million people; Lagos, Istanbul, Sao Paulo and Mumbai are not far behind). The combined population of the North of England (from the River Trent to the Scottish border) is 14.5m, about the same as the population of the city of Istanbul. In the competitive future, cities the size of Greater Manchester (population about 3 million) will just not be big enough. But the North as a region will have the capacity to compete.
When you enter a competition, you aim to win. And when the competition is as big and fierce as the annual Times Higher Education Awards, you’ve won the first round when you are shortlisted as one of the five or so best in Britain. This year, we’ve been shortlisted for four THE awards; alongside just two other universities, the highest number of shortlisted nominations in the country.
First-year performance student Jamali Maddix has won the prestigious Student Comedy Award at this year’s Edinburgh Fringe Festival, beating three hundred contestants from across the country in what the judges lauded as a routine that refused to shy away from controversial subjects such as racism and terrorism.
This achievement – the second year in a row that one of our students has scooped this prize – capped a great showing by our performance department in the School of Arts and Media at Edinburgh.