Having been given funding by the HEA, we are:
1. Focusing on a detailed report looking at Employability across our sector, mapping our delivery across the wide range of disciplines we support and making recommendations towards enhancing our delivery
2. Developing an IER (Internal Educational Resource) with the potential for publishing as an OER at a later date
For further information, our successful funding application may be found here. Working towards this report; amongst other events, we hosted a conference at the Rose Bruford Symposium this year, details of which may be found here.
Our final report may be found here, but in summary:
1. Higher education is not merely about providing an academic qualification, it is about preparing students for careers and for life. In doing so, we need to take a holistic view of what we are offering, one based on the views of industry and alumni, not merely the views of academics, some of whom may not have practiced for some time.
2. If we are to offer a holistic education, we must embed rather more nebulous qualities within it; soft skills, attitudes and behaviours as well as the more traditional skill sets. Alongside this we must embrace the opportunities offered by situated learning, recognising that is in the workplace that learning becomes reality.
So, we are looking here at encouraging a holistic notion of praxis; what I know, what I do and who I am are entirely interconnected.
Encouraging an ongoing dialogue between all stakeholders: staff, students, alumni and industry; we therefore identified the following ten recommendations in order to progress this agenda:
1. Recognise the professional qualification embodied by the academic award we are offering with our degrees, taking this recognition forward to lead our sector in delivering relevant, appropriate state of the art higher education for the performing arts industries
2. Identify, map and brand what we offer within the curriculum
3. Embed technical competencies within the curricula and assessment of our DMTA programmes
4. Embed professional standards within the curricula and assessment of all our programmes
5. Run three-year professional preparation modules embedded throughout a student’s journey through HE
6. Improve alumni engagement with both curriculum development and student mentorship
7. Improve industry engagement with both curriculum development and situated learning
8. Further develop the methods by which we measure graduate employment and employability
9. Create a role to head up or lead on Professional Development
10. Create a role to administrate placements and industry data
In conclusion, what we are promoting here is a philosophy of inclusion; we have the opportunity to offer degrees that are not simply academic awards, but that are equally professional qualifications. Not merely the best of both worlds, but a synergy of achievement.