Universities are considering a closer fit between degrees, job market skills and experience

A number of universities across the UK are considering awarding students who display “corporate” skills and job market experience extra marks towards their degrees. This potential accreditation comes as no surprise considering the continued call for university degrees to be more vocationally based and focused on the skills students will need in the job market.

In this drive as this article suggests, undergraduates on all courses at the University of Leicester, could earn credits for showing they could run a workshop or give a good presentation. Other universities, such as Durham and UCL are considering how to roll out the scheme of awarding extra marks for students’ “corporate” skills.

Supporters of this course of action believe that students will now be more likely to select a degree based on how well it will prepare them for the job market, largely because students will soon have to pay up to £9,000 in tuition fees for each year of their degree.

Prof Anthony Forster, pro-vice-chancellor for education at Durham University, said Durham was reviewing its curriculum and exploring ways to “allow academic credit to be awarded for student employment or short-term community and work-based placements that have involved the application or development of academic knowledge and skills”.

Cautiously, James Ladyman, a professor of philosophy at Bristol University, said “now we have this emphasis on the cash-value of a degree. Universities are focusing too much on the demands of the corporate sector. Our international students aren’t going to come and study in the UK so that they can take corporate skills courses; they come to be taught by top academics.”


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