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Keynote presentation given at the International Week Conference, ‘The Roles of Erasmus Mobility for improving Multicultural Dialog’ Süleyman Demirel University, Isparta, Turkey, June 2010.
The presentation examines what a university is for and who makes up a university. It asks whether all the players have a common goal and concludes that in some respects they do not. The audience it is argued however do have a common goal to enrich the experiences of students (otherwise they wouldn’t be there at this Erasmus mobility event!). Certain disciplines benefit from practical experience (in the commercial, scientific & industrial world) whereas others do not. It is argued that all undergraduates should benefit from a work placement and presents data on the extent to which this happens in Europe and the benefits of such experience. It describes some of the things which can be done and the skills which employers look for in fresh graduates (and those they find lacking). Finally students talk about their experiences of work placements.