UCL CAREERS SERVICE
Developing Employability Skills in Partnership
UCL Teaching and Learning Conference, July 2010
Notes from “World Cafe” Discussions
How can businesses engage with UCL academic departments to provide input into curriculum
design and delivery?
Although the employer facilitator had experienced negative attitudes in the past, the majority of
delegates were positive about employers engaging with the curriculum
Delegates’ experience to date ranged from alumni speaking in their department to employers
placing students on particular courses as interns
Many delegates were wary of employers directly influencing course content
Engagement must add value for the students- need to check what skills are being brought and
need a system for vetting employers
There was very little enthusiasm for embedding employer engagement in the curriculum, with
a preference for “bolt-on” activities
Employers could help with the transition from academia to work since UCL knows what makes
a good student but does this also make a good lawyer, architect, etc?
Develop partnerships between relevant employers and certain departments, where the links
Employers should directly push the message that they accept any degree- where this is the
Employers could provide projects for students in some departments
Employers should be more specific in articulating what employability skills they are looking for
How can UCL and businesses work together to provide a greater number and range of work
placement opportunities for students?
Delegates felt that a placement is something the university finds for a student as part of their
course whereas an internship is something a student arranges themselves
There was discussion around whether or not a department or the Careers Service should
source and promote placements and internships
There was a feeling that we should check that a placement does actually aid transition to
work- how should we do this?
Should technical internships be longer than non-technical ones?
How can we decide what model of placement will add value to students and businesses?
Offer a “hybrid” service by providing each department with tailored list of companies who will
It was hoped personal tutors would help students gain placements or internships
Alumni should be used to source placements and internships
What needs to be included in a statement of how UCL promotes employability?
There was support among delegates for UCL-wide programmes such as those offered by The
There should be one place where academics can find out all the employability
programmes/activities available to students
Examples of existing good practice and programmes in individual departments should be
better promoted, such as mentoring, student ambassadors, and the skills development week
and Transitions programme in Biology
Each department (or possibly faculty) should write its own brief employability statement for its
website and link to the main UCL one
We must promote some academic skills as aiding employability
Phil Howe, UCL Careers Service