The work begins

So, trying to find an anchor for the ideas. Today has taken me to old Hefce and HEA reports. It seems clear that there is a recognition that there has been a loss of quality of experience as UK HE has expanded compared to times before the expansion. But reading these reports, this issue is somewhat ‘sugared’. Current graduates have very little to go on in terms of experience of what HE once was, save for close friends or family members accounts of classes of eight or ten running for entire afternoons. So students will be moved to the heart of a much bigger system, but one that aims to serve employers more effectively as graduate employment statistics become key performance indicators.  We can’t go back. But can we re-engineer or even begin to re-imagine what the experience could be? The only other option is to continue on.

One of my key explorations remains the viability of a two-year ‘accelerated’ BA (Hons). An example from my own subject field can be seen at Ravensbourne where they run ‘fast-track’ routes within a standard three year programme. I aim to discuss this in more depth with staff at Ravensbourne soon. But then why not take a Foundation Degree? It may be that we still value ‘(Hons)’. But is that true for employers, specifically in the media industries? Here, employers are swift to point out what qualities they want in students, but don’t specify Hons, but identify ‘graduateness’. Questions arise of the capability of 18 year old to take fast-track’ programmes, but these concerns come from thinking within our current models of delivery coupled to curriculum content that is focused upon subject-specific knowledge and skills rather than focusing on more transferable qualities; dealing with uncertainty, creative thinking, problem-solving, leadership, group dynamics etc.

Back to the research databases.

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