Students get ready for work

Issued: Thu, 08 Feb 2007 00:00:00 GMT

A project aimed at giving university students more practical work experience and other work related opportunities has been launched.

Aiming University Learning @ Work is a bid to forge closer links between businesses and undergraduates and heralds a new phase in university education.

The three-year pilot project, funded by the Scottish Funding Council, is led by Glasgow University in collaboration with St Andrews University and Caledonian University.

It will focus on students in six main subject areas -

Business and the biosciences; business and management; history; psychology; mathematics; physics.

The project aims to heighten awareness within universities of the value and relevance of work related learning and will explore avenues for course credits being awarded for work related learning.

And it will show potential employers the range of skills that a modern university graduate has.

Professor Andrea Nolan, Glasgow University Vice-Principal for learning and teaching said: "This is about giving students the high-quality education they expect, but also ensuring they are as employable as possible.

"By piloting the project, we aim to identify the most effective ways of integrating work related learning into the curriculum which will ultimately change the way university education is delivered.

"The work placements will be both discipline-specific as well as generic. For instance, bioscience students can undertake a business project, examining an aspect of bioscience commercialisation and spin out ventures. Our Faculty of Biomedical and Life Sciences are planning a full scale Business and the Biosciences course.

"Undergraduates who may be finding it increasingly difficult to find jobs which match their abilities and qualifications will be targeted specifically to raise their employability and increase their workplace opportunities.

"The ultimate goal of the project is to create a strategic shift in higher education."

Sir Muir Russell said: "University of Glasgow graduates are already some of the most employable in the country.

"This new approach gives them an even greater advantage when it comes to securing a top-flight job at the end of their studies.

"Graduate employers place a great deal of emphasis on work experience and work related learning activity by students. This project matches up the needs of both our students and employers."

Chair of the Scottish Funding Council, John McClelland, said: "One of our corporate plan priorities is to encourage colleges and universities to support the development of learners' employability. I am pleased that we could provide funding for this collaborative project that recognises the importance of work-related learning and making it an essential part of the curriculum in these three universities.

"Students with relevant core skills needed for the world of work will be an attractive prospect to employers. Having an effective workforce is central to Scotland's business success and essentially its economy."

Ray McHugh (

For more information please contact Ray McHugh, Media Relations, University of Glasgow on 0141 330 3535, or email