There are several possibilities in partnering with industry to deliver a degree programme. The aspiration of the university is to create a cultural of learning, both on-campus and off. However, it also valubale to recognise that for deep understanding of some concepts the optimal environment is in the workplace with peers.
Meshing Theory and Practice
A work-based learning degree programme affords the opportunity to create a close-coupled education experience, meshing theoretical and practical learning activities across university and industry. This counters the more traditional block-mode or day-release teaching modes where work experience is entirely separate from the learner's environment.
Legitimate Peripheral Participation
A good example of legitimate peripheral participation for work-based learning is ironing in the context of tailoring. A student, learning to become a tailor can deliver value immediately to the employer through legitimate practice, garments need ironed and an entrant to the domain can perform such actions with little training. The practice is peripheral as it does not significantly undermine the business, if the learner struggles to perform it. Lastly, learners can participate in the industry itself, working with other employees and developing relationships. A work-based learning degree programme provides the opportunity for students to participate in industry through activities that deliver value to the business with minimal disruption.
Social constructivist contexts
Learning is significantly strengthened in social constructivist contexts. Such contexts are created when learners are able to discuss their experiences with others, within and beyond their places of work, as well as with industry mentors and academics. This sharing of real-world experience, alongside the development of their theoretical understanding, to be a strong aspect of work-based programmes, taking learners beyond a typical campus-based degree.
Strong theoretical foundation
The existing degree programmes offered by the university have a strong theoretical foundation and focus on technical knowledge. The expectation is to retain much of this focus when devising the work-based learning programme. The primary difference is to curate content to support the needs of the partnering employer and the wider industry. Consequently, the content will be more focused, rather than diluted or simplified.
As a research-led institution, the expectation is that in collobrating with industry to deliver work-based learning the relationship can potentially expand to include deeper partnerships on research, both knowledge exchange and funding.
The expectation is that the learner can direct their own path through their work-based learning degree programme, specifically in senior years. The learner, in consultation with their employer, can identify specilist areas and projects to perform.