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Projects developed for SLICE of Employability

Proposal for a university-wide 'employability' survey

The recommendation of the SLICE Employability group is that the University :

  • create a focus in the area of employability in the broad sense of the term
  • set up a longitudinal study following students from day 1 to beyond graduation to explore themes of employability that both knowledgability and wellbeing.

A survey is proposed that will enable the University to “hear the students’ voice”, asking questions such as:

a)      What do students feel they spend most of their time on (including curricular, extracurricular, personal skills development activities)

b)      What they’ve particularly found enjoyable, valuable, useful

c)      How much they’re thinking about the future world of life/work ahead of them.

Methods: Open-ended questions; Online questionnaire; Scoping interviews/focus groups

Pilot surveys would be undertaken in the academic departments represented in the group, as outlined below.

The nature of these would follow a common set of questions, but expand to take account of particular interests and priorities in each department. Given the timing for the departmental pilots, the preferred approach was felt to be questionnaires with space for comments. From the comments, themes would emerge and interview schedules could be designed for a larger university-wide study.

Biological Sciences (Kevin Moffat)

Our pilot will be very focused initially – not trying to mimick the wider study – two student inputs:

a.      looking at 2nd year students on work experience (about 20 intercalated year students approached by email with link to an online questionnaire)

b.      3rd years who are still around (possibly another 20). (Need some advice/help with running focus groups.)


Warwick Medical School (Debbie Biggerstaff)

In WMS, there are pockets of things already happening so a further pilot may not be necessary.

-          1st cohorts of fast track graduates survey

-          GMC surveys

-          Masters students – no data as to what happens to them after they complete.

On a one year time horizon, of particular interest are the skills & competencies gained on MChMB course. SHOs are a key group – what did MChMB students find useful. Now these graduates/doctors are in post, what skills & competencies do they feel they needed that they did (and didn’t) get from the course (on-going TNA/CPD requirements). Additionally, it would be useful to pilot a survey with Masters graduates to explore how students express these skills & competencies and their perceptions of 'added value' of the programme of study.

french studies (kate astbury)

Pilot short questionnaire online with students who take a year abroad. 

Warwick Business School (Fiona Anderson-Gough) 

The main interest is the bigger integrated view and tracking students over time. WBS currently interested in its 1st years.  A pilot will be conducted using questions that aim to allow us to gauge how students see themselves and the Management degree preparing them for the future.

Economics (Robin Naylor)

Pilot plan to be advised.

Centre for Student Development & Enterprise (CSDE) in collaboration with Centre for Lifelong Learning (CLL)

Focusing on P/T students, this pilot will undertake an ‘academic review’ as part of a 3 hour “action” workshop – about 12 over 25s through CLL after 2yrs (after pre-honours) - drawing on their experience of being an employee to explore:

  • what kinds of skills they felt they developed in prior work experience
  • what change in their thinking/approaches have they noticed since coming to the University
  • how they feel these changes happened? (what activities may have caused the added value?)
  • what are you bringing in? Changes in their own aspirations/abilities as a result of being at the University for 2 years.