University of Northampton praised for engagement with employers to help boost chance of a job for students

The University of Northampton, Park Campus, Boughton Green Road, Northampton. NNL-150427-174107009

The University of Northampton, Park Campus, Boughton Green Road, Northampton. NNL-150427-174107009

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‘Substantial engagement with employers’ at the University of Northampton has been singled out as a success, according to a new report.

A team of reviewers for the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA) visited the University of Northampton in Boughton Green Road in October last year to assess the quality and standard of provision provided to students.

During the visit the team working on behalf of the independent body judged that the university’s academic standards, the quality and enhancement of its student learning opportunities, and the quality of information about its learning opportunities all meet UK expectations.

A number of examples of good practice were identified in the QAA report, as well as some recommendations for improvements.

However the university said overall that it was ‘delighted’ with the review which included praise for engagement with employers and activities dedicated to enhancing student employability.

The report states: “Student employability is a strategic priority for the University realised through an extensive range of activities and opportunities geared towards enhancing students’ employability and social entrepreneurship skills. “Many of these opportunities are aligned to the University’s agenda for social impact. Students are encouraged to develop their employability skills both through learning and skill development embedded within the curriculum and by accessing tailored advice through central support services.

“The employability offer at the University is well coordinated, extensive and demonstrates substantial engagement with employers. Staff show a high level of commitment to the University’s strategy for employability and students that have engaged in employability-related activities report positive experiences.”

Recommendations for improvements include ensuring that learning outcomes for intermediate awards are positively defined and to establish University-level oversight of, and address, progression rates at delivery organisations.

University of Northampton Vice Chancellor, Professor Nick Petford, said: “In 2015 we launched a strategic plan that maps our vision to ensure our student experience is outstanding, and that our teaching and learning is driven by a mission to provide the best possible opportunities for those who study with us.

“The findings of this latest report by QAA confirm that we are a University committed to achieving the highest possible standards of higher education, and we are particularly pleased that our substantial engagement with employers and activities dedicated to enhancing student employability were singled out for praise.

“We strive to strengthen the things we do really well to give students the skills that employers’ value. This is how the University and our graduates, through their future activities, transform lives and inspire change for the benefit of society.”

The reviews are carried out by experts from other universities and colleges on behalf of the QAA, as well as a student reviewer.

The success of the 2015 review means that the university can display the QAA Quality Mark.