Preparing for future success

Changing times call for a changing curriculum. The University of Wolverhampton has launched a new initiative to prepare students for the world they face when they graduate. Learning Works will equip them for the challenges ahead.

When students embark on their University journey, they have high hopes for the future.

The University of Wolverhampton understands that it takes more than a degree to stand out in a competitive jobs market. And a new project that refocuses the curriculum at the University aims to ensure graduates will have the skills and attributes necessary to achieve their goals.

Skills for today's society

Learning Works has been developed with a view to giving Wolverhampton graduates the necessary personal and professional skills to help prepare them for a society which is constantly evolving.

Students will be offered a work placement, the opportunity to run their own businesses, volunteering, mentoring, or an international study visit, to prepare them for employment. There will also be a more diverse range of teaching methods and different blended learning strategies.

Students' Union approval

The project has received the seal of approval from the Students’ Union (SU), who believe it will strongly resonate with applicants and will benefit students throughout their higher education journey. The SU is continuing to work very closely with the University to ensure that the student experience stays at the heart of the project and that appropriate transitional arrangements are in place for current students.

Will Varnam, Academic Vice-President for the SU, says: “The Students’ Union is enthusiastic  about Learning Works and the benefits it will bring to the student experience. We’re really focused on this change and very optimistic. Learning Works marks a real change about how things are going to be at Wolverhampton.”

Meeting student needs

Over the last year, all courses were reviewed to make sure that they are suited to student needs and demand and will prepare students for employment. As part of this the University listened to students, employers and professional bodies.

Learning Works includes a shift from 15 to 20 credit modules, which means students will study fewer modules, allowing for better resourcing, a more flexible timetable, fewer assessments and a deeper understanding of course topics. There will also be increased opportunities for blended learning, combining innovative new digital learning with traditional techniques.

Students will have more opportunities than ever to develop skills beyond their academic learning. They will have the chance to become involved with community groups, access business expertise and develop their own company through the SPEED (Student Placements for Entrepreneurs in Education) scheme, and demonstrate their potential leadership by mentoring international students.

New Institutes

In addition, two new Institutes have been created, bringing together different disciplines which will support new forms of student learning. The new Institutes, in Media Arts and Gaming and Animation, will benefit students and provide vital industry links. They will nurture students in an environment that builds on IT, design and critical skills and is informed by the business needs of those sectors.

Focus on employability

Vice-Chancellor Professor Caroline Gipps  says: “We aim to produce graduates who are digitally literate, knowledgeable and enterprising – open to new ideas, creative in their thinking and ‘go-getting’ – whatever their course, and with a global outlook on life. We believe that our new programmes will provide students with the key skills and knowledge they need to equip them for the changing world of business and the professions that they will be entering.

“Wolverhampton has always had a strong focus on employability and in this difficult economic climate it is even more important to provide our graduates with skills that employers value. We’ve taken our existing strengths and built on them.”

For more information see: www.wlv.ac.uk/learningworks.

The Wolverhampton Graduate

Through Learning Works, three key attributes have been identified for the Wolverhampton Graduate to ensure that they have the skills they need to develop themselves personally and professionally and to meet the needs of future employers:

Digitally Literate

Wolverhampton graduates will be confident using advanced technology, understanding the latest professional software and creatively using digital information.

Knowledgeable and Enterprising

They will have gained experience through exposure to live projects and placements with businesses. Those with business ideas will have been encouraged through entrepreneurial initiatives.

Global Citizens

They will have a truly international outlook. Having had the opportunity to participate in overseas exchanges or mentor international students, they will have a global perspective which will benefit them personally and professionally.