Research-led curriculum innovation to enhance core employability attributes for Environmental Science graduates
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Aims of project: To enhance graduate skills and cultivate professionalism, resilience and global citizenship through innovation of a research-led employability curriculum. Background/context to project: The lack of employability skills among STEM graduates, in particular environmental science, has been highlighted in the 2016 Wakeham Review and was identified as key area for curriculum development by internal reports (e.g. Kneale, 2016). Surveys consistently indicate that ‘soft’ skills, such as communication, team working and a positive ‘can do’ attitude are highly valued by employers (e.g. Archer & Davison, 2008; CBI, 2009; Lowden et al., 2011). At the same time, many undergraduate students experience significant barriers to gaining employment, including confidence in their own employability (Beaumont et al., 2016). SoGEES financed a pilot of three years (beginning AY2015-16), whereby BSc Environmental Science students (stage 2) undertake a 4 week programme of leadership training by an external provider, which includes classroom workshops and leadership practice during a 2-day overnight expedition on Dartmoor. In addition, lack of confidence and low resilience to multiple stressors faced during the transition period into adulthood were identified as barriers to students fulfilling their potential.
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