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Involving Employers in the Curriculum

This help sheet outlines the benefits and approaches to involving employers in your curriculum. 

Involving employers in your curriculum has been shown to increase student engagement (Little and Harvey, 2006) and improve graduate employment opportunities (Cranmer, 2006). 

Employers can be involved in your curriculum in a number of ways, such as hosting field/workplace visits, as guest speakers,  Advisory Panels to input into curriculum development, providing case studies, assessing students’ presentations or work placements. 

Resources needed:

Involving employers in your curriculum will involve a time-consuming initial setup, however the long-term benefits can justify this cost.  

You will need to consider how you want to involve employers in your curriculum and the level of support that your department will need to give. Suitable staff will need to be identified to work with and organise arrangements.  For many employers working with an HEI will be an unfamiliar experience and therefore detailed guidance will need to be given to ensure that any activity is appropriate.  You will also need to have an evaluation of any activity to ensure it is meeting both the employer’s and your needs. 

Starting points to making contact: 

Before making contact with employers you need to consider how you will present the benefits of working with your course. 

There are a few different avenues that you could use to making initial contact with employers: 

Resources and Further Reading

Engaging Employers to enhance Teaching and Learning –A toolkit from Reading University.   

Little, B, and Harvey, L. (2006) Learning Through Work Placements and Beyond, Centre for Higher Education Research and Information, Milton Keynes: Open University, p60.

Cranmer, S (2006) ‘Enhancing graduate employability: best intentions and mixed outcomes’, Studies in Higher Education, 31:2, 169–184.