The University of Kent at Medway’s newly-launched Centre for Work and Learning (CWAL) is now able to help workers trapped in this familiar cycle. The Centre will give employees the chance to enrol on work-based learning programmes, on which they can acquire graduate-level skills and ultimately gain new qualifications.
The programmes – designed to help staff improve their professional development, competence and career prospects – use the workplace itself as the main place of study and learning.
Cathy Hull, Head of CWAL, said that work-based learning was an increasingly popular study option due to its flexibility and tailor-made approach. ‘It is a modern way of creating university-level learning for working people. It will offer our local workforce the chance to study at a time and a pace to suit themselves,’ she said. ‘Most of the learning is focussed on the workplace itself and designed to fit the specific career development plans of employer and employee alike.’
Various learning programmes are on offer, from joint honours degrees – where work-based learning can be combined with academic courses already on offer at the University – to a graduate diploma or a certificate in work-based learning. Modules can also be studied as free-standing courses, which will be useful for people wishing to concentrate on a particular work-related issue or problem.
Teaching methods include case studies, projects, study visits, seminars and lectures. Assessment is solely by coursework.
Potential ‘students’ – who in the main will be those already in work, or have some experience on which to draw – will be offered advice and guidance from a work-based learning tutor before they register. This will include a discussion of their interests and long-term career goals. Students will also be offered plenty of individual tutorial support as they progress through their work-based learning programmes.
Those signing up will also be able to claim academic credits for learning they have already done through work, training courses or other forms of study.
‘People do not want to re-learn what they already know they can do. They want to be stimulated by what they learn, and to focus their studies on topics that are relevant to their learning needs,’ Mrs Hull said.
‘Getting credit for existing knowledge and skills that you have gained at work means you can cut down on study time, and concentrate on new learning.’
CWAL hopes that many of Kent’s businesses will encourage their staff to sign up to flexible learning. ‘It’s a win-win situation for employers,’ Mrs Hull said. ‘Firstly, firms are likely to appear more attractive in the marketplace if they offer their staff good chances for career development. Secondly, companies that are committed to flexible learning are likely to have many motivated workers on board, who are keen to gain new skills and put them into practice.’
Mrs Hull added that the new programmes will provide a vital link between the employers and the University of Kent, and will help keep businesses competitive by developing people’s skills. ‘If you look, for example, at the Thames Gateway development, it is clear that there is a massive challenge ahead, where the workforce will need to perform at a highly-skilled level,’ she said. ‘Both the University and the region’s businesses need to respond to that, and work-based learning is a crucial part of that response.’
Nick Ellwood | alfa
Mathematical confirmation: Rewiring financial networks reduces systemic risk
22.06.2017 | International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)
Frugal Innovations: when less is more
19.04.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Arbeitswirtschaft und Organisation IAO
Plants and algae use the enzyme Rubisco to fix carbon dioxide, removing it from the atmosphere and converting it into biomass. Algae have figured out a way to increase the efficiency of carbon fixation. They gather most of their Rubisco into a ball-shaped microcompartment called the pyrenoid, which they flood with a high local concentration of carbon dioxide. A team of scientists at Princeton University, the Carnegie Institution for Science, Stanford University and the Max Plank Institute of Biochemistry have unravelled the mysteries of how the pyrenoid is assembled. These insights can help to engineer crops that remove more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere while producing more food.
A warming planet
Our brains house extremely complex neuronal circuits, whose detailed structures are still largely unknown. This is especially true for the so-called cerebral cortex of mammals, where among other things vision, thoughts or spatial orientation are being computed. Here the rules by which nerve cells are connected to each other are only partly understood. A team of scientists around Moritz Helmstaedter at the Frankfiurt Max Planck Institute for Brain Research and Helene Schmidt (Humboldt University in Berlin) have now discovered a surprisingly precise nerve cell connectivity pattern in the part of the cerebral cortex that is responsible for orienting the individual animal or human in space.
The researchers report online in Nature (Schmidt et al., 2017. Axonal synapse sorting in medial entorhinal cortex, DOI: 10.1038/nature24005) that synapses in...
Whispering gallery mode (WGM) resonators are used to make tiny micro-lasers, sensors, switches, routers and other devices. These tiny structures rely on a...
Using ultrafast flashes of laser and x-ray radiation, scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (Garching, Germany) took snapshots of the briefest electron motion inside a solid material to date. The electron motion lasted only 750 billionths of the billionth of a second before it fainted, setting a new record of human capability to capture ultrafast processes inside solids!
When x-rays shine onto solid materials or large molecules, an electron is pushed away from its original place near the nucleus of the atom, leaving a hole...
For the first time, physicists have successfully imaged spiral magnetic ordering in a multiferroic material. These materials are considered highly promising candidates for future data storage media. The researchers were able to prove their findings using unique quantum sensors that were developed at Basel University and that can analyze electromagnetic fields on the nanometer scale. The results – obtained by scientists from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics, the Swiss Nanoscience Institute, the University of Montpellier and several laboratories from University Paris-Saclay – were recently published in the journal Nature.
Multiferroics are materials that simultaneously react to electric and magnetic fields. These two properties are rarely found together, and their combined...
19.09.2017 | Event News
12.09.2017 | Event News
06.09.2017 | Event News
22.09.2017 | Life Sciences
22.09.2017 | Medical Engineering
22.09.2017 | Physics and Astronomy