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Call for better careers skills provision

Institutions should improve collaborative working between staff and students, suggests survey.

Just half of undergraduates feel they have developed sufficient skills to secure a job on graduation, according to the UK engagement survey.

The survey of 23,200 undergraduates at 29 universities, which was published on 3 November, asks students to self-evaluate their learning experience and skills development. It suggests that half of students felt their courses lacked career skills such as CV writing or career planning, a drop on previous years. It notes that students who said they collaborated most with other staff and students were more likely to feel they had developed career skills. However, it warns that interaction and working in partnership with staff and fellow students is “relatively low” – although it is higher at post-92 universities than at older institutions. Only a fifth of students said they had worked with staff outside their course or talked about career plans with them. The report says this is a “missed opportunity” for students, since such interactions can play an important role in equipping students with wider employability skills. Contrary to the 2015 report, this year’s survey showed that students felt they were increasingly developing their soft skills, such as active learning and civic skills, as they progressed through their university degrees.

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