Student employability at top of agenda of Birmingham City University event


Academics from across the country will meet at Birmingham City University next week to discuss and investigate current attitudes towards computing industry placements for university students.

The Higher Education Academy (HEA) workshop hosted by Birmingham City University’s School of Computing, Telecommunications and Networks on Thursday 7 March will highlight the need to improve the employability of computing students and the importance of encouraging them to undertake a sandwich year placement during their studies.

Discussions will focus around a recent 15 month HEA funded study of the current approaches used towards industrial sandwich year placements within the computing discipline across the UK higher education sector, which included a survey of 116 higher education institutions.

The workshop will debut many of the results collected, which surveyed university computing departments across the UK to investigate their attitudes towards sandwich year placements and how successful the placements are.

Dr Thomas Lancaster, Lecturer in Computing at Birmingham City University, said: “The results show that a large number of students don’t go on placements and that some higher education institutions struggle to convince their students to take up placement opportunities. There’s also still a lot of evidence of employers wanting students to work for free or for expenses only.”

“Working alongside the Higher Education Academy, our aim is to encourage more students to undertake a sandwich placement year and to increase the support that universities are able to offer to enable their students to obtain a placement position. The workshop falls within the wider agenda of improving employability at Birmingham City University and we hope to inform our colleagues nationally about how they can improve their own practices based on the research that we've undertaken."

The event runs from 9.30am until 3pm with free attendance for staff and students from Birmingham City University and a £50 entry cost for attendees from other HEA subscribing institutions. Get more information about the HEA Workshop.

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