Call to up cash for careers

September 12, 2003

Higher education institutions should use more of their wider access funding to boost careers services, according to a report unveiled at last week's conference of the Association of Graduate Careers Advisory Services at Edinburgh University.

The report, on how careers services can improve job prospects for graduates from non-traditional backgrounds, was presented by Lee Harvey, director of Sheffield Hallam University's Centre for Research and Evaluation.

It was compiled by the Centre for Research into Quality at the University of Central England, which Professor Harvey formerly directed. He said:

"Widening participation is no longer about getting students into higher education but getting them through the system and into jobs at the other end."

The report also calls for networks within institutions that let careers services collaborate with other support services. It says staff should have more opportunity to bid for internal funding to raise their profile within institutions, which must support successful projects beyond the pilot stage.

"We need to get rid of the culture of short-term [careers] initiatives," Professor Harvey said.

The researchers also want to see Graduate Prospects, the commercial arm of the higher education Careers Services Unit, investigating the particular needs of international students.

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