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© Lee Harvey 2018, 2019, page updated 23 January, 2019

A novel of twists and surprises

Institutional Case Studies

Higher education institutions are responding to the employability agenda in a variety of ways. A varied range of initiatives has been introduced to try and ensure that the curriculum reflects the importance of employability.

These eight case studies have been prepared to show how some of the front-runners have reacted. Their responses are as diverse as the structures and cultures of the institutions’ from which they come. Consequently they offer a valuable resource to those who wish to pursue the employability agenda within their own institutions. They show difficulties and problems, as well as successes and progress.

The eight are:

University of Bradford: Changing Landscape, Revised Approach

University of Central Lancashire: Strategic Approaches to Delivering Employability throughout the University of Central Lancashire, with particular reference to Academic Policy.

University College Chester: Developing links between academic departments and the Careers Service

University of Exeter: The Exeter Approach to Employability

University of Glamorgan: Planning for Employability

London Metropolitan University: Access to employability

Sheffield Hallam University: Employability framework

University of Paisley: Employability in the Curriculum: an approach to embedding employability in the structure and content of degree programmes

In some cases the developments described are institutional-wide. In others they are centred on a part of the whole institution. In some, the changes have been brought about as part of a formal corporate strategy, whilst in others they have been driven forward by Careers Service interventions and the determination and enthusiasm of individual champions. The nature of the interventions varies considerably and reflects their differing circumstances, histories and communities. Inevitably, the impact of the developments also differs in scale and nature and no one model can be described as the best. In all cases the work is continuing. Taken together they offer a rich source of information and inspiration to those interested in embedding employability in higher education.

Depending upon your interests, you might want to start with a case study, perhaps for an institution you see as having similarities to your own. These are hot linked from the list above.

Subject-area case studies

The built environment provides examples of a subject area that has provided case studies of collaboration between institutions and employers in the development of student employability skills at various levels. The ACBEE initiative includes a range of institutions and industrial partners.



Tool to create your own case study and submit it to the web site (ESECT D4 template.doc)

Target Audience
Institutional managers and programme developers
Tool Type
Case Studies of employability development
Copyright Issues
Various Universities