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Saturday, August 16, 2008

Skill-based higher education

Skill-based higher education 


What is your role within the international office? 

I am responsible for recruitment, enrolment and all other administrative processes relating to international students until they arrive at LJMU. 

What does LJMU have to offer to international students?

Most potential students will have made up their minds about the course or subject area they want to study and they will already have done some research about the university. People in Liverpool, more than in most cities, are friendly and talkative, so international students are given a warm welcome to both the city and our university. Most are overwhelmed by the help that is available from tutors and support staff, which is not just confined to academics.

 What are the changes that you have introduced in your approach now? 

We carried out an extensive research to identify exactly what is required from a university and its graduates and we realised that a conventional academic degree alone is no longer sufficient to prepare students for successful careers and industry skills are equally important. Therefore, we overhauled all our undergraduate degrees, that's over 420 programmes, to make graduate skills development and work related learning explicit in every single course.

Besides, all students will now have the opportunity to develop high-level 'World Of Work (WOW)' skills in addition to their academic development. These WOW skills will cover areas like leadership, professional and business ethics, finance, and entrepreneurship among others, determined by an advisory group. Therefore, by the time students graduate, they receive two certificates - a degree certificate and a WOW skills certificate, which is beneficial for students during their placements. 

What is your experience of working with international students? 

It is really nice to talk to someone overseas, advise them what a great university we have and then to welcome them. The recognition that they have made a good choice and the diverse backgrounds and experiences they bring with them make my job worthwhile. I like to think that we make a student's experience as positive as it can be, a truly worthwhile investment in their future. 

Sunil Sharma
Dil Se Desi Group

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