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Computing is one of the largest subject areas in Higher Education, and is taught in almost every institution, graduating around 9,000 students each year. However Computing graduates are recorded as having the highest unemployment rates for all subjects (11% for Computing compared with an overall rate of 7% for graduates of all subjects). This new report, jointly published by the Council of Professors and Heads of Computing (CPHC) and Higher Education Academy (HEA) highlights the depth, complexity and richness of employability practices in the sector, and aims to share those practices more widely. The report places practice in a comparative context so that departments may learn what works from each other. It draws on research gathered from over fifty Higher Education institutions in a series of workshops, focus groups and interviews. Throughout, participantsâ voices are given priority, with the report structured around the common employability challenges faced by academics. Within that structure, clusters of similar practice (those which appear in several institutions) are presented, together with a series of showcases providing rich detail of specific interventions.
Challenges discussed within the reportâs three themes of âAddressing Employabilityâ, âCurriculum Issuesâ and âPlacementsâ include âthe employability agendaâ, âstudent engagementâ, âcurriculum designâ, âreaching âtipping pointââ and âfinding alternatives to the âsandwich yearââ and are balanced throughout with a âView from Employersâ.
Clusters identify good practice from âhackathonsâ, competitions, mentoring, âcompulsionâ, an employer-led curriculum, industry-focused projects and placement preparation, application, monitoring, return, assessment and alternatives. Showcases highlight practice in âauditing employabilityâ, âdedicated placement supportâ, âmultiplicity of opportunitiesâ, âshort placement modulesâ, âthink futureâ, âsummer internshipsâ and âtransition weekâ from the universities of York, Kent, London South Bank, West of Scotland, Edinburgh Napier, Southampton and Brunel London, amongst others