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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, participants' 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 report's three themes of 'Addressing Employability', 'Curriculum Issues' and 'Placements' include 'the employability agenda', 'student engagement', 'curriculum design', 'reaching "tipping point"' and 'finding alternatives to the "sandwich year"' and are balanced throughout with a 'View from Employers'.
Clusters identify good practice from 'hackathons', competitions, mentoring, 'compulsion', an employer-led curriculum, industry-focused projects and placement preparation, application, monitoring, return, assessment and alternatives. Showcases highlight practice in 'auditing employability', 'dedicated placement support', 'multiplicity of opportunities', 'short placement modules', 'think future', 'summer internships' and 'transition week' from the universities of York, Kent, London South Bank, West of Scotland, Edinburgh Napier, Southampton and Brunel London, amongst others