Examining required flexibility in delivery of graduate apprenticeship to best meet stakeholder needs at a Scottish university

Smith, Christopher and Paterson, James and Cowell, Andrew and Milligan, Colin; (2022) Examining required flexibility in delivery of graduate apprenticeship to best meet stakeholder needs at a Scottish university. In: Proceedings of the 8th International Symposium for Engineering Education. University of Strathclyde, Glasgow. ISBN 9781914241208 (https://doi.org/10.17868/strath.00082042)

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The UK-wide apprenticeship levy, introduced in 2017, saw the creation of Degree Apprenticeships in England and Graduate Apprenticeships (GAs) in Scotland; the differing approaches resulted as education is a devolved matter in Scotland and under the jurisdiction of the Scottish Government. GA Frameworks were developed through a consultative approach between government, industry and education providers in order to create a defined number of offerings aligned to the Scottish Government priorities of a high-skills economy. GAs allow learners to develop towards a recognised professional standard (e.g., Incorporated Engineer) by gaining a Higher Education qualification and developing their competencies in parallel through employment in a relevant organisation. Whilst the qualification requirements are defined, how these are achieved is down to each institution. This autonomy in how learning and assessment is provided within the degree programme has provided important flexibility to institutions and programme teams to meet the demands of stakeholders: students, organisations (private, public and third sector) as well as the university and its programme teams. This paper outlines perspectives on the different delivery models adopted across several GA Frameworks at Glasgow Caledonian University obtained through interviews with a purposive sample of key stakeholders. Particularly, how the differences in delivery balance (a)synchronous delivery, on/off campus, workplace and university activities, and student support, as well as timetables to meet stakeholder needs and the Framework requirements are evaluated. Moreover, it explores how this flexibility was so important during COVID- 19 and what lessons have been learned from education during the pandemic that will influence future approaches.

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