To some, involving the market (in the form of employers) in education may appear to be something new, but it is not. The Platonic view of education was that its purpose was to make men nobler, which in turn would benefit the State. However, even in ancient Greece, contrasting with Plato’s Academic view was that of the importance of education to the market.

In the UK, centuries after the founding of the ancient universities, the ‘civic’ universities were established in the 1870s and 1880s in the cities that were borne from industrialisation such as Birmingham, Leeds, Liverpool and Manchester. These were established to support their local industries, they were not afraid to teach practical subjects alongside traditional curriculum.

Over time however, increasingly the civic universities local and practical approach was changed in favour of a national one, industry rich curricula were replaced with a traditional hierarchy of subjects.

Once again the HE sector faces changes as the government looks to minimise variation in quality and outcomes for students, and to ensure that providers are delivering course content that is relevant to employers. Through the Apprenticeship Levy, employers are taking the lead on degree apprenticeship standard developments (as well as others) and paying for the courses.

Every aspect of a UCQ degree apprenticeship is directly relevant to and based around an organisation’s staff members’ employment, and our approach facilitates long-lasting application of knowledge and skills through contextualised learning and assessment.

Wherever possible, we will contextualise our programmes to include elements such as:

  • Employer branding throughout teaching resources
  • Integration of employer’s core values or behaviours, core purpose or strategic themes
  • Focus on the employer’s key business metrics and performance targets
  • Reference to the employer’s preferred methods of working e.g. GROW, AID, Lean, Agile etc
  • The key technologies and digital platforms used in the business