Which Tool Should
Briefing, Reports and GuidesConference: Enhancing Student Experience
About EsectRelated papers on employability
© Lee Harvey 2018, 2019, 2022, page updated 20 January, 2022
main lines of work were as follows:
1. Appraise the literature and explore current practice, producing
a set of five, updatable digests, which are on the HEA/ESECT
web site. In the event, ESECT produced a large amount of material (briefings, reports, guides) still available under the side menu heading 'Employability Briefing, Reports and Guides'
2. Summarise this new knowledge base for seven main audiences:
employers,students, careers services, LTSN (now HEA) subject centres,
educational development units, heads of subject departments,
and other networks (such as professional bodies and subject
associations). Briefing booklets have been produced for each
of the first six of these client groups, they are available
in hard copy and downloadable.
3. Work with partner networks to disseminate the summaries
to these audiences. ESECT has arranged regionally-based conferences,
and ESECT members have been active in presenting about ESECT
at national and international conferences as well as running
workshops in institutions.
4. Develop ‘toolkits’ for specific audiences,
in collaboration with partners. These toolkits will help the
different groups (Subject centres, student unions, employer
groups, careers services) to review practice,
identify gaps, weigh up opportunities for low-cost, high gain
improvements, and take effective action to enhance their group’s
contribution to student employability. The tools are available
on this site.
5. Support colleagues in using the toolkits and working in
consultancy and developmental roles with their colleagues.
Knight, the Open University-Director
- Lee Harvey, Sheffield Hallam University (w.e.f. 1/12/02) Deputy
- Carl Gilleard, Association of Graduate Recruiters
- Brenda Little, CHERI, the Open University
- Rob Ward, Centre for Recording Achievement
- Mantz Yorke, Liverpool John Moores University
- Sophie Holmes, National Union of Students
- John Gough, Association of Graduate Careers Advisers
- Margaret Dane , Association of Graduate Careers Advisers
- Val Butcher, LTSN Generic Centre
- David Baume, independent education consultant.
worked in partnership with networks such as the LTSN, subject
and professional associations, employer, student, careers
service and regional networks, and other groupings with interest
in the field.
Only exceptionally dido ESECT work directly with individual departments,
institutions and educational development units.
Faced with the challenge of enhancing higher education’s
contribution to employability, many institutions have reasonably
thought about what they could add to the student experience
and, as a result, strengthened their extra-curricular provision.
In some cases this has meant strengthening the careers service,
and in others special courses, events and opportunities have
been run for those students who want to take advantage of
them. Universities and colleges have sometimes added curriculum
options, perhaps by giving students the opportunity to create
portfolios or progress files, by offering skill-building modules,
by running entrepreneurship courses, and by developing work
The sector contains a number of examples of good practices,
and part of ESECT'S job was to identify and celebrate instances
where teachers, students or employers have been particularly
enthusiastic about their outcomes.
ESECT saw employability as a challenge to higher education
to put more emphasis on a set of achievements that are very
compatible with widely-shared hopes for undergraduate learning.
Recognising that employers value achievements, ESECT was concerned to help stakeholders
promote these educational and employability-oriented achievements
through good teaching, learning, curriculum and assessment
For the ESECT definition of employability click here.