Iain and Lorraine

Developing professionals for Industry 4.0

By Jack Stott - 13 May 2021

In a survey conducted in 2015, 93% of employers reported that “a candidate’s demonstrated capacity to think critically, communicate clearly, and solve complex problems is more important than his or her undergraduate major.” It is becoming increasingly evident that in an era of rising automation, it is the personal and inter-personal attributes of the individual that will be highly sought aft

This is why RGU has developed the Learning and Teaching Framework as a template to underpin our efforts to produce future graduates who possess highly developed and valuable personal attributes as well as professional expertise, skills, judgement and knowledge. In other words, adaptable and skilled graduates equipped for the opportunities and challenges of their future professional careers. This framework is also aligned with research and recommendations from the Scottish Council for Development and Industry, which highlights the transformation to the world of work brought about by the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

David McClean, Head of School, Scott Sutherland School of Architecture and Built Environment said: “Employers have been telling us that they are seeking more than just professional competence from our graduates. Developing this framework responds to this change in employer expectations and priorities and the needs of the future work place. It also conveys the added value of our learning and teaching ethos and safeguards a key strength of the university: Employability.”

The framework supports one of our key strategic aims which is to ensure that students lie at the heart of curriculum design and delivery, and that our teaching and learning is agile and demand-led. It is also an example of cross-disciplinary collaboration as representatives from every school were involved in the development of the Learning and Teaching framework.

Case Study: Enhancing our offering through collaboration

The Gray’s School of Art have already implemented a number of enhancements that correspond with the ethos of the Framework by developing a new model for the school which will assist the students to gain skills relating to their long-term career goals. The “Personal Professional Development” (PPD) program which has been developed in conjunction with 'Student Partners', challenges students to consider different stages of their career path through their undergraduate and postgraduate study.

Each term students engage in PPD accessed via the RGU eHub, the university employability platform, which consist of a series of interactive exercises including videos, quizzes and activities that enables the student to meet the learning outcomes required for each term's task. This allows students to not only work on the Gray’s PPD tasks but also gives them access to a wealth of up-to-date resources available on the RGU eHub offering a variety of relevant information to help students and graduates to increase their employability skills. 

Collaboration has been at the core of the Gray’s PPD projects and Iain Morrison, Senior Lecturer at Gray’s School of Art and PPD program coordinator worked with a range of staff and support departments across the University to get it off the ground.

Iain’s commercial experience as a graphic designer and twenty plus years in education has informed the structure of the PPD program and its implementation across undergraduate and postgraduate courses while also realising this could only be achieved with the support and specialist skills provided through the universities careers services.

Iain worked with Lorraine Amies from the Department of Employability and Professional Enrichment to develop the content and structure of the program bringing her specialist understanding of the opportunities that the Careers Department can offer the students. He also worked with Sally Charles from the RGU Entrepreneurship & Innovation Group to develop business start-up workshops which provide students with one day training courses to develop their business skills and understand how to develop.

Gray’s PPD has also gained accreditation to run the ‘Scottish Innovative Student Award’ supported by the Scottish Institute for Enterprise and during the application process Iain had guidance from Pauline Bremner from the School of Creative & Cultural Business in how she had developed their courses with the SIE and later on Veronica Strachan and Laura Ginsburg assisted with the application process to ensure the school made the best of its application for accreditation.

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