Nadya Subramaniam (Chevening Scholar, MA International Education and Development, University of Sussex) talks about how universities can make their students more employable
As a postgraduate student at the University of Sussex, with a focus on International Education and Development, I was really excited to be invited to the Wilton Park meeting on Maximising the Power of Tertiary Education. I jumped at the opportunity to see the issues that I had been reading about for class being discussed among an internationally diverse group of change makers.
The session that I found most interesting was the World Cafe roundtables where we broke off into smaller groups and discussed a range of topics within the education field. Having taught vocational skills in a technical college in Singapore earlier in my career, I was especially pleased to be tasked as the scribe at the table discussing skills for employability. In the small discussions we were able to discuss very frankly the problems and opportunities in providing graduates with skills for the workplace. It was enlightening to hear about policies that work in different countries like Canada and New Zealand, which enable universities to produce more industry ready graduates. Ultimately, the responsibility for any current mismatch needs to be shared between the government, the universities and the employers in hopes of closing the gap.
Over and above the formal discussions, I found that the informal chats I had with the other participants in between sessions really interesting. The setting in Wilton Park was perfect for networking over meals and I do hope the relationships I forged here will continue long after we have all left.