The first programme of its kind, CareerAhead focuses on improving international students’ employability skills. Study Group introduced the scheme after consulting with students, partners, teaching staff and agents and identifying employability as a vital area of focus for students.
Initially piloted at the University of Sussex, CareerAhead is to be launched at the University of Leicester, Lancaster University, University of Lincoln, Kingston University London and Liverpool John Moores University. The scheme is run by pathway programme specialist Study Group and will ultimately be introduced across all of its UK International Study Centres (ISCs).
After analysing graduate employment market data to identify the main skills that students need for success, Study Group built the programme into the University of Sussex ISC foundation and pre-masters courses. Students leave the ISC and progress to degree study equipped with skills relevant to employment markets in their home countries, a personal career development plan, a CV and a personal statement. They also have an understanding of how graduate recruiters assess candidates and the skills that are important for their chosen career. At the University of Sussex ISC, over 570 students have already completed CareerAhead.
Soft skills such as communication and creativity have become important differentiators, and the CareerAhead scheme has enabled us to provide better value for students by delivering quantifiably better student experiences and outcomes
Clare Mackie, Pro-Vice Chancellor at the University of Sussex commented: “We welcomed the CareerAhead programme’s integrated approach as a way of increasing student engagement with careers services. We recognise how important it is to help students with their careers and equip them with the necessary skills to succeed not just in their degrees, but also in the workplace”.
James Pitman, MD Higher Education UK and Europe commented: “Employability is high on the agenda for international students. Career prospects came third in a 2014 British Council survey of important factors for international students, demonstrating that they realise businesses want more than just academic knowledge. Soft skills such as communication and creativity have become important differentiators, and the CareerAhead scheme has enabled us to provide better value for students by delivering quantifiably better student experiences and outcomes.”