The appointment of new members of staff dedicated to boosting the employability of overseas students has helped the University of Huddersfield climb higher in one of the world’s most respected ratings systems for higher education.
The University’s Careers and Employability Service has now been awarded the maximum five QS Stars, a rapid upgrade from a four-star rating awarded earlier this year. It means that Huddersfield now has five stars in most of the criteria of the QS system.
It was at the start of 2014 that the University of Huddersfield made its debut in the QS ratings, with an overall four-star rating, although five stars were awarded for teaching, internationalisation, facilities and access.
The Head of Careers and Employability, Stephen Boyd, and the University’s Pro-Vice Chancellor, International, Professor Dave Taylor, believed that developments in the service meant that a new submission to QS would be successful, and now a five-star rating for employability has been granted.
“We felt that in terms of our commitment to employability and the way that we work with students and employers, we had a definite case to upgrade to five stars and that it would be an accurate reflection of our approach to preparing our students for career success,” said Mr Boyd.
In addition to the University’s strong showing in the most recent Destination of Leavers of Higher Education (DLHE) survey, the new submission provided evidence in a wide range of criteria, such as the numbers of employers who visit the campus to interact with students and provide job opportunities and placements. Also, the numbers of staff dedicated to employability issues was a crucial factor, as was the way in which students were empowered to take ownership of their employability through successful initiatives such as EmployableME.
“As a university, we know that employability plays a huge part in the student experience and to invite QS to take another look at this particular aspect of what we do seemed like a great opportunity for us. We have also recently recruited two new members of the careers and employability staff to work specifically with international students – an internships co-ordinator and a specialist international careers adviser – and we felt that was a useful thing to let the QS people know,” said Mr Boyd.
“The five-star rating recognises that employability continues to feature highly on the University’s agenda and maintaining this rating going forward will provide a constant reminder and a welcome challenge,” he added. “We will remain committed to supporting our students throughout their university journey and to make sure that they are as job-ready as possible.”
The QS Stars system is widely recognised across the world. It takes its name from parent organisation, Quacquarelli Symonds, established as a leading global provider of specialist higher education and careers information.