Towards enhancing student journey: The impact of work placement on student achievement

Obi Ede, Gill Cashell

    Research output: Published contribution to conferencePaper


    Universities have made considerable investment (time, financial and otherwise) towards improving the quality of teaching and learning. This is geared towards improving the student experience and overall possibilities of graduates being employed. One of the means through which universities improve graduate employability is through work placements. This is believed to have been influenced by two policy reviews of the provision of higher education in the United Kingdom. These reviews are the Dearing review of Higher Education (1997) and the UK Government’s Department for Education and Skills White Paper on Higher Education (2003). Both policy reviews stress the need for industry involvement in the education of undergraduates. Despite the above, students appear to be focused on the short-term goal of obtaining a degree as quickly as possible. The major aim of this study is to investigate whether students who complete work placement as part of their degree course achieve a higher classification of degree than those who do not go for placement. The study will also assess whether returning from work placement reduces non-attendance rate.
    The secondary data is based on academic performance of the business students from the School of Business, Law and Communications (SBLC) that graduated in 2017 and 2018. Data collected includes students’ grades throughout their programme in Solent University. The primary data involves the use of questionnaires administered to current final year students as a means to understanding the differences, if any, on factors influencing lecture nonattendance between placement and non-placement students. This study will employ different analytical techniques in order to arrive at the findings and conclusions made. Using a paired sample test, the preliminary findings from the secondary data have shown a high statistically significant difference in grades of work placement students. It also shows that 69 percent of those that went on work placement achieved a first class degree, while 37 percent of non-placement students achieved the same degree classification. This provides the basis for further analysis to be performed.
    Original languageEnglish
    Publication statusUnpublished - Jun 2019
    EventSolent Learning and Teaching Community Conference 2019 - Solent University, Southampton, United Kingdom
    Duration: 21 Jun 201921 Jun 2019


    ConferenceSolent Learning and Teaching Community Conference 2019
    Abbreviated titleSLTTC 2019
    Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
    Internet address


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