Motivations And Barriers In Undergraduate Students Decisions To Enroll In Placement Courses In The UK

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Maria Elisavet Balta
Jane-Lisa Coughlan
Peter Hobson


Work Placements, Motivations, Work-Based Learning, Student Employability


Due to recent changes in higher education and the increased demand for highly qualified candidates in the labor market, the employability of U.K. graduates has become a key performance indicator for universities. Institutions of higher education attempt to address employability by delivering a skilled workforce that will ensure the U.K.s competitiveness in a global context. Placements are a proven mechanism for developing employability and, as such, this study aims to investigate the reasons behind students decisions to take a placement or non-placement course. Based on a self-administered, online questionnaire completed by 71 placement and 117 non-placement students from three schools, the study explores the reasons why students take or do not take a placement course. Finally, recommendations are made for ways to overcome potential work placement barriers and to promote placements to students, parents, and academic tutors as well as to advertise the benefits of work-based learning for employability.


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