CDA is a self-funded research and think-tank network convened and managed by UVAC.
It is the result of a Middlesex University led consortium of Sheffield Hallam and Staffordshire Universities and the University Vocational Awards Council (UVAC) who were awarded a grant by education charity, The Edge Foundation, to carry out research into the provision of degree apprenticeships. The aim was to:
1. support the sustainability of degree apprenticeships and explore changes needed in the systemic structure of higher education institutions (HEIs)
2. advocate a whole institutional approach to work-integrated and practice-based learning to facilitate a reconstituted notion of higher education
3. help HEIs and employers to develop and deliver degree apprenticeships that enhance productivity and social mobility
Our formal purpose is to investigate and secure the best conditions for sustainability of degree apprenticeships. CDA offers a place for strategic exploration of policy and a look at structural models and curriculum needs to support sustained success. We function to develop and advocate the implementation of significant changes in higher education in response to the challenges of a post-Brexit economy and apprenticeship funding recommendations.
We promote links and collaborative ventures between members, employers, professional bodies and other organisations with an interest in degree apprenticeships.
‘Our Edge Foundation-funded research shows a high level of consensus among employers, providers and apprentices about what the objectives of degree apprenticeships should be, with 87% judging that a “very” or “extremely” important aim is increasing social mobility and 83% increasing productivity. While one function of universities traditionally has been to offer people from professional backgrounds access to professional careers – and employers complain graduates don’t have the skills required for the job – degree apprenticeships creatively disrupt this scenario by empowering people from all backgrounds to make the step into professional level roles.’
Professor Darryll Braveboer, Middlesex University
Degree apprenticeships have the potential to transform the status and value of vocational higher education as the flagship for the Government’s apprenticeship policy while delivering the increase in productivity and social mobility that are the objectives of the apprenticeship reforms.
The ‘degree’ in degree apprenticeship is highly valued by employers, prospective apprentices and increasingly parents.
Enabled by integrative models of co-creation that align the learning worlds of work and higher education, the advent of degree apprenticeships has revised our cultural understanding of the role of HEIs, professional bodies, and employers in placing learning at the centre of our working lives.
Degree apprenticeships ‘creatively disrupt’ our understanding of the relationship between higher education and work. New thinking about the roles and responsibilities of HEIs and employers in developing and delivering degree apprenticeships presents an opportunity for sustainable collaboration.
CDA offers to find answers and build links to Events between providers in order to be agents of change.
‘The Police Constable Degree Apprenticeship (PCDA) is a great example of the Apprenticeship Levy being used for precisely what it was designed for and is proving essential in enabling forces to train and deploy the number of officers that are needed. The PCDA, through the use of the Levy, is bringing together police forces and universities to drive innovation and transformation in professional practice to further enhance the UK’s international reputation for the highest standards in policing. The PCDA is also a key part in the force’s strategy to attract officers from diverse groups and crucially to ensure that they have the skills required to meet the highly complex requirements of 21st Century policing.’
Just a week ago we welcomed over 340 to our conference and what an event it was!
Here is @UVAC1CEX, Dr Mandy Crawford-Lee talking on the day about the theme and main topics of the day.
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The UVAC team is incredibly grateful for everyone that attended #UVAC2023. We’re thankful for all of the insightful talks both from exhibitors & speakers as there were some really interesting topics and insights. Let’s carry the momentum forward to shape the future of education.