WE INVITE YOU TO TAKE THIS SURVEY
UVAC has been instrumental in supporting the HE sector to successfully engage with higher and degree apprenticeships. Unsurprisingly the majority of the workshops, webinars, direct support and advice has focused on the start-up, development issues and regulatory compliance i.e.– assisting HEI’s to get on RoATP, providing guidance on ESFA funding rules, contracting templates, commitment statements, eligibility checks, ILR system, ESFA audits and most recently OfSTED. UVAC is committed to providing this support through its webinar programme, advice and guidance, visits and roundtable/briefing events.
Other than events provided by UVAC and some HEA workshops, the majority of the other assistance/CPD/external support available to HEIs has been adapted/derived by FE/Independent Training Provider facing support organisations (AELP, AoC, SDN, FEA and others) and has proven helpful in enabling many HEIs to up-skill and equip themselves quickly. Similarly, for those HEI’s delivering level 4 and 5 Standards and subject to OfSTED inspection, learning from experienced FE colleagues provides an effective way of gaining access to experienced insight and guidance.
There are though other facets of degree apprenticeships – apprenticeship pedagogy, delivering and assessing work-based learning, 20% off the job at level 6/7, alignment of degree apprenticeship with relevant sector professional, statutory and regulatory bodies and more that require an understanding of HE rather than FE. A key issue for HEIs is the Academic Professional Apprenticeship that the majority of HEIs across England may be delivering as part of their levy investment strategy. Support, guidance and knowledge sharing for this apprenticeship will not come from the established FE based/FE focused membership organisations and commercial training organisations. There are other operational aspects with specific HE perspectives; working with employers and trailblazer groups on the development of degree apprenticeship standards, determining the cost of delivery to inform funding band allocation which require a thorough understanding of HE teaching, learning and delivery patterns. In these areas HEIs are best placed to support other HEIs.
UVAC is the only organisation in the apprenticeship / degree apprenticeship landscape that is HE specific and dedicated to supporting HEIs engaging with apprenticeships. With the support of HEFCE/OfS through the Degree Apprenticeship Development Fund, UVAC was previously able to directly provide staff to support member HEIs. Currently UVAC has to carefully manage the resource to meet ongoing key policy challenges and lobbying activities.
The challenge facing UVAC is that with an active membership of nearly 100 HEIs who have growing and developing support requirements, a changed approach is required for the future.
Additionally, as the scale of degree apprenticeship activity is growing, within HEIs and nationally, it is clear that colleagues in HEIs are becoming more specialised in their area of work and remit and informal networks are developing, linking staff in different HEI’s with similar roles and areas of responsibility.
- This creates both a challenge:
- UVAC’s growing membership means s more members with growing teams, requiring more support about an increasing set of issues,
2. But also an opportunity:
- there is a growing knowledge base within the UVAC membership with significant expertise and experience of apprenticeships at HE level
Consequently, UVAC is proposing to establish Degree Apprenticeship Knowledge Networks– (DAKNs) to enable UVAC members to support each other by sharing experience, expertise and best practice through peer-to-peer networks, workshops, briefings and similar activities.
It is planned to launch pilot DAKN’s in the 2019 autumn term and so we have created a short survey to poll members thoughts and areas of interest.
Please follow the link and complete the survey.
Also – feel free to pass the link to colleagues in your team/university as this is not a “one response per member/HEI” survey. We want to collect the thoughts and views of as many colleagues as possible.
We will run the survey over the summer and feedback plans and proposed pilots in September.
Dr John Lanham, former Assistant Vice-Chancellor & Director of Apprenticeships at the University of the West of England
Any queries please contact John via [email protected]