UVAC member renewals for 2012/13 have now been issued. Membership fees have again this year be held at at 2010/11 levels, in recognition of the continuing pressures on member budgets.
UVAC’s activities during 2011/12 have focused on the following areas:
Research and Development
The HE and FE Role in Higher Apprenticeship at Levels 4 and 5, Higher Apprenticeship at level 6 and Progression to Professional Roles
UVAC has been at the forefront of supporting HE and FE involvement in the development and delivery of Higher Apprenticeship and progression from Apprenticeship at level 3 to HE programmes. Working with our members, we have focused on demonstrating how HE qualifications can be used to develop, recognise and accredit the knowledge and competence requirements of Higher Apprenticeship frameworks. We have worked with our members to address issues surrounding funding arrangements for Higher Apprenticeships and HE qualifications, marketing and promotion and how Higher Apprenticeships could be developed at level 6 and above, again using HE qualifications to recognise and accredit knowledge and competence. We are also exploring how Higher Apprenticeship can lead into management and professional roles. As such, UVAC’s work is providing a blueprint for the use of HE qualifications in Higher Apprenticeship and to support learners to progress from Apprenticeship to and through HE to professional roles. On the basis of our exemplar approaches, we worked with the LLN National Forum to develop a toolkit outlining how Foundation degrees can be used to deliver Higher Apprenticeship on a subject by subject basis.
During 2011/12 UVAC has organised a range of events aimed at helping our members understand and maximise opportunities from developments in higher level vocational education.
UVAC Annual Conference – The 2011 UVAC Annual Conference was attended by over 100 delegates drawn from across the sector. Key themes were International Approaches to the Development and Delivery of Higher Level Skills, Innovation in Delivery Approaches, CETLs their Impact and Potential Legacy for the Delivery of Higher Level Skills and The Skills Commission Report on Technicians and Progression – the impact upon policy, implementation and in the context of the HE White Paper. The conference also included examples of innovative design and delivery of higher level work-based learning.
UVAC member events
During 2011/12, UVAC held events for members on Higher Apprenticeship – The HE and FE Role, University Technical Colleges (two events have been held, in partnership with the Baker Dearing Trust) and Recruiting International Students to UK Vocational HE programmes.
The UVAC journal ‘Higher Education, Skills and Work-Based Learning’
During 2011/12 the UVAC journal has built upon the solid foundations laid since its launch in 2010/11. The journal, published in partnership with Emerald Publishing, is an integral part of UVAC’s membership subscription and key contacts in each member organisation receive hard copies of the journal upon publication. As part of this membership benefit, online access to the journal and the related Emerald website are also available to all staff within member organisations, via a link within the UVAC website members’ area. The UVAC journal has a growing international reputation and represents an excellent vehicle to share and publish peer reviewed academic articles on higher education, skills and work-based learning. In 2012 UVAC won the Emerald Literati Publishing Partnership Award. The fifth edition of the journal has recently been published and the next will be a special edition on Higher Apprenticeship, featuring papers and case studies from organisations involved in the Higher Apprenticeship Fund projects. UVAC members have also enjoyed a six month period of free access to the Emerald journal, Education and Training as an additional member benefit.
UVAC continues to work closely with the Mixed Economy Group of FE Colleges, a valued relationship which helps inform and develop approaches to the role of HE and FE partnerships. Our work on Higher Apprenticeship in particular has promoted and supported the development of HE/FE partnership.
Activity in 2012/13
2012/13 promises to be an equally busy and challenging year for UVAC and its members as the impact of the changes to the funding and fees regime and the reduction in budgets continues to be felt. We will continue to promote the importance of the role of HE and HE in FE in higher level skills development, work-based and vocational learning, and widening access and promoting social mobility through the development of pathways for work-based and vocational learners at level 3 to HE programmes. We will work with our partners to deliver Higher Apprenticeship and promote the use of Foundation degrees as both the knowledge and competency components of Higher Apprenticeship. We will also be developing approaches to Higher Apprenticeship at level 6, leading to professional status and exploring how Honours degrees and other HE qualifications can be used to recognise and accredit the knowledge and competency requirements of Higher Apprenticeship frameworks. We also plan to explore supporting potential opportunities for UVAC member institutions to recruit international students onto UK HE vocational programmes.
UVAC’s 2012 Annual Conference, seen as the leading national conference for those interested in higher level vocational and work-based learning at all higher education levels, will be held on 1st – 2nd November in York. This year’s conference will focus on ‘Work-Based Learning and Higher Education – Maximising Business and Individual Benefits and Institutional Income during a Period of Change’. Preferential conference rates are provided for UVAC members, with substantial savings over non member prices. The conference booking form is available via our website.
During the autumn we will be conducting a member survey to help inform our strategic planning for 2013-15. Please take part in this survey to help us ensure that UVAC continues to meet the needs of its membership.