Image Credit: Binghamton University

Research released today by the National Centre for Universities and Business (NCUB) shows that 92% of university students want access to work experience, placements, or internships but that only 47% have undertaken them and 25% of students say that there are not enough links between their university and businesses.

The ‘Student Employability Index 2014’ surveyed over 4000 students from 20 UK institutions (200 students from each university) and found significant variance in opportunities for work experience across subject areas. As is to be expected students studying subjects aligned to medicine, vetinary sciences and education are much more likely to undertake work experience than others but there is variation among other subjects too with just 19% of history students taking up a placement compared to 31% of those studying engineering.

There is also variation in whether the university itself helped organise the placement or the student did it alone. 78% of those studying subjects aligned to medicine said their university organised their placement compared to just 18% of law and 19% of architecture students. Overall 57% of students said that they organised their own work experience.

David Docherty, Chief Executive of NCUB, said:

“Students recognise the benefits of closer links between education and business and they want to greater access to opportunities in businesses during their studies.

“Greater collaboration between universities and businesses not only increases graduate employability but also has wider economic benefits that will help the UK to be competitive in a changing global economy.”

Part 1 of our Student Employability Index Report is available for download.


Editors’ notes

About the National Centre for Universities and Business

The National Centre for Universities and Business (NCUB) develops, promotes and supports world-class collaboration between universities and business across the UK. Our aim is to find practical ways of harnessing the talent being developed in our universities, and the UK’s strength in ground-breaking research and development, for the benefit of the nation’s economy.

Drawing on the 25 years’ experience of our predecessor body, the Council for Industry and Higher Education (CIHE), NCUB is committed to a programme of research, policy development and practical partnerships. From facilitating collaborative R&D, to developing the entrepreneurial and employability skills of students at all stages of their education, NCUB is working to support UK business and higher education in a competitive global market.

NCUB’s Leadership Council includes many of the UK’s most successful businesses and universities.

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Twitter – @NCUBtweets

Media enquiries to Will Hoyles on or 07772 512519

The full report is available on request from NCUB.

A second part of this report to be released at a later date will share the findings from NCUB research into student views on the extent to which employability shaped their choice of course and institution, and their views of various sectors for future employment.

The universities who took part in this survey were – University of Bath, University of Birmingham, Bournemouth University, University of Bristol, Brunel University, University of Cambridge, Coventry University, University of Hull, University of Kent, University of Leeds, Leeds Metropolitan University, Liverpool John Moores University, Loughborough University, University of Manchester, Northumbria University, University of Nottingham, University of Southampton, University of Sussex, Teesside University and University College London.

List of our NCUB members

Other NCUB Press Releases