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Work and Learning Network: Network News: February 2021

UALL Work and Learning Network: Network News: February 2021

Welcome to the February edition of the newsletter.

February has been a month of taking stock as well as seeing what is in the diary for later in the year. Universities and colleges in the UK are already running to schedule for 2020-2021, although this year with the continuing Covid-19 pandemic, many are still experiencing unforeseen changes such as how best to re-open the physical spaces in which we work. Early planning for 2021-2022 is already underway. In this issue, we note the need to touch base with recent policy and sector changes that are influencing medium to long term strategies. There are also some online conferences to note.

Editorial: Policy and Guidance from the Quality Assurance Agency

Dr Alison Felce has long been associated with the field of work and learning, having previously worked at the University of Wolverhampton as the Head of Work -Based Learning. Alison continues to support the Work & Learning Network as a committee member, and is now the Accreditation, Partnerships and Policy Manager – QAA Global International & Professional Services at The Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education.

The Quality Assurance Agency (QAA) is an independent body that provides the quality code for higher education practice and the Benchmark Quality Statements for individual subject areas in the UK. It is a leading UK government voice for our sector.

Spotlight: Dr Alison Felce, QAA Guidance for the sector

In these unprecedented times, the QAA’s priority has been to support our members to meet the challenges of COVID-19 and help them continue to provide a quality education for their students. We have produced guidance for the wider sector, including a focus on work-based learning and apprenticeships.

Future plans include the updating of guidance such as the Higher Education in Apprenticeships Characteristics Statement and support for members as they navigate the changing quality assurance landscape for apprenticeship provision.

*Note Alison has said that more is coming about the EQA provider work in March.

In the news: National Apprenticeship Week

National Apprenticeship Week recently took place from Monday 8 February to Sunday 14 February 2021, with the theme ‘Build The Future’. There should be individual reviews from the activities this week on individual University websites and twitter feeds.

A central link about the theme can be found here:

Other policy links about apprenticeships include:

The main government website for apprenticeships

The Education & Skills Funding Agency

From the House of Commons Library

From the Institute of Apprenticeships & Technical Education

Also check out the website Amazing Apprenticeships for ideas about supporting apprenticeships and resources

Other policy sources for February

We have collected some helpful resources for checking on the latest policy adjustments and statistics.

Higher Education Policy Institute

Higher Education Statistics

The Society for Education and Training

Upcoming Events/conferences in February (still time to sign up!)

7th International Conference on Professional & Practice-Based Doctorates

The Role of Practice in Doctoral Degrees.

23rd - 26th February 2021. Online Conference #icppd21

Women in HE Conference 2021: Building back better for gender equality in HE

25th February 2021

WHEN: The positioning and making of female professors

29th February 2021

For added interest in keeping up to date in February:

Imperial College London has also helpfully compiled a list of international events which academics can get involved in as an opportunity to globally network with their peers:

New book forthcoming 2021:

The Sage handbook of Learning and Work. Malloch, Marg, Cairns, Len, Evans, Karen and O'Connor, Bridget, eds. Sage, London.

Upcoming Resources

As a follow up on our feature last month on Jan Etienne’s work and new book, Communities of Activism, please do keep an eye out for a recording of the event ‘Decolonising the Academy: Education, Power and Social Change’, which will be hosted at the below address:

Call for papers

We have had a request out for papers for the e-journal which if sent soon could be ready for the next issue in June 2021.

Job Opportunities

Lancaster University

We are seeking a Scheme Director for Postgraduate and Executive Education, specialising in work-based learning (Level 7). This is an exciting opportunity to join a large, dedicated team at a top 10 UK University.

Full-time permanent position.

You will enjoy working with independent learners and organisations leading workforce professional development, including on Senior Leader Higher Apprenticeship.

Please contact to discuss.

We hope you manage to take stock of all changes this February and look forward to new policy announcements and practitioner activity throughout this year.

UALL Work and Learning Network.

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