Introduction/Aims The project, which is managed by Linking London and supported by eleven of its partners, aims to develop a flexible credit-based curriculum in the area of management courses, to support the progression of students from level 3 programmes in business or vocational courses at a range of further education colleges in London, to Level 4 courses in management and related disciplines in universities in the capital.
Barrier(s) The lack of flexibilities in relation to many academic programmes, including those in management, mean that many potential learners are often deterred from undertaking programmes of study. Students and, indeed staff, are often unaware of what options and opportunities are available to them in the area of management, particularly in relation to part time study and potential accreditation of prior learning / other management qualifications, as publicity is often focussed more at full time applicants.
What we intend to do/Proposition The project will utilise a common approach to credit accumulation and transfer to open up more flexible learning opportunities and also seek to strengthen the recognition of APEL (the Accreditation of Prior Experiential Learning) and accreditation of professional qualifications, wherever possible. Articulation Agreements between sending and receiving institutions, which specify the courses available for progression at higher levels to Level 3 learners, will be developed together with Information, Advice and Guidance materials which specify the management offer available to students. The project will pilot ways of offering flexible progression routes from level 3 to 4 and onwards. We plan to open up options for learners by illustrating how FECs, Professional Bodies and HEIs can work together to provide a flexible ladder of educational opportunity.
Rationale/Policy Context In London with the need for 40% of the workforce to be qualified to level 4 and above by 2020, the issue of freeing up progression pathways and opportunities has now become urgent. In the geographic area of central, east, and north London the need to improve progression rates and gain higher level skills is acute.
There is also, currently in the UK, a shortfall in the supply of qualified business managers, with just one in five being qualified in management. The project hopes to help remedy this in London by making clear to potential learners what opportunities exist for learning and accreditation on management programmes at HE level.
Evaluation The project will be evaluated by an external evaluator (to be appointed through a tendering process) and will engage in ongoing peer evaluation through the University of Greenwich. The pilot is concerned to ensure that learners’ progress is expedited through the creation of the enhanced curriculum framework and it is considered important that appropriate follow up of learners is carried out by partners.
Transferability/Scale-ability If the project is successful, there would appear scope to replicate the methodology to other sending / receiving courses in management in partner institutions across the Linking London network. The process could also transfer to other curriculum areas, such as STEM or Sustainable Development.