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Published: May 2008
Authors: Ian Taylor and Adam Mannis

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This is the second report in the series, published by the UK Centre for Materials Education (UKCME), looking at the outcomes of its Supported Change Programme.

In 2005, the Higher Education Academy emphasised the importance of pedagogical research (PedR) based in Subject Centres, by establishing PedR as one of its five primary areas of focus. In response, the UK Centre for Materials Education (UKCME) has established an annual, in-depth research programme; undertaking projects on behalf of the Materials community. The aim is to augment nationally determined issues and policy with a subject dimension. The third UKCME research project, PedR 3, has focused on employer engagement. More specifically, it considers the work of Bradford College in relation to its Foundation Degree in Metallurgy and Materials. It is this research which is featured here in the report.

This is not the first contact the Subject Centre has made with Bradford College. Since 2001, UKCME, eager to expand its profile into the FE sector, has been in active partnership with the Metallurgy and Materials Section to evolve practice through a series of Teaching Development Grants (TDGs) and a Supported Change Programme (SCP). Much of the work made possible by this UKCME support has formed the building blocks for the practices developed to promote employer engagement - a strategic focus of HEFCE - which are featured in this report.

The professional body – the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining (IoM3) – has also played an important part; acting as a forum in which issues and practices relating to employer engagement can be discussed, and validating the Foundation Degree on which the PedR3 research is based. However, it is the Metallurgy and Materials Section itself, and the employers who have engaged with it, who are the major players in this research. This report provides a case study of what they have achieved.

  

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