Student work placements as a focus for building partnerships between universities and sustainable development stakeholders

Davidson, Gill, Glaves, Peter, Kotter, Richard and Wilkinson, Justine (2016) Student work placements as a focus for building partnerships between universities and sustainable development stakeholders. In: Engaging Stakeholders in Education for Sustainable Development at University Level. World Sustainability Series (1). Springer International, London, pp. 93-108. ISBN 978-3-319-26732-6

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The Department of Geography at Northumbria University has run a successful (and expanding) work placement module for a number of years now, which seeks to work with external partners and stakeholders to enhance employability of prospective graduates, and to contribute to the capacity of the partner organisations in terms of selected mini-projects. These are flexible in set up and execution, but with a required report output for the placement host, as well as a reflective portfolio for assessment of the students. A significant strand has been on sustainability projects, including green travel surveys, biodiversity mapping, marketing, and feasibility project research, working for instance with business parks, social enterprises and logistics companies. This paper reviews the key methods of engagement with these partner organisations, and the way that students are selected, placed, coached and assessed. It identifies some of the challenges and risks involved in the process, and critically explores how even small exploratory and applied projects can make a difference regarding engagement by a university department with external stakeholders at city/regional (and beyond) and societal level, and effectively foster understanding through a reflective process of student learning and assessment of the nature of environmental, social and economic challenges in promoting more sustainable practices in cities and societies.

Item Type: Book Section
Uncontrolled Keywords: Higher education, employability, sustainable development, work placements, partnership, reflective learning
Subjects: L700 Human and Social Geography
Department: Faculties > Engineering and Environment > Geography and Environmental Sciences
Depositing User: Richard Kotter
Date Deposited: 18 Jan 2016 09:46
Last Modified: 12 Oct 2019 22:29

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