Report urges internships for all British undergraduates

February 28, 2012

According to a government-commissioned review of links between university and business, all British undergraduate students should be offered 10- to 12-week internships to improve their employability, and PhD and postdoctoral research students should be offered work experience placements of 8 to 12 weeks. The report recommends that universities should disclose the job destinations of recent full-time taught postgraduates, broken down by department, "as soon as possible." The review states that the creation of "distinctive" Key Information Sets (KIS) for postgraduates "should be a priority development" for the Higher Education Funding Council for England (Hefce). KIS data for undergraduate students are being introduced in the fall and cover areas such as student satisfaction, employment and salary figures, accommodation costs, and fees. The report also calls for more sandwich courses, stating that the "evidence that a placement year improves employability opportunities is strong." The review recommends a maximum fee of £1,000 for the sandwich year, a suspension on student-loan interest during the period, and that Hefce encourage an increase in the number of sandwich programs "through changes to the student numbers controls that it operates." Times Higher Education