Role and value of placements
4.1 Cardiff University has put the enhancement and expansion of work placement opportunities at the heart of its strategic vision. Its aspiration is “an inspiring and enriching educational experience” for all students, founded on collaboration with “world leading people and organisations” (Cardiff University Strategy). In support of this, the Education Strategy makes a commitment to the provision of placement learning, and preparing students to become graduates who can contribute positively and effectively in the workplace (Education Strategy)
4.2 This commitment is based on the understanding that the provision of placement learning within programmes of study can bring significant benefits to students, placement providers, academic Schools and future employers.
I have come away from my placement more focused on my final year as I am in the habit of working 40 hours/week, am better at balancing projects and feel much more comfortable with my computer skills. It is unequivocally the best decision I have made so far in my university career.
Placement Student, School of Mathematics/Admiral Group PLC
Spending my Erasmus year in the small Bavarian city of Passau was by far one of the best experiences of my life. Experiencing first-hand student life, academically and socially, in a different country can be an enlightening experience. Meeting other Erasmus students from all over the world and sharing this experience with them just adds value and depth to what could possibly be a year you will never forget.
Placement Student, School of European Languages,
Translation and Politics
For students, placement learning brings the opportunity to:
- Experience learning in different settings.
- Explore a possible career avenue.
- Develop employability skills.
- Experience a unique and personalised degree programme that you can evidence for future employment and study.
- Potentially secure a job offer for post-graduation.
- Some placements will pay a salary.
There is also research that demonstrates that students who have undertaken a significant period of placement learning demonstrate improved academic performance when they return to university, as manifested in the achievement of a higher degree classification. (See: Attainment in Higher Education: Erasmus and Placement Students. HEFCE. 2009; Mandilaras, A. “Industrial Placement and Degree Performance: Evidence from a British Higher Education Institution”. International Review of Economics Education. 3, 1, 2004.)
Placement students were more likely to be employed six months after graduating and to have higher salaries than the average.
Attainment in Higher Education: Erasmus and Placement Students
For Schools, embedding placement learning into programmes provides:
- A means to assemble attractive and dynamic programmes of study.
- An opportunity to nurture closer relationships with industry and partner institutions.
- An energised, skilled and high-attaining population of students returning from placement.
- Measurable success in transitioning students into employment.
Very little of his work at Redrow has been theoretical – he has genuinely contributed to the success of the business over the last year.
Employer Report on placement year student
School of City and Regional Planning
For placement providers, there are good reasons for offering placements to Cardiff students:
- High calibre students can make a genuine contribution and bring fresh perspectives into the organisation.
- They provide opportunities to gain access to the best students and can function as an effective, long term evaluation for potential future employees.
- They can form the basis of long term engagement with the University which can deliver further benefits.
- Placement students are a skilled resource at low cost. (see: Industrial Placements Guide. Higher Education Academy, 2005.)
As set out in the terms of Cardiff University’s Student Charter, placement providers can expect students to work with professionalism, commitment and full engagement in their placement learning.