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Strengthening, extending and embedding employer engagement

Lead Institution: University of Bath
Collaborating with: freelance


Employer engagement is a way of increasing student access to employers whilst at university and a way of providing ‘real world’ experiential learning for STEM students. We will work with employers, academic staff and students at the University of Bath to increase the provision of employer engagement.

We aim to increase the number and range of employers offering opportunities for STEM students to undertake placements and employer-defined collaborative projects within their programme of study; we also aim to increase the number and diversity of students taking up these opportunities. A wide range of companies will be targeted from SMEs to large international employers, including STEM and non-STEM companies who would benefit from STEM expertise.

As a 'Legacy' project, the aim is to build upon and extend existing good practice within the University of Bath; to enable widespread institutional change, which can be shared as good practice throughout the SW region. It looks to extend the range of ways in which employer engagement is embedded within the undergraduate curriculum, including the development of an innovative model of employer-led problem-based learning for undergraduate STEM students.

Through interaction and collaboration with national experts, the project will develop institution-wide mechanisms and resources to evaluate placements, to support placement students, and to increase equality of access for students to these experiential learning opportunities. It will improve the learning experience of placement students by enhancing departmental support practices, including developing specific skills training for students applying for placements and innovative online support resources for students while on placement and on their return to University. It will also identify and extend effective practice in supporting STEM students with disabilities. The focus will be on improving access to placement opportunities for STEM students with disabilities, particularly Asperger’s Syndrome (AS) and other neurodiversity, developing ways of supporting them appropriately throughout such placements and enhancing their employability skills.

For any additional information about the project, or to ask a question, please contact the project lead, the University of Bath's Dr Sarah Chatwin, as below:

Contact Dr Sarah Chatwin

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Staff involved

Dr Sarah Chatwin
Project lead, University of Bath

Dr Poppy Turner

Graham Outram
University of Bath

Louise Oliver
University of Bath

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