Collaborative partnership between HE and an employer: a case study of workforce development for guide dog mobility instructors.
In, British Educational Research Association Annual Conference 2004, Manchester, UK,
15 - 18 Sep 2004.
The Government is promoting collaborative curriculum innovation as one of the ways in which higher education can widen participation and assist with workforce development. Policies, such as that which set up foundation degrees, and targeted funding have encouraged higher education institutions to work with employers and other educational providers to develop vocational pathways. These programmes need to be flexible and must meet the needs of students engaged in full time or part-time work for learning opportunities in a mode and at a time appropriate to them. This paper presents the findings of a study of an employer-led curriculum development for a workforce that had hitherto been excluded from higher education.
This case study draws on evidence from documentary analysis, participant observation and semi-structured interviews of the major stakeholders over a period of two years. It considers the motivation of the partners for engaging in collaborative work both at institutional and individual level. It provides a unique example of curriculum development for the accreditation of a programmes for Guide Dog Mobility Instructors and the emergence of an innovative programme that contributes to the professionalisation of a group of people who previously were without a bespoke route into high education.
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