Business, Management and Leisure

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The Business, Management and Leisure Subject Network includes accounting and finance, business and management, events, administration and IT, adventure and tourism, hospitality management, professional cookery, and sport.

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The work in curriculum development and employer engagement within the subject network can be wide ranging - from conducting industry research projects, to hosting curriculum advisory groups, setting up employer mentoring programmes, exploring industry partnerships, and linking businesses in with relevant teams for internships, placement programmes, or events. This work puts employability at the forefront, aiming to produce work-ready students and graduates who have experienced teaching and learning that meets the needs of employers and the sectors they operate in.

To find out more about working with students and staff in this subject area, please contact alana.macleod@uhi.ac.uk

Alana MacLeod content

Alana MacLeod

Alana MacLeod

Alana works specifically within the Business, Management and Leisure subject network, supporting academic staff at HE level across the university partnership.

Alana's background is in planning/communications, specifically supporting rebranding projects - the most recent following the regionalisation of Scotland's colleges and the merger between Banff & Buchan College and Aberdeen College to become North East Scotland College (NESCol).

Alana was made a permanent staff member at NESCol after the rebranding project - focusing on website and main publication developments, with additional responsibilities to support planning and quality functions at the College, specifically the ES & SFC Action Learning Project pilot and curriculum development planning. She has a joint BA (Hons) International Business with Marketing from the University of Strathclyde, graduating in 2012, and is currently working her way through the MSc Sustainable Rural Development course.

Alana Macpherson

Business Mentoring Programme content

Business Mentoring Programme

Business Mentoring Programme

The university’s Business Mentoring Programme has been designed to provide students with the opportunity to access insights, advice and support, from a professional working in one of a number of key sectors.

Mentors from a wide variety of organisations volunteer each year to work with a student – some from large, multinational organisations and others from small local businesses.

The programme runs over 3 months (February, March, April) with mentoring taking place via e-mail, phone, Skype or in person - an easily accessible yet hugely beneficial learning, development and networking opportunity.

Applications open in November each year, and we always welcome volunteer mentors – please get in touch if you would be interested in working alongside a student to help build their confidence, skills, and future planning in their chosen subject area/your sector.

Find out more on the Business Mentoring Programme webpage

Curriculum Development Examples content

Curriculum Development Examples

Curriculum Development Examples

To support review of existing curriculum, or initial stages of developing new curriculum at HE level, the CDEEO will support employer liaison to gather important feedback and insights. Working with employers in this way helps staff to design well-informed curriculum; employers to help shape their future workforce through involvement in initial planning stages; and most importantly, will help future students to benefit from a course with strong industry backing, which meets sector requirements.

One example of this is in the scoping of new financial services curriculum, for which we required input from industry to better understand current (and future) sector trends, themes, skills, and labour requirements.

There was combined input from 15 different organisations, allowing the academic staff leading on curriculum development to hold structured discussions with employers, and receive first-hand information from industry specialists to support their proposal.

Employers learnt more about the university, through discussion of existing qualifications and opportunities to ask questions, and the forum allowed for reflection on existing modules and identification of opportunities for new modules. Potential accreditation and exemption from professional examinations was also covered as part of this work.

Findings from these discussions are analysed and reported back to staff, and proved very impactful in underpinning the submission of curriculum approval documentation.

A second example of curriculum development work relates to the review of our BA (Hons) Hospitality Management degree. As part of a review, three different industry groups were pulled together covering a wide geographical spread, from Perthshire and the central belt to across the Highlands and Islands.

17 industry representatives took part in discussions, and there have been subsequent discussions with other employres and groups.

Again, input from employers and industry bodies in this way - to inform new curriculum which closely meets the needs of the sector - is invaluable. The information gathered, and opportunities and potential partnerships discussed, provide a strong basis on which to build courses which will be attracative to prospective students, as well as those already working in the sector.

Potential accreditation and exemption from professional examinations was also covered as part of this work.

Employer Insight Videos content

Employer Insight Videos

Employer Insight Videos

In collaboration with the university’s Educational Development Unit (EDU) and local and national employers, the Curriculum Development and Employer Engagement Team worked to develop a suite of Employer Insights videos.

The aim of these videos is to help increase student awareness of different sectors and the opportunities available, whilst building their understanding of what employers look for in terms of skills, CVs, applications, and interviews. They provide students with an idea of sector skills demand, and also include critical areas of focus for the university, such as the Gaelic sector and our graduate attributes.

Alongside the videos, some associated activities have been created – a number of tasks to get students thinking and reflecting on video content, skills, and ambitions!

Organisations featured include Gregor Howitt Wealth Management, Enterprise Rent-a-Car, Gordon & MacPhail, and National Trust for Scotland.

View all videos in the Employer Insights Video Suite

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Employer Testimonials content

Employer Testimonials

Employer Testimonials

Watson Wood Financial Planning

"With the CDEEO role, we have had an ongoing two-way communication between our firm and UHI…we have been able to recruit local talent directly from UHI and believe this is the way forward for our firm and others in industry. I wonder if we would have been involved in advisory discussion forums without this role providing the vital link between the academic staff and employers."

Scottish Institute for Enterprise

"I think the dedicated team can bring a new type of knowledge transfer to the process. I think many employers don’t know the types of skills they are looking for in the new economy so the whole process is much more than just implementing their voice. In many instances they are looking for help in identifying the skills they need and a dedicated team are well placed to do to this – the process is not just integration but one of co-creation between employers, UHI and students. For this process to work effectively there needs to be a dedicated team"

Entrepreneurial Scotland

"Working alongside Alana to support joint partnership between UHI and ES has and is a very positive experience. There are significant opportunities to raise awareness around ES benefits to both the student and other team members at UHI. Alana has been very effective in supporting this overall awareness. With Alana’s support we have the potential to position more effectively going forward the Saltire Programme delivered by ES which will benefit individual students but also raise the overall profile of UHI."

"Alana has been to a number of our entrepreneurial events and really vital that ES is made available to a range of employers and as such she has been very positive in highlighting the opportunities that UHI has to support a more joined up approach to entrepreneurship in the Highlands and Islands."

Staff Testimonials content

Staff Testimonials

Staff Testimonials

Accounting & Finance

"Employer events have resulted in employment and work placement opportunities for a number of students. It was on the department action plan to enhance employer links and this has been achieved. Alana has arranged 2 focus groups to explore a new degree and without these we would not have the market information to lend weight to a new degree. We would not have the employer input or knowledge or contact to progress this proposed degree.

I would not have been able to organise career events so there would not have been the opportunities for students and employers to meet. Without the focus groups we would not have the insight from the sector and the opportunity to make contacts working in the sector."

Hospitality Management

"Successful compilation and issue and reporting of Hospitality Industry survey to assist in producing evidence for Degree re-approval. Also assisted in the continuing building of links at local and UHI wide level with industry. Resulting in Hotel Manager forums currently being developed.  Strengthening employer’s links.  Alana has gone above and beyond to assist with these and in doing so has contributed heavily to the re-approval of the programme and the commendations identified."

"Staff time constraints would have limited the effective implementation of any of the above. The support we have received has been invaluable."