Work Based Learning Qualifications (WBLQUAL) http://wblqual.com examines how Employers, Learners and Higher Education Institutions can benefit from working together to provide quality and affordable bespoke workplace learning to employees to a curriculum that is negotiated by the learner, the employer and the university (a tri-partite relationship).
This innovative project funded by the EU’s ERASMUS programme with partners from Italy, Poland, Latvia and Denmark was led by Staffordshire University’s Rosie Borup. The project ran from October 2010 to November 2012. In evaluating the project the European Commission commented on the ‘high quality of the research results (which are) easily accessible via the webpage of the project.‘, and that ’The great care with which the project has been implemented is noteworthy.’
It is accepted that there is a cultural gap between the worlds of academia and industry. Universities can see themselves as set apart from the commercial pressures that industry is accustomed to, and they can consider that their interaction is best kept to the theoretical context and research.
However there is much to be gained from a closer collaboration between Universities and Industry, and especially the engagement of Universities in Work Based Learning.
In the main Universities have offered Work Based Learning ‘courses’ which are traditional in terms of content and delivery, with little or no recognition of the tri-partite relationship between learner, employer and Higher Education Institutions. Employers have criticised academia for not adapting to their needs, and being inflexible in their approach.
This project explored the issues which concern academic institutions.
The project web site offers
Information for employers regarding how Work Based Learning can be used as an affordable tool for staff training
- Information for learners highlighting how Work Based Learning can be flexible enough to fit around their day job
- Research for HEIs interested in offering Work Based Learning courses and how they can be implemented
- Video summarising key issues and results
- Country-specific case studies