In the UK, the Department for Education and Employment has sought to improve the responsiveness of higher education to the needs of the labour market and to foster partnerships between higher education institutions and employers. This paper reports the experiences of the UK Government North West Office funded project that fostered such a partnership approach. A substantive theme of the research addressed the issues associated with graduate recruitment within the SME sector. The process model used to engender the partnerships is outlined, along with the research instrument that elicited perceptions of both the SMEs and the undergraduate students about each other prior to and subsequent to the completion of the project. The study found significant changes in perceptions held by the undergraduates and the host companies at the end of the partnership. An evaluation of the operation of the partnership project is undertaken and recommendations for course developments and other learning methods are discussed.
Brindley, C. and Ritchie, B. (2000), "Undergraduates and small and medium‐sized enterprises: opportunities for a symbiotic partnership?", Education + Training, Vol. 42 No. 9, pp. 509-517. https://doi.org/10.1108/00400910010362932Download as .RIS
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