As an employer, we need savvy graduates with skills that will allow us to keep our competitive edge. By collaborating with Middlesex University, we are seeing first-hand the leading-edge facilities where students are actively developing digital skills and fostering innovation. A fourth industrial revolution is emerging that will see a shift in the way technology is used in the workplace and Middlesex University graduates are prepared for it.
Babak Jahanbani, Didactic Manager, Festo Didactic
How students are benefiting from our focus on practice-based learning
Getting high-quality on-the-job experience is essential for all of our students. But it’s especially critical for our future nurses and midwives where rapid changes and policy overhauls are a reality.
Practice-based learning enables our students to enhance their knowledge and skills but also adapt to an ever-changing environment.
That’s where STEP (strengthening team-based education in practice) comes in. This collaborative project sees us place practice learning at the forefront of our approach to teaching. Funded by Health Education England, STEP is being led by a team in our School of Health and Education who are working with several other London universities, the London Association of Mental Health and practice partners. STEP is focused on establishing student placement opportunities in primary care, GP surgeries and prisons. It will collate both staff and student feedback to further enhance practice learning.
So far, the response to placements through STEP has been overwhelmingly positive.
“During my nursing placement based at a prison I was always accompanied and the staff were fantastically supportive and keen to teach. Despite being an intense experience, having engaged staff who wanted to educate me made a big difference,” says one nursing student.
Further reading on the collaboration with students and academic/practice partners can be viewed in ‘Facilitating Learning in Practice: a research based approach to challenges and solutions’
Artist Maya Amrami believes our focus on practice-based learning has helped her to articulate her style. Now she’s planning to stay on.
“Since starting my Masters I’ve matured and accepted my self-expression, and myself really,” says Maya, who is studying printmaking. “I’m now able to look at my work and process it as a whole. To make sense of it and myself as an artist.”
Maya came to study here after several years in the fashion industry. She was an art director and print designer for label Pocket London and before that worked in the costume department of the Royal Opera House and Royal Ballet. She felt doing a Masters would add some academic context to her work.
Maya notes the academics as a particular inspiration. “While we work they really look, listen and engage with each of us, according to our direction and style,” she says.
"The best thing about being a student here is having the opportunity to create while being mentored by some really great practitioners."
Having access to other departments within the Faculty has also helped broaden her practice, knowledge and skills, as have the course’s research modules.
“To me research goes hand in hand with practical work. I couldn’t do without it as it helps refine my visual approach. The University’s ethos to teaching has certainly changed how I see higher education, so much so that I would like to continue to a PhD.”
We are home to the UK’s first Cyber Factory training facility, which trains students to design, develop and maintain the smart factories and smart cities of the future.
Installed by Festo, a leading international supplier of automation technology, the factory teaches disciplines that don’t yet exist in the workplace, but will be sought after in the near future.