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Enhancing Employability: Using Work Placements in Higher Education Programmes

Special issue call for papers from Higher Education, Skills and Work-based Learning

Guest Editors
Ruth Brooks, University of Huddersfield, UK
[email protected]  
Judie Kay, RMIT University, Australia
[email protected]


Combining work experience as part of a university education improves a student’s employability when facing a highly competitive job market upon graduation. Work experience completed in conjunction with studying can take a wide variety of forms including twelve month long sandwich courses, internships as well as short placements integrated into the academic year.

Research shows that students with relevant experience are more likely to gain appropriate level employment within six months of graduation. Despite the acknowledged benefits, engaging students to participate in placements can be challenging with recent years seeing a decline in student take up of the opportunity. Practice in offering placements and work based learning varies significantly across the higher education sector with numerous successful initiatives being run by institutions to meet the needs of students and the local business community. 

This special issue seeks to share good practice on student placements in the HE sector and experiences on how institutions have overcome the challenges of engaging students with the placement process.

Themes of Interest

We are interested in original research articles and case studies by academics and practitioners in this area. Themes of special interest to us are:

  • Engaging students with placements, particularly the year-long sandwich courses.
  • Alternative placements – innovative methods of providing placement/work- based experience.
  • Assessing placements and embedding the placement experience within the curriculum.
  • Mechanisms to ensure engagement by employers in placements.
  • Ensuring access and equity in securing placements for all student cohorts: overcoming challenges.
  • The relationship between placements and employability.

Submission Process

In the first instance authors should submit an abstract of not more than 500 words describing the content of the proposed paper and demonstrating how it addresses the themes of the special edition.  Abstracts should be sent to the guest editors of the special issue.
Following an initial review process, selected authors will be invited to submit a full paper via the journal submission system, Scholar One Manuscripts Articles should be between 5,000-7,000 words in length. The special issue will follow the peer review process, formatting guidelines and publishing schedule of Higher Education, Skills & Work-based Learning (Emerald). For more details visit Author Guidelines.

Key dates
Submission of abstract by 17th January 2014
Submission of full paper by 30th  May 2014