• Experiences of international students studying in a UK university: how do international students studying in the UK’s Higher Education sector build academic resilience?

      Moore, Neil; Ullah, Farid; Brogden-Ward, Anthony J. (University of Chester, 2021-05)
      With the ever-increasing number of international students entering the global market, many of which enrol on post-graduate Higher Education (HE) programmes in the UK, current research offers limited insight into the key role academic resilience plays in enabling international cohorts’ progression and achievement. This study aims to fill the gap by investigating how international students studying in the UK build academic resilience, contributing to the literature and informing governmental policies and university practices. Guided by Bourdieu’s seminal concepts of social capital generation and conversion, this work develops the theories of other researchers in building capital to enhance the academic resilience of students. It achieves this by adopting a qualitative interpretivist paradigm aligned to similar studies, using a longitudinal representative case study in the UK. Over a period of 42-months, 36 respondents formed four non-probability samples. Data was collected using semi-structured interviews, a focus group and questionnaire, the findings of which were analysed using grounded theory methods and supported by computer-aided qualitative analysis software. The results identify six prevalent capitals that students either generate prior to their arrival in the UK or are socially constructed with newly formed peer-groups. Notably, the emergence of neo-familial capital akin to concepts of fictive kinship offers a fresh perspective on the need to formally address the importance academic resilience has on the international student’s learning experience and progression. The findings provide insight into the sources of international students’ academic resilience and how these can change over space and time. This insight offers universities with theoretical and practical guidance on the need to embed proactive student support systems that stimulate academic resilience amongst its international students. It also informs governmental policies on attracting students from overseas as it seeks to enhance the UK’s HE offer to global markets.
    • The experiences of older drivers in adopting new technologies in cars: an exploratory study

      Talbot, Jon; Bellamy, Lawrence; Varshney, Anuraj (University of Chester, 2020-03-28)
      Emerging technologies are at the forefront of semi-automation in cars. These advances in semi-automation have the potential to maintain independent mobility amongst older drivers, prolong safe driving practice and contribute towards reducing the burden of climate change. This practitioner based qualitative study aims to explore diversity of experiences of older drivers in England towards both the adoption of car technologies and its role in supporting effective self-regulation. The research investigator is a practitioner and this study has benefitted empirically through combining the practitioner's experiential learning and academic rigour to generate new knowledge in the field of older drivers' adoption of car technologies. The findings of this study have highlighted that older drivers are supportive of the use of technologies that provide them with feedback on their driving behaviour rather than taking away the control of the car from them. Additionally, the study found that there are several barriers likely to deter older people from using technologies relating to training, user engagement. This practitioner study concludes that concerted effort from all stakeholders would be required to create a favourable environment for older users to ensure maximum diffusion of these new technologies and realise its full benefits. As part of the professional doctorate knowledge gained from this study, is intended to be disseminated within the researcher's practice and other relevant stakeholders.
    • Exploration of the key factors to enable Negotiated Work Based Learning to be accepted within HE - a case based approach

      Weston, Philippa; University of Chester (ASET, 2014-09)
      Using a case based approach, this paper will examine some key factors that appear necessary if negotiated forms of work based learning (NWBL) have any chance of being accepted into the HE provision. The case study examined here is part of a wider doctoral study examining what factors impact on how different universities perceive and locate work based learning (WBL) and particularly NWBL into their HE provision. The case study is based on the University of Chester (Chester) which is generally recognised within the wider academic community in WBL as having created one of the most flexible academic frameworks to support different forms of WBL and NWBL. The study focuses on the experiences, memories and reflections of three key individuals who were involved in the early stages of developing the Work Based and Integrative Studies (WBIS) framework at Chester which is now used extensively to support all forms of WBL both internally within the university and also in the wider external community (Major, Meakin, & Perrin, 2011). The flexibility and sustainability of Chester’s WBIS framework is evidenced by its ability to facilitate an increasing variety of WBL projects from the more traditional HE WBL offerings such as placements, corporate programmes and contract partnerships to projects that are more challenging for HE such as co-delivery arrangements and formal partnerships (Talbot, Perrin, & Meakin, 2014). Drawing on the work of Major, Perrin, Talbot, Wall and Meakin who are all practitioners and researchers of NWBL and WBL at Chester, together with prominent researchers within the wider field of NWBL such as Portwood, Costley and Gibbs, the paper identifies some key factors, such as the need for a champion, the influence of the university’s culture, the relevance of the word ‘integrative’ and the importance of timing. In addition it will highlight that for such initiatives to be effective and sustainable, WBL and in particular NWBL must be underpinned through strong organisational and governance capabilities to ensure the resultant programmes meet the criteria from a quality assurance perspective. The paper concludes by drawing together and evaluating whether the factors which appear key in enabling the WBIS framework at Chester could be embraced by other Universities in their pursuit of WBL initiatives (Talbot et al., 2014).
    • Exploring International Student Satisfaction in Private Higher Education Institutes in London

      Wall, Tony; Mehashwari, Vish; Qureshi, Fayyaz H. (University of Chester, 2020-07-29)
      In March 2019 the government of the United Kingdom developed a new strategy to strengthen Britain's leading role in the global higher education market, by aiming to increase the number of international students studying in the country by more than 30 per cent – which in turn would help to boost the income of educational exports to £35 billion (UK Government, 2019). The purpose of this study is to explore an understanding of international student satisfaction in institutions of private higher education in London, adding to the paucity of literature centred on international student satisfaction in private higher education in the UK in general and particularly in London. The private higher education sector in the United Kingdom is expanding rapidly, especially in London. An indicator of this is the number of private higher education institutions with degree awarding powers, which increased from only one private university to ten within less than a decade. Student satisfaction is a complex phenomenon and arguably related to or even extended from the concept of customer satisfaction, a relatively well-known concept in marketing literature. In higher education, only a few studies, mostly based on quantitative methods, are available within the subject area of student satisfaction. Furthermore, this existing body of work is limited to the public higher education sector. This is equally true for international students studying in private higher education institutions (PrHEIs) in London. This signifies the need to investigate thoroughly the perception and experience of international students studying at PrHEIs in London. The outcome of such a study should contribute to improving the quality of educational provisions not only in PrHEIs but also in public higher education institutions (PuHEIs). For this particular study, qualitative research was employed, by conducting twelve indepth interviews with international students to capture their experiences whilst measuring their levels of satisfaction, leading to the production of rich data. From this data, three themes emerged along with several subthemes; (1) Flexibility in policies - tuition fee policy, admission policy, multiple intakes and speedy admission processes, (2) Student friendly management- fast communication, a simple structure, quick decision making and easy access to senior management and (3) Feel being customers - customised service while the other significant existing themes such as course and institution selection, pre-arrival and arrival experience, learning & teaching , resources and overall satisfaction were matched to the expectations of the international students and findings in the literature. Recommendations were made particularly around emerging themes and subthemes in order to improve satisfaction by giving more value to student opinions and being more responsive to their needs and demands. This study further concludes that this can only be achieved if higher education (HE) considers students as customers. A need for further research was identified, to study more closely the relationship between new themes and subthemes and student satisfaction.
    • Exploring SMEs attitudes to Net Zero & social media: Action Case research as a force for good

      Fenton, Alex; Marianne (Maz), Hardey; Wasim, Ahmed; Koral, Chris; University of Chester; University of Durham; University of Stirling
      We recently presented a full paper at the British Academy of Management 2022 entitled: Exploring SMEs attitudes to Net Zero & social media: Action Case research as a force for good. Action case is a method designed to bridge the gap between understanding and change. We created a research team of academics and practitioners in conjunction with the Cheshire and Warrington Business Growth Programme to explore this important topic. We aimed to address a research gap in SME understanding and attitudes to Net Zero and their communications. Our Action Case approach included a small-scale qualitative survey of SMEs and social network analysis of Twitter. We discovered a lack of clarity regarding the help available to SMEs and Net Zero. While the survey revealed some support for Net Zero from SMEs, it was unclear how this support corresponded with their social media strategy. The SNA revealed a dearth of SMEs in online discussions around Net Zero on Twitter. Government agencies and other organisations were dominant in these internet discussions. We also found SMEs opposed to government environmental programmes like clean air levies, which some saw as harmful to their operations. The Action Case method was demonstrated to be an effective method for bridging the academic-practice divide, and future research should build on this topic.
    • Exploring the impact of agility and learning in organisations

      Rowe, Lisa; Brook, Cheryl; University of Chester; University of Portsmouth
      Welcome to Volume 14, Issue 2 of the Journal of Work Applied Management, a Special Issue dedicated to examining how work-based learning, action learning and organisational development methods are delivering against the unprecedented and urgent need for organisational agility, flexibility and ambidexterity. The diversity of ways in which these work-applied approaches are effectively curated are increasingly evident across different levels of organisational learning, development, and adaptation in response to the “megatrends” of technological hyper-connectivity, urbanisation, geopolitical tensions and a global climate crisis, amidst a challenging phase of post pandemic economic recovery affecting workforce readiness, supply chains and inflation (Deloitte, 2017; Price Waterhouse Cooper, 2021; 2022).
    • Exploring the Impact of Reflective and Work Applied Approaches

      Wall, Tony; University of Chester (Emerald, 2017-12-04)
      The impact agenda is now a global phenomenon with great expectations for ‘transformational’ impacts in the wider world (Gravem et al 2017). Paradoxically, such demands can hinder discovery through the avoidance unpredictable outcomes (ibid), and problematically, there is an over reliance on very narrow conceptualisations of impact, oftentimes adopting the metrics used by research councils or governments to allocate research monies. Such metrics are fiercely debated, partly because of a disconnect with practice, and their significance in creating and shaping industries whose primary purpose it is to administer and optimise the administration of research assessment activity...
    • Exploring the power of high-level postgraduate international partnership work based learning programmes

      Weston, Philippa; Perrin, David; Meakin, Denise; CWRS, University of Chester (Palgrave Macmillan, 2018-05-25)
      This chapter explores students’ reflections of their experiential learning whilst enrolled on an HE work based learning (WBL) international internship programme jointly developed by the University of Chester and the Mountbatten Institute. The chapter commences with some background to help set in context why these two organisations came together to form this unique inter-organisational partnership involving the partner delivering and assessing, and the HEI accrediting the programme. Then using data gained from student evaluations together with quotes obtained from students’ reflective learning logs, submitted as part of their final project at the end of the taught element of the programme, the chapter explores students’ perceptions of what they perceive they have gained from this experience which they can take forward into their future careers. As such it provides a unique insight into the nature and value of this international learning experience.
    • Facilitating employer engagement through negotiated work based learning: A case study from the University of Chester

      Perrin, David; Weston, Philippa; Thompson, Pauline A.; Brodie, Pandy; University of Chester ; University of Chester ; Department for Work and Pensions ; University of Chester (University of Chester, 2010)
      This report discusses the development of a work based learning framework at the University of Chester and identifies its key features, particulary in relation to employer engagagement.
    • Facilitating faster growth with small enterprise

      Wall, Tony; Grant, Danielle; University of Chester : LeaderShape (2012-02-07)
      This book chapter discusses a case study whereby the University of Chester collaborated with LeaderShape (a group of business leaders who develop their clients' leadership capability) to deliver a PGCert in Coach-Mentoring and Facilitation in Organisations, followed by further accredited short courses.
    • Facilitating Literature Searches for Work based learning Students Using an Action Research Approach.

      Talbot, Jon; Bennett, Lee; University of Chester
      This paper describes an action research project in a university to identify the requirements of Work based learning (WBL) students in respect of literature searches for practice enquiries and outlines measures subsequently taken to improve student support. The study confirms previous research that WBL students need to consult a wide variety of source material and not just academic texts. Students report uncertainty in using non-academic sources and difficulties searching. As a result, academic practices have been adapted to provide more consistent, comprehensive support. These include the production of online resources and modified practices by tutors and librarians. In line with the action research approach practices are monitored on an ongoing basis to ensure their continuing relevance.
    • Facilitating situated learning: A 'mode 2' pedagogical model

      Wall, Tony; Leonard, Dilys T.; University of Chester (2011-09)
      Learning through workplace activity and projects, as part of a university level qualification, is an increasingly common approach for practitioners to study part-time higher education. In facilitating and assessing such ‘learning through work’ approaches, we have identified three recurring practical issues: learners focusing on describing rather than critical reflecting on their work for new insight, learners rejurgitating theory, and/or critically reflecting on practice without reference to academic knowledge. As a result, the work based projects and assessments were considered to hold greater potential for change. A pedagogical model to address this has been developed and refined over a period of two years (emerging from Brodie and Irving, 2007) – drawing on practice and data from one of the largest providers of negotiated, work based university-level learning. Using a cyclic first person action research methodology (Whitehead and McNiff, 2006), the model was used in group workshop contexts and one-to-one facilitation contexts with professionals studying work based learning degrees at undergraduate and postgraduate levels. Three distinctive aspects emerged based on Gibbons et al’s (1994) conception of mode 1 and mode 2 knowledge, where ‘mode 1’ knowledge which is academic/theoretical, sequential knowledge, organised by disciplinary boundaries and where ‘mode 2’ knowledge is situated, messy, problem-based and trans-disciplinary. The model highlights three key areas for professionals to consider: 1. theoretical knowledge (mode 2 academic ideas, principles, theories), 2. critical reflection (questioning for new insight), and 3. the workplace (activity in it, as a location/space focus). We have identified that learners place a high value on the model to structure own thinking and to help them articulate and structure the assessments. For them, it clearly distinguishes three important elements to pay attention to, and for facilitators, it provides an easier and more efficient way to enable learners to engage in this mode of learning and assessment.
    • Football Fandom as a Platform for Digital Health Promotion and Behaviour Change: A Mobile App Case Study

      Fenton, Alex; Anna, Cooper-Ryan; Marianne (Maz), Hardey; Wasim, Ahmed; University of Chester; University of Salford; Durham University; University of Stirling (MDPI, 2022-07-09)
      The last decade has seen a dramatic shift toward the study of fitness surveillance, thanks in part to the emergence of mobile health (mHealth) apps that allow users to track their health through a variety of data-driven insights. This study examines the adoption trends and community mediation of the mobile fitness application ‘FanFit’, a platform aimed at promoting physical activity among sports fans by creating a fitness app branded to their favourite team for health promotion. Objective: Our study looked at the impact of a specially designed mobile app (FanFit) as a digital health intervention for initiating and maintaining physical activity as part of football club membership. Our analysis indicates that app users will adopt healthier behaviours as a result of the app’s sense of fan community and behaviour change. Methods: The findings reported here are based on an implementation of the FanFit app and, in particular, on those who participated in a more in-depth study (n = 30). These participants were Rangers FC supporters with a mix of genders (n = 19 males and n = 11 females). Focus groups and interviews were conducted with participants to ascertain users’ perspectives on the most effective methods for nudging users toward adopting and maintaining a pattern of fitness behaviours. Results: The findings show that the user community was interested in fitness and wanted to live a ‘healthy lifestyle,’ which was augmented and fuelled by the app’s competitive architecture design. Furthermore, the data reveal a new fan-health discourse about a person’s developing wants, talents, and identities as embodied beings. Conclusions: We have developed and presented valid links between the use of sports club apps and health programmes. The app could be useful for sports programmes and club providers looking for mHealth applications that provide community support through fan discourse with opportunities for both male and female fans.
    • Future proofing the degree apprenticeship workforce - an exploratory study of resilience behaviours, resources and risks

      Moore, Neil; Moss, Danny; Rowe, Lisa (University of ChesterUniversity of Chester, 2019-11)
      The Higher Education Institution (HEI) employer interface has attracted much attention recently, particularly over dissatisfaction with graduate work-readiness. Concurrently, pressure upon new graduates is accelerating through the unprecedented pace of global change in technologies, communications and robotics, revolutionising the workplace and requiring new lifelong learning strategies which embed critical transferable skills and resilience to adapt, thrive and perform effectively in an increasingly unpredictable global environment. Degree apprenticeships developed to counter such skills issues have forced HEIs to adapt pedagogic strategies and adopt work-based learning frameworks to ensure curricula meet new political apprenticeship reforms. The extant literature reflects an increasing demand for employee resilience, yet despite widespread acknowledgement that employability is dependent upon a self-driven and evolving conceptual toolkit containing resilience and transferable skills, there remains a dearth of research into the complex, multi-faceted interrelationships between resilience and skills. Central to this research is an examination of the influence of degree apprenticeship programmes upon resilience development within this evolving generation of learners, and the potential limitations caused by wider influences that shape resilience across a range of occupational settings. The theory of resilience is therefore a highly relevant conceptual lens with which to explore the experiences of degree apprentices, their employers and the academic team within a UK Business School. This research is particularly distinctive in its adoption of a qualitative approach to investigate the impact of situational influences upon resilience by incorporating a range of settings and professions. It provides a holistic evaluation involving multiple stakeholder perspectives to produce a contemporary view of funded HE work-based learning programme provision. The use of qualitative methods has added depth to the data, through the provision of rich and thick description to illustrate correlations between the characteristics and behaviours demonstrated by resilient students, highlighting the broader influences of environmental factors upon resilience. As such, this research makes an original contribution to the extant body of knowledge over the conceptualisation of resilience, revealing new insights into the influence of background and upbringing, goal setting and leadership competencies. Previously unexplored contextual tensions emerge, revealing challenges to educational providers’ perceptions of innovative pedagogies and exposing weaknesses in current practice. Together the findings and recommendations offer the opportunity to develop effective pedagogic practice, transferable to any work-based programme across a range of disciplines, further increasing the significance of this study.
    • Global Perspectives on Profound Pedagogies

      Wall, Tony; University of Chester (Emerald, 2015-09-01)
      Welcome to the global perspectives on profound pedagogies special issue of Higher Education, Skills and Work Based Learning (HESWBL). This special issue aspires to contribute to work-based learning (WBL) scholarship and highlights two dimensions important in contemporary educational settings: global perspectives and profound pedagogy. The first of these is increasingly important in the context of the relentless internationalisation and globalisation of education. According to the latest OECD reports, the number of students “enrolled outside their country of citizenship” doubled to 4.5 million between 2000 and 2012, “despite” the global recession (OECD, 2014, p. 343), and predictions indicate that this is set to reach 7.2 million by 2025 (Altbach et al., 2009). This trend is reflected within vocational higher education more specifically, especially Luxembourg (49 per cent of vocational higher education students), New Zealand (21 per cent), Australia and Denmark (both 11 per cent) (OECD, 2014, p. 354). Globally, the OECD inform us that 29 per cent of the 450 educational policy reforms examined by the OECD between 2008 and 2014 target vocationally oriented/work-based education as well as internationalisation (OECD, 2015).
    • Global Perspectives on Work-Based Learning Initiatives

      Talbot, Jon; University of Chester (IGI Global, 2018-06-15)
      The book is the first to appraise developments in Work based learning from a global perspective. 'Work based learning' (WBL) in the context of a formal programme of study in higher education is defined as all forms of learning relevant to the workplace to include closely related terms such as Work Integrated Learning, Work Applied Learning and Work Related Learning. Three types of WBL can be described: learning for students currently outside the workplace seeking to enter it gaining experience in the form of a work placement; learning for students who are part located in the workplace and part in an educational institution typically in the form of an apprenticeship and learning for students fully engaged in the workplace studying part time. All three forms of WBL are increasingly common around the world in response to the perceived deficiencies of the traditional curriculum as part of a desire on the part of students, employers and policy makers to create learning more relevant to the labour market and workplace. The book reviews all types on WBL practice in ten countries- Australia, New Zealand, Nigeria, Japan, South Africa, Eire, the Netherlands, USA, Germany and the UK.
    • Guest editorial

      Scott, Deborah; Nottingham, Paula; Wall, Tony; University of Chester, Middlesex University, University of Chester
      Guest editorial for Special Issue: Creativity in Work-Applied Management. The editorial contextualises and introduces each of the articles published in the special issue. It considers the contribution creativity may make in work-applied management in the global situation at the time of publication, when extensive changes to working practices were being experienced due to strategies to control the pandemic caused by the virus COVID-19.
    • Higher Degree Apprenticeships as Drivers for Social Change and Opportunity

      Rowe, Lisa; University of Chester
      This case study examines the impact that Higher Degree Apprenticeships have as drivers for social change and opportunity. It underpins a Chapter which explores the journey of Higher and Degree Apprenticeships.
    • Higher Education Academy impact study report - University of Chester

      Willis, Karen; University of Chester (2007)
      This study aims to examine aspects of the impact of work based learning on both employees and employers and forms part of a larger scale study undertaken by the HE Academy. Employees who had successfully completed work based learning programmes of study at undergraduate level (excluding Foundation Degrees) were interviewed as, where possible, was their line manager or employer representative. Several issues arose concerning access to employers for interviews, which in some cases extended to difficulties in gaining access to former learners from organisational cohorts. Evidence emerging from the study highlights the effectiveness of higher level negotiated work based learning programmes in developing employees in ways that extend beyond role-specific competence. In particular, benefits in the development of self-awareness; learning to think and question; and improved confidence and work performance were valued by employees and employers alike. Work based learning projects, involving the reflection on practical experience, were thought to have benefited both individuals and organisations. More than half of the employees interviewed have since changed jobs or gained promotion, and the majority are now engaged in further higher level programmes of study. Employer support is seen to be an important factor for most learners, but not for all. The role of the HE tutor, though, is seen by learners as central to their success. Credit accumulation and accreditation of prior learning and experience are significant stages in engaging learners and facilitating their progression. Most learners are highly self-motivating, but cohort learners on programmes designed through employers need to be supported by them in the course of their studies. In-house programmes linked to assessment for HE accreditation need to be well-integrated and learners clearly advised by the employer on the commitment and expectations.
    • HIGHER EDUCATION OUTREACH: EXAMINING KEY CHALLENGES FOR ACADEMICS

      Johnson, Matthew; Danvers, Emily; Hinton-Smith, Tamsin; Atkinson, Kate; Bowden, Gareth; Foster, John; Garner, Kristina; Garrud, Paul; Greaves, Sarah; Harris, Patricia; et al. (Informa UK Limited, 2019-02-04)