Ulster University outlines new era of collaboration with industry

Damien McGivern, director of employability and marketing at Ulster University

AHEAD of the Irish News Workplace & Employment Awards, Ulster University's Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Education, Professor Paul Bartholomew, outlines how a changing economic environment has led to a new era for collaboration between academia and business.


AT Ulster University, we place graduate employability at the heart of everything we do. Over the years, we have fostered extremely valuable relationships with businesses of all sizes, across a wide range of industries, to help develop the next generation of graduate talent.

Now, in the shadow of many years of economic uncertainty and potentially facing volatile markets as the UK navigates its exit from the European Union, the university is at the forefront of creating even stronger, student-employer connections.

We are trailblazing employability initiatives that produce resilient, highly-skilled graduates who stimulate business growth, not only for Northern Ireland but for economies across the globe.

At Ulster University, every full-time undergraduate student has a work-based learning opportunity as an integral part of their degree.

Annually, over 2000 of our students undertake year-long placements in industries spanning everything from manufacturing and IT, to health care and the creative industries."

Locally, students are taking up placements with companies including Citi, EY, Allen & Overy, and PwC, with these leading global companies again and again citing Northern Ireland's highly-skilled workforce as a key attraction to investing in the region.

The university is also working closely with indigenous companies such as Randox, Dale Farm and First Derivatives to provide unrivalled placement opportunities for students.

Ulster University students are also gaining valuable international experience with companies including Liberty IT, Medtronic and Ironshore.

On their return, they bring global awareness and knowledge to leadership positions here in Northern Ireland, helping to enhance outward looking policies and economic growth.

Last year, Ulster University further cemented its commitment to provide more opportunities for students to develop their skills and knowledge on an international stage after partnering with the Irish International Immigrant Center in Boston.

The new student placement initiative provides J1 work visas to third year students seeking quality, relevant, one-year paid internships in the United States.

Ulster University is also proud to be recognised as the number one university in the UK for Santander Internship Programmes. As part of this initiative, the university partners with small and medium sized organisations to offer recent graduates a three-month funded internship.

This is just another example of how the University is supporting students to gain first-hand experience of industry, while giving employers the opportunity to play an active role in shaping the skills of the future workforce.

Over 92 per cent of Ulster University graduates are in work or further study six months after leaving university. This can be attributed to the University's innovative approach to collaborating with industry, which is helping to create graduates with the skills, attributes and confidence to thrive in the workplace.

Ulster University is ranked in the top three per cent of universities worldwide and is one of the top 150 global young universities under 50 years old.


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