Learning from MODNet
Work Based Learning at Middlesex
• 1996 Middlesex was awarded a Queens
Anniversary Prize for “Excellence and
Innovation” for pioneering work based
• 2003 the UK Quality Assurance Agency
commended Middlesex for innovation
and rigor in the assessment of work
based learning.
• 2005 HEFCE awarded Middlesex a
Centre for Excellence in Teaching and
Learning in WBL.
• 2007 Institute for Work Based Learning
• 2009 HEFCE awarded Middlesex £8m
to establish the Middlesex
Organisational Development Network.
MODNet project objectives
The establishment of a provider network focused on organisational development
The establishment of Business Development and Marketing resource to promote
work based learning
The development of appropriate quality, infrastructure and financial frameworks
to support flexible work based provision
Further development of the University’s work based curriculum
Expansion of student numbers, especially through co-funded arrangements at
UG level
The use of accreditation of in-house training to develop sustainable business
relationships with employers
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The provider network
Strategic partners included Further Education Colleges and Private Training
Key role of accreditation in engaging private providers and their employer clients
Concept of a joint approach across all NQF levels had surface attraction but not
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Further development of WBL
Review of Work Based Learning Framework – focus on pan-University use
Approval of new Titles: Professional Practice in ….
A project driven approach to work based learning programmes
Generic work based learning progression from Fd or equivalent professional
The combination of WBL project modules with subject modules
New work based learning provision examples:
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MBA Shipping and Logistics - Lloyds Maritime
Fd Sports Development - Tottenham Hotspurs Foundation
Business Development and
Team established - between February and September 2009
Joint development events with business development teams in partner
organisations – over 300 new contacts made
Central employer enquiry line established
High profile events - Informatology Conference, Stock Exchange with Consalia,
London Chamber with Boris Johnson, Hendon employer event with Michael
Portillo, Joint Conference with CBI
Formal endorsement of Middlesex WBL approach by the London Chamber of
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The development of systems
and infrastructure
Staffing resources to support project development
Institute for Work Based Learning staff
Work based learning staff within University Schools and central services
Student record system
Developed registration systems that meet the requirements of new approaches to work
based learning - eg employer cohorts
Customer Relationship Management system
Limited impact as did not achieve a whole university approach
Support for work based learning students
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Further development of distance learning technologies
Identification and dissemination of best practice with Schools and strategic partners
Working with Employers
• Impact of the recession on employers and on
the University
• Small awards eg University Cert, Dip,
Advanced Dip, PGCert more attractive than
full Hons or Masters degrees
• Co-funding not an attractive proposition
• Use of accreditation key to partnership
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Halifax Community Bank:
Journey in Practice
• Developing Professional Branch Management
• Accreditation of in-company training plus work
based project for University Advanced Diploma or
Postgraduate Certificate
• Sales up 9.8%, Customer Impact scores up 40%
• WBL project linked to faster improvement
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Halifax Community Bank:
Journey in Practice
• “JIP is the Jewel in the Crown for the Lloyds Bank
Group in Professionalising the retail banking
workforce” Peter Hallard, Group Learning Director
• “To gain a qualification from a University while
carrying out my day job is a fantastic opportunity”
Ian Grady, Branch Manager
• “Furthermore I have a business plan which really
fits my branch” Sandra Dixon, Branch Manager
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The Work Based Learning
• values the learning already held by the individual and their
• enables the individual to plan their own programme,
• is flexible in delivery eg distance/ or in-company learning
• is flexible to meet individual/organisational needs,
• leads to internationally recognized higher education
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Work Based Learning
• focuses on the development, conduct and learning from work
based projects,
• aims to develop the individual as a more effective work
based learner,
• aims to contribute to the organisation through the creation of
new knowledge and the application of learning to achieve
organisational objectives.
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WBL suggests new kinds of
HE/Employer partnerships
• Beyond Joint design of programmes
• Combine individual learning and
organisational development
• Create strategic partnerships for knowledge
recognition, creation and use
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Linking WBL to the knowledge
requirements of employers
Focus on organisational objectives to ensure that
knowledge has a performative edge and is thus of value to
the organisation.
Develop strategies for working with tacit knowledge eg
focus reflexive practice to enhance individual knowledge
recognition, creation, dissemination and use.
Fully exploit the structural capital of partner organisations in
fostering knowledge recognition, dissemination, creation
and use and seek to enhance the structural capital of
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Follow up reading
• Garnett J (2012), Authentic work integrated learning, in Hunt L, &
Chalmers D (eds), University teaching in focus: A learning-centred
approach, ACER Press: Melbourne.
• Costley C and Critten P (2012) The Business Value of Structured
Workplace Learning, Glocal Focus Special Supplement 6(1) 13-16
• Garnett J, Costley C and Workman B (eds) (2009) Work Based Learning:
Journeys to the core of Higher Education, London: Middlesex University
• Higher Education Academy (2008) Work-based learning Workforce
development: connections, frameworks and processes, York: HEA
• Contact: [email protected]
• Contact: [email protected]
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