Information about The University of Reading – for CVs and Covering

Information about The University of Reading – for CVs and Covering
The following document is intended to provide students, particularly those applying for jobs overseas,
with some text to describe the University to potential employers who might not have heard of The
University of Reading.
University of Reading – a world-class university
The University of Reading was established in 1892 and is ranked in the top 1% of universities in the
world. It conducts world-class research in a wide range of disciplines and in the most recent
assessment nearly 90% of its research output was deemed of international standing. It was the first
university to achieve the Queen’s Award for Export Achievement and has won the Queen’s
Anniversary Prize for Higher Education three times. In 2005, the University was also awarded major
funding for a Centre of Excellence in Teaching and Learning to develop innovative practice in career
management learning and has become a recognised leader in the field.
The University’s Henley Business School has the additional accolade of being named a ‘Business
Superbrand’ for quality, reliability and distinction. The School was nominated by business
professionals and placed ahead of other leading UK institutions such as Said Business School,
University of Oxford, Cambridge Judge Business School and Ashridge Business School. A total of 13
UK business schools feature in the survey which is topped by iconic brands such as Rolls Royce,
Google, Apple, British Airways, Microsoft and Shell.
The University is home to nearly 17,000 students and it receives over six applications for every place.
Its global reach is such that it attracts students from 125 different nationalities, with over a third
coming from outside the UK. Its UK location is in the Thames Valley, known as the ‘Silicon Valley
of Europe’, and the University enjoys close contact with a wide range of employers from multinationals to micro-businesses for both research collaboration and graduate recruitment. Its global
reach is further evidenced by the number of partnerships with leading universities around the world
and the development of a new campus in Malaysia.
Graduate employability
The University is strongly committed to providing the skills training, support, opportunities and
experiences that will enable its students and graduates to pursue their career goals. It provides a rich
menu of opportunities to develop well-rounded individuals who can make an effective contribution to
their community and workplace. Employers can expect University of Reading graduates to have
benefited from many of the following development activities:
Transferable skills are embedded into all programmes of study and the Skills Opportunities at
Reading (SOAR) web-based portal enables students to
identify and develop additional and less discipline-specific skills that will help them develop
as individuals and increase their attractiveness to employers.
All undergraduate programmes offer students the opportunity to gain the relevant work
experience which is so often cited by graduate employers as the ‘must have’ in their
recruitment decisions. While placement has long been a feature of many courses at the
University, the extension to all disciplines is very welcome and over 1,000 students took up
placement opportunities in the first year. Placements vary in length from two weeks to one
year depending on the course of study and students are awarded credits towards their degree.
The Institution Wide Language Programme enables students
to learn a new language or to improve their existing language skills and intercultural
competence, thus enabling them to operate effectively in today’s global economy.
The University’s Centre for Entrepreneurship
provides opportunities for students of all disciplines to take enterprise, social enterprise or
entrepreneurship modules and to develop a range of skills appropriate for working in and with
business. Over 700 students are involved every year.
A wide range of extra-curricular activities are available to students at all stages in their
University career. This includes opportunities to mentor or provide peer support, to tutor in
local schools, act as University ambassadors or course representatives and volunteer for
student clubs and societies as well as organisations off campus. The Reading University
Student Union (RUSU) supports many of
these activities and provides associated training in skills such as communication and
The Reading Experience and Development (RED) Award rewards students for undertaking extra-curricular activities and helps them get the
most out of their experiences in relation to their professional and personal development. Over
1,000 students a year register for the RED Award.
Career learning is embedded in all undergraduate programmes to enable students to reflect on
the skills they have gained and to make and implement appropriate career decisions. Reading
was the first university in the UK to make such provision available to all students.
The Reading Researcher Development Programme (RRDP) enables
postgraduate research students to gain the additional skills that will enable them to carry out
your research professionally and effectively and to be successful in their ensuing career.
Reputation with employers
The University is in the top 30 group of ‘High Fliers’ identified by leading UK recruiters as producing
high-calibre graduates whom they are particularly keen to attract to their graduate schemes. Hence
there are many opportunities for students to meet employers on campus including:
An annual autumn Careers and Placement Fair. The 2012 fair attracted 100 exhibitors
and over 2000 students, making this one of the biggest events in the UK.
Additional targeted careers fairs for subjects such as law, construction management and
A Part-time and Vacation Work Fair, run in early October, enables students to develop
their employability and find paid employment to support their studies.
The ‘Headstart’ programme of careers events and evening employer presentations. These
enable students to develop their skills, find out about career options and particular
employers and prepare for application and interviews.
Employers contribute to the career learning sessions in academic departments and many
courses have employer liaison panels to advise on curriculum content and graduate
Graduate career outcomes
The University maintains an excellent record on graduate employability as measured by the
Destination of Leavers from Higher Education (DLHE) survey. In 2012, 92% of Reading graduates
in the survey described themselves as being in work, voluntary or unpaid work or further study,
placing the University above both the sector average and national benchmarks set for institutions of
the same type. The survey also measures the quality of employment gained by graduates and showed
that nearly 70% of Reading respondents were in graduate level employment or study.