Re-shaping built environment higher education: the impact of degree apprenticeships in England

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The Richard Review of the United Kingdoms (UK) Apprenticeships in 2012 proposed degree apprenticeships (DA) as a new model for the unification of academic and vocational learning. Apprenticeships have long been acknowledged as a practical vehicle to develop the vocational skills and educational achievements of the UK employee resource. The UK Government set a target of 3 million apprenticeship starts between 2015 and 2020. In order for higher education institutions (HEI) to participate in the new apprenticeship marketplace, they need to consider distinct factors that do not surface in traditional Bachelors programmes. Cognizant of these challenges this paper evaluates the development of the new degree apprenticeship programmes for built environment education through the research lens of HEI. This paper evaluates extant literature and primary data collected from qualitative interviews carried out across the UK HEI sector during 2017. Research findings are presented following analysis using NVivo. Narratives on the barriers, benefits, and opportunities, of degree apprenticeships, including academic quality assurance, governance, and pedagogic dimensions are presented. The findings include industry designed curriculum producing a different graduate output, redefining the purpose of HE, restructuring governance and resource, additional contractual obligations for stakeholders and the embedding of work-based learning strategies.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)102-116
Number of pages15
JournalInternational Journal of Construction Education and Research
Issue number2
Early online date21 Sept 2019
Publication statusPublished - 2 Apr 2020


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