The HEAR has the potential to bring a wide range of benefits to students, employers and higher education institutions. The HEAR can also be seen as a symbolic and practical expression of the UK’s student-centred and quality-focussed higher education culture. It is anticipated that the HEAR will become a key feature in differentiating and distinguishing the UK higher education system.
Benefits for students
The HEAR is made available at the time of graduation, at which point its main purpose is to capture the totality of a student’s performance and to enable a student to represent a wide range of their achievements to employers and postgraduate tutors, thereby enhancing their employability.
The HEAR can also function as a formative tool, which may be available and used from a student’s entry to higher education and throughout their higher education experience. It may be used:
· as a basis for reviewing progress and planning future activities, whether individually or with support from a tutor;
· to support student engagement in opportunities beyond the curriculum;
· as an aide memoire for students in making applications which may be needed before the final award is made, e.g. for sandwich placements and internships; permanent employment; further study or training opportunities;
· by employers and tutors to verify statements made by the student (subject to the appropriate permissions).
The HEAR has the potential to fulfil students’ increased expectations for readily accessible public information. It incorporates detail on degree content and module marks, including assessments, such as timed examinations, presentations and group work. The provision of this richer record of student activity ‘adds value’ to the student experience through its potential to encourage students to make the best use of their time at university.
Benefits for institutions
Over time the HEAR could help to reduce administrative tasks, produce efficiency and cost savings and improve student record systems. The HEAR also has the potential to make a contribution to issues relating to quality and standards in higher education by, for example, providing more detailed and transparent information on the assessment process, as well as reporting on students’ achievements outside the formal curriculum.
Westminster Briefing have published an article by Dr Erica Morris (Academic Lead, Higher Education Academy), 'The Higher Education Achievement Report: Distinguishing student experiences', which provides an overview of the HEAR, outlining how it can benefit both students and employers.
Benefits for employers and others
The HEAR provides a clear and standardised template that focuses on a student’s breadth of achievement, represented through a rich picture of their overall higher education experience. This could be particularly beneficial for employers as, in its electronic form, the HEAR will be available throughout a student’s career in higher education, and could be used as an aid to selection in graduate recruitment.
Targeted briefings have been written for the following stakeholders, outlining the potential of the HEAR in each context: large volume recruiters; small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs); third sector employers; professional, statutory and regulatory bodies (PSRBs) and university postgraduate admissions tutors.
Wider stakeholder engagement with the HEAR - This short report distils the main findings of a small-scale research project that looked at the ways in which a range of types of key stakeholders might use the new Higher Education Achievement Report (HEAR) in their organisations and circumstances.
The Employers' Introduction to the Higher Education Achievement Report explains the benefits of the HEAR to employers. There is also an Employers' Quick Guide to the HEAR and a diagram that illustrates how the HEAR can be built up and used throughout a student's higher education experience.
Employers’ Detailed Guide to the Higher Education Achievement Report: prepared by Universities UK and GuildHE, this guide gives an overview of what the HEAR is from an employer's perspective and provides an explanation of each of the sections that make up a student's HEAR.
The Association for Graduate Recruiters (AGR) has produced a toolkit - HEAR the whole story - which is designed to provide employers with a better understanding of the potential of the HEAR to change the face of graduate recruitment.