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University's approach is a blueprint for others

Published: 26 May 2023 at 13:00

Cover of How to Enable the Employability of University Graduates

Student employability at ARU Peterborough features in international textbook

ARU Peterborough’s distinctive focus on student employability and higher skills is being highlighted in a new international textbook as a potential blueprint for other universities to follow.

The book, How to Enable the Employability of University Graduates, is aimed at policymakers as well as those working in higher education, and is edited by experts from the UK and Australia.

Professor Ross Renton and Fiona McGonigle of ARU Peterborough have written the chapter “Creating a new university to meet the employability challenge”.

The book includes insights from students, universities and employers, and the chapter on ARU Peterborough describes how the city’s university was opened last year to meet the needs of an area with below average rates of progression into higher education.

The chapter explains how over 170 regional employers have helped to shape the curricula at ARU Peterborough, ensuring that the courses being offered will provide a pipeline of graduates with the skills needed to help grow the local economy.

Professor Renton, Principal of ARU Peterborough, said:

“It is an honour for us to contribute to such an important book on this topic. It showcases why experts in this area are taking notice of the innovative work we’re doing here in Peterborough. 

“We’re incredibly proud of ARU Peterborough’s employment-focused approach, which means our students are learning the skills and knowledge needed by companies and organisations in this region. This will benefit both our graduates and our local economy, and we know that universities across the world are watching our progress with great interest.”


Fiona McGonigle, Business Engagement and Innovation Manager at ARU Peterborough, said:

“It has been a privilege to be invited to contribute to this book, allowing us to share our experiences and highlight the value of working ‘hand in glove’ with employers.  

“We have created the university curriculum with industry, supported the students to interact with employers, and we’re seeing both now reap the benefits of the new university. But we’re not standing still. We continue to learn from employers so that we can inform our curriculum design at ARU Peterborough to address future skills gaps.  This is part of our commitment to lifelong learning for students and the future workforce for employers.”

The book, which is published this month, has already received positive acclaim. Denise Jackson, of Edith Cowan University in Australia, said: “The book provides valuable insights into developing student employability, paying due consideration to unlocking the potential of under-represented student groups.”

Daisy Hooper FRSA, of the Chartered Management Institute, described it as: “A thoughtful and challenging compendium of insights into employability – a really important agenda for individuals, employers and policymakers alike. This book highlights research that we can all learn from and build on in pursuit of securing positive graduate outcomes for all.”

ARU Peterborough is a partnership between Anglia Ruskin University, Peterborough City Council and the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority.