Don't let the recession grind you down — students shout about their employability

12 Jun 2009 11:30:00.000

Students at The University of Nottingham celebrated employability yesterday at the first Nottingham Advantage Award event.


The Nottingham Advantage Award is a scheme run by the University to enhance students’ skills while they take their degree. As well as studying the usual academic subjects, students can take extra-curricular modules which build skills and experience in areas such as PR, finance and career planning through activities with the University’s Centre for Career Development, Widening Participation and the Students’ Union.


Activities are flexible and devised around a student’s needs — participants could find themselves helping at a student open day, helping a teacher in a local school or investigating a financial career in London.

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This year has seen students taking the PR project management module — making themselves visible on campus. They chose to promote healthy eating to the student community, manning a stall in the Portland Building on University Park and handing out free fruit and veg — they even dressed up as fruit and veg to get the message out to their target audience. 


Yesterday’s event celebrated the first year of the scheme, in which 176 students registered to take part. Students were presented with certificates marking the completion of their first modules. Each module is worth ten credits, with 30 credits needed to complete the scheme. Students take a maximum of two modules a year to ensure that the scheme doesn’t affect their studies.


The scheme uses the concept of reflective learning — the idea that people learn more effectively if they’re given the opportunity to reflect on the activities they’ve done, evaluate the outcome and consider other options they could have taken. This strengthens critical thinking and self evaluation skills, as well as developing a better sense of focus — all of which are valued by employers and could help in landing a graduate job.


Dr Paul Greatrix, Registrar at The University of Nottingham, said: “At Nottingham, we understand that students acquire skills and additional learning from extra-curricular activities. The Nottingham Advantage Award recognises these and offers students a way of showing employers how the transferable skills they have developed make them even more employable.”


Professor David Riley, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Student Experience at the University, said: “The University of Nottingham offers a huge range of quality extra-curricular activities that help make our students some of the most employable in the UK. The Nottingham Advantage Award is designed to recognise their successes outside their academic studies, offering a tangible benefit to add to a CV.”


For more information on the Nottingham Advantage Awards visit


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Notes to editors: The University of Nottingham is ranked in the UK's Top 10 and the World's Top 100 universities by the Shanghai Jiao Tong (SJTU) and Times Higher (THE) World University Rankings.


More than 90 per cent of research at The University of Nottingham is of international quality, according to RAE 2008, with almost 60 per cent of all research defined as ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’. Research Fortnight analysis of RAE 2008 ranks the University 7th in the UK by research power. In 27 subject areas, the University features in the UK Top Ten, with 14 of those in the Top Five.


The University provides innovative and top quality teaching, undertakes world-changing research, and attracts talented staff and students from 150 nations. Described by The Times as Britain's "only truly global university", it has invested continuously in award-winning campuses in the United Kingdom, China and Malaysia. Twice since 2003 its research and teaching academics have won Nobel Prizes. The University has won the Queen's Award for Enterprise in both 2006 (International Trade) and 2007 (Innovation — School of Pharmacy), and was named ‘Entrepreneurial University of the Year’ at the Times Higher Education Awards 2008.


Nottingham was designated as a Science City in 2005 in recognition of its rich scientific heritage, industrial base and role as a leading research centre. Nottingham has since embarked on a wide range of business, property, knowledge transfer and educational initiatives ( in order to build on its growing reputation as an international centre of scientific excellence. The University of Nottingham is a partner in Nottingham: the Science City.

Story credits

More information is available from Hayley Williams on +44 (0)115 951 3281, 
Tara De Cozar

Tara De Cozar - Internal Communications Manager

Email: Phone: +44 (0)115 846 8560 Location: University Park

Additional resources

Nottingham Advantage Award

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