A University of Queensland student employability service has won a prestigious 2016 Australian Financial Review Higher Education Award.
The Faculty of Business, Economics and Law Student Employability Team (BEL SET) won the employability category ahead of finalists from The University of Sydney, Marcus Oldham College and Bond University.
In their report, the judges said employability was an increasingly important issue for universities.
“The University of Queensland is to be commended for its systemic, embedded approach to boosting employability, and the demonstrable results it has produced,” they said.
UQ Provost Professor Aidan Byrne said UQ law students in particular ranked the highest nationally in securing graduate full-time employment.
“I congratulate the BEL SET team for this outstanding result, which should give great confidence to future students considering studying business, economics or law at UQ,” Professor Byrne said.
“The BEL SET program challenges students to develop employability skills from enrolment, throughout their studies and as graduates.
“This strategy was recognised as a flagship program in the UQ student strategy 2016-2020 and was also applauded by the Group of Eight which featured it in their journal 2016.”
Director Rhea Jain said the award was a reflection of the hard work and dedication of her team, who all drew from extensive experience in recruitment consulting and talent acquisition within the industries the students aspired to enter.
“Our programs are run in partnership with employers so our students learn directly from industry experts and gain real-life experiences through industry placements and professional development opportunities,” she said.
“2016 financial year we placed 1800 students with almost 600 employers and supported thousands of students by providing 150 employability workshops or events in partnership with more than 100 employers.
“The program is only 18 months old and this award is further confirmation we are on the right track and will provide momentum for us to continue to develop and refine the program.”
In 2015, the BEL SET team doubled student engagement in its programs.
This coincided with the faculty full-time employment rate for domestic bachelors graduates* rising by five percentage points to 79% (Australian Graduate Survey), reversing a declining trend, compared with a national rate of 69%.