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Tom Norton

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on April 28, 2010 at 1:04:47 pm


Beyond the Curriculum: Opportunities to enhance employability and future life choices 

Tom Norton 

Director, Internal Policy Development, 1994 Group


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The 1994 Group of research-intensive universities have for many years been working with students’ unions to offer activities outside the curriculum in order to give their students the opportunity to broaden their university experience and enhance their employability. There has also been a strong commitment through the development of awards to formally recognise students’ engagement in, and their learning from, such activities.  Recognised co-curricular activity, run in parallel to degree programmes, is a route through which to meet employers’ demand for skills obtained outside the academic curriculum and develop employability and career prospects of graduates. It is also, crucially, an extremely effective way of enhancing the experience of students whether they are undergraduate or postgraduate, from the UK or another country, or they are studying full-time or part-time. In 2009 a survey was conducted within the 1994 Group of universities to map the nature and extent of such awards. This paper will describe the results of the survey and identify key challenges to delivering and extending such activity.


Key words: co-curricular awards, employability, recognising extra-curricular learning, 1994 Group






Tom is Director of Internal Policy Development, at the 1994 Group of Universities. He joined the 1994 Group in January 2006, and has responsibility for working with member institutions to develop the Group’s positions on key areas of national policy.  He has produced a number of external reports on behalf of the Group, including Beyond the Curriculum: Opportunities to enhance employability and future life choices (Nov 2009), Postgraduate Provision at 1994 Group Universities (Jan 2010), and the Group’s Student Experience Policy Statement (Nov 2007), as well as producing the Group’s submissions to major consultations and reviews.  Tom has an MA in Modern History from the University of Reading and a BA (Hons) in Comparative American Studies from the University of Warwick.   

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