How Manchester Met is empowering students through co-curricular experiential learning

Aug 30, 2023 | Attraction & marketing, Case studies, Home Featured

The Rise Experience at Manchester Met connects employers with students through co-curricular experiential learning, explains Adam Hugill, careers and employability manager.

In a rapidly changing world, where traditional educational approaches are being redefined, institutions like Manchester Metropolitan University (Manchester Met) have embraced innovative ways to prepare students for future challenges.

At the forefront of this educational revolution is Rise at Manchester Met, which was explored at this year’s ISE Student Recruitment Conference.

This innovation provides students with co-curricular experiential learning opportunities that enhance their academic journey and equip them with the skills and readiness needed for employment in dynamic industries.

Rise at Manchester Met

Open to all students, Rise is Manchester Met’s forward-looking response to the evolving landscape of education and employment.

It goes beyond conventional classroom learning, recognising that a holistic education involves more than just textbook knowledge. Rise offers an array of activities that facilitate co-curricular experiential learning, fostering collaboration between employer partners, university faculties, and students.

This collaborative approach ensures that students are exposed to a diverse range of learning opportunities that align with their passions and career aspirations.

Empowering skill development

At the heart of the Rise experience lies a commitment to nurturing skills that go beyond academic excellence. Reflective practice, including goal setting and future planning, is emphasised, enabling students to chart their personal and professional growth.

Rise provides a safe space for experimentation, where students can embrace new learning experiences detached from their curriculum and learn from failures.

The initiative not only focuses on hard skills but also cultivates soft transferable skills, recognising their value and worth in today’s multifaceted job market.

Gamification of education

One of the unique aspects of Rise is the gamification of education through ‘Rise Points’. This system acknowledges and rewards students for their active participation and engagement in co-curricular activities.

This not only motivates students to explore diverse learning opportunities but also quantifies their experiential learning journey, adding another dimension to their academic profile by also enabling students to claim academic credit for these experiences.

This has also ensured that Rise over-represented students from demographics that are often disadvantaged and under-represented in extra-curricular activity.

Elevating employment readiness

The importance of preparing students for employment cannot be overstated. Rise excels in this regard by introducing various strategies to enhance students’ employability.

Rise Badges, a form of micro-accreditation, enable us to progress students on learning pathways to showcase their specific skills to potential employers. These badges are more than just symbols; they represent tangible proof of a student’s commitment to continuous learning and skill development.

Furthermore, Rise’s commitment to recognising and acknowledging students’ accomplishments through transcript recognition reinforces the value of experiential learning.

This recognition serves as a testament to the breadth of experiences students gain through the initiative, allowing them to explore non-linear career paths and alternative learning pathways.

Employer collaboration

Rise extends its impact beyond the university campus by actively partnering with organisations. Through a variety of events, short courses, workshops, online training, self-study packs, and research opportunities. Rise provides students with exposure to real-world challenges and scenarios.

The initiative facilitates work experiences and internships, allowing students to apply their acquired knowledge in practical settings, further bridging the gap between academia and industry.

With over 21,000 students completing more than 500,000 hours of activity over the last year these collaborations not only broaden students’ horizons but also offer employers the chance to engage with the university’s talent pool at an early stage.

By participating in Rise (contact, organisations can contribute to the development of a workforce that aligns with their needs and values, ensuring a seamless transition from academia to the professional world.

Unlocking the future

Collaboration with Rise presents an intriguing proposition for employers seeking to cultivate a future-ready workforce. Employers can harness the potential of a wider talent pool equipped with knowledge but also fortified with the practical skills to succeed in graduate roles.

Support by dedicated experiential learning tutors, Rise intertwines with students’ journeys, with some employers expanding their engagement to create co-designed pre-graduate programmes.

Through co-curricular experiential learning, Rise is empowering students with skills, knowledge, and experiences that extend far beyond the boundaries of traditional classroom education.

You may also be interested in…

How ‘peers in careers’ is being adopted by UK universities

University of East London is driving ‘Diversity of Thought’ with employer partnerships

How City embedded employability education and professional experience into courses

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