Roehampton part of a QAA funded cross university student employability project

The University of Roehampton is part of a small group of London based universities who have been awarded funding for a project to support students from underrepresented backgrounds to make the most of virtual employment events.

Working with London Metropolitan, Kingston, University of West London, Westminster and Hertfordshire the project will develop tools to support and prepare students from underrepresented groups to engage fully with graduate employers. The toolkit will enhance their student learning for the purpose of career decision making and creating opportunity, developing confident students who have reflected on their strengths and understand how to articulate these at online careers employer events. 

The project builds on an existing collaboration between project partners, resulting in an Inclusive Futures Virtual Careers Fair which typically attracts over 70 employers, keen to recruit students from diverse backgrounds. Experience from the Inclusive Futures Virtual Careers Fair reinforces that often students from underrepresented groups lack confidence and knowledge of how to leverage and maximise connections in these online employer events. Feedback shows that employers can struggle with knowing how to effectively connect with students from different demographic groups. 

This toolkit will enable successful participation in online employability events: 

  • for self-awareness of one’s own strengths and motivation  
  • guidance on how to ask the “right” questions when speaking with employers online 
  • understand how to present themselves in a professional manner online
  • input on how to make good use of the camera and chat facilities 

The project was selected as one of 17 projects being funding by the QAA Collaborative Enhancement Projects in 2022. Resources and learning will be shared with wider QAA, AGCAS and GTI membership to support students from underrepresented backgrounds to derive maximum benefit from online careers fairs/events, empowering them to be proud of their lived experiences and what they have to offer an employer. The work will benefit employers, helping them to see the value of employing students from diverse backgrounds and developing appropriate recruitment strategies.