Located in West Yorkshire, England, the University of Huddersfield is a research active institution which offers disciplines from arts and humanities to highly technical and scientific subjects. With 94% of its teaching staff holding teaching qualifications and 76% of its academic staff holding doctorates, the University prides itself on adding value to the teaching-learning experience.
Being committed to inspiring global professionals, as the University’s tagline states, the University’s course teams wanted to understand the labour market context that their students would go into after graduation. It became vital to access labour market data that would enable teaching staff to understand the labour market, support course development and enhancement, and feed these insights into the classroom.
For this, the university needed a robust and reliable source of labour market data that had a high degree of granularity, and that could be used across the whole institution in a highly consistent and controlled way.
Partnering with Lightcast
In 2021, the University of Huddersfield began partnering with Lightcast to empower all teaching staff with access to labour market data. According to Dave Stanbury, Deputy Head of Careers, the job postings, profile data and structural data tools are all hugely important.
They enable course leaders to really analyse skills demand and compare this with the skills they are teaching, which has been particularly helpful for more technical courses. The Marketing department also makes use of these tools to better position the University of Huddersfield in the market.
Commenting on the partnership with Lightcast, Professor Tim Thornton, Deputy Vice-Chancellor at the University of Huddersfield said:
“At the University of Huddersfield, we subscribe to Lightcast data as part of a strong partnership with the organisation which is helping us to innovate in the use of the most powerful labour market data.”
How Lightcast data inspired a cultural shift across the University
With Lightcast data being embedded in course approval and development processes, the benefits of accessing and understanding labour market data are becoming apparent. Lightcast data is both informing curriculum design and leading to increasing demand from academics for a more in-depth understanding of graduate outcomes and from students to see what occupations are open to them with their degrees. Together, this is strengthening the collaboration between academics and careers staff, resulting in new initiatives and course curricula better attuned to the fast-changing needs of the economy.
In Dave Stanbury’s words:
“Lightcast has been like a stone we’ve thrown into the pond, sending ripples across the entire institution. We can see the wave washing in a really positive and transformative way. The labour market data is widely understood and valued across the University, and it’s sparking innovation, which is very exciting to see.”