An initiative which rewards students involved in activities to enhance their future employability has been launched by the University of Aberdeen.
The STAR (Students Taking Active Roles) Award recognises those who have undertaken roles outside of their academic studies, in order to develop their transferable skills and competencies.
These skills could be achieved through for example roles within the Aberdeen University Student s’ Association (AUSA), acting as class representative or embarking on voluntary or placement work within the wider Aberdeen community.
Developed by the University’s Career’s Service and AUSA, the STAR Award provides acknowledgement and proof of these non-academic achievements for prospective employers.
It supports the aims of University’s recent curriculum reform which has modernised the structure, content, delivery and flexibility of its degrees to ensure graduates of the institution are equipped for the 21st Century and meet the needs of employers and wider society.
150 students attended the formal launch of the STAR Award scheme for 2010/11 at the MacRobert Building on October 20.
50 students, who participated in the pilot of the scheme last year, were presented with their STAR Awards by Professor Peter McGeorge, University of Aberdeen Vice-Principal of Learning and Teaching at the event.
Beth Duff, Co-founder of SME Gentle Leadership and Megan McHaney, President for Education & Employability, AUSA, also delivered short presentations on the STAR Award for new and returning applicants.
Beth, a local entrepreneur and STAR Award assessor said: “I have no doubt that the students at Aberdeen who choose to take part in the STAR programme are at a significant advantage as they enter the job market."
Peter Fantom, Head of the University of Aberdeen’s Careers Service said: “The STAR Award provides an excellent opportunity for students to make sure their co-curricular achievements are documented and rewarded. It also provides students with proof they have reached a prescribed standard to evidence their skills and competencies to graduate recruiters. I encourage all students to take up and complete the Award.”
The STAR Award is open to University of Aberdeen students of all disciplines and levels of study.
There are three levels of award available - bronze, silver and gold.
Participating students complete an ePortfolio-based reflective diary and attend a competency-based interview to assess their achievement.
Liam Gibbons, STAR Award participant 2009-10 and returning applicant for 2010-11 said: “The STAR Award is a fantastic opportunity. Not only do you learn how to organise your time better, but you also learn about your own skills and abilities, as well as your role. During my year doing the STAR Award, I learned to think about my actions, the results and how to improve on everything I do. Whether it’s Bronze, Silver or Gold, I think the STAR Award is a very helpful programme. I think it’s a project everyone should attempt at some point during their student years.”
Applications for the STAR Award 2010-11 are now being accepted and the registration period will close on Monday November 8.
Further details on the STAR Award and registration forms can be found on the Careers Service website: www.abdn.ac.uk/careers/co-curriculum or by contacting the STAR Award Project Officer, Caroline Singer at: firstname.lastname@example.org .