University celebrates achievements of STAR students

University celebrates achievements of STAR students

Undergraduates, postgraduates, academics and employers celebrated the achievements of students at the 2012 STAR Award Ceremony.

Fifty-eight students who participated in the scheme over the last academic year were presented with STAR certificates by Professor Peter McGeorge, Vice-Principal for Learning & Teaching. 

The STAR (Students Taking Active Roles) Award recognises and rewards students who have undertaken roles outside the classroom to develop and achieve ‘Aberdeen Graduate Attributes’ - a wide-ranging set of qualities designed to help prepare students for future employment or further study, and to enhance  employability. Roles students undertake as part of the Award include involvement in Students’ Association sports clubs and societies, and volunteering activities associated with the University.

Developed by the University’s Careers Service and the Students’ Association, the STAR Award provides employers with proof of a student’s learning and achievements outside the academic curriculum. The University-endorsed certificate acknowledges non-academic achievements and can be taken to an employer as evidence that a prescribed standard has been reached. 

Mark Darley of Enterprise Rent-A-Car, and Emma Carlen, President for Societies and Student Activities at the Students’ Association, also delivered short presentations on the STAR Award.

Mark Darley is an enthusiastic employer supporter of the Award who has been involved throughout with the development stages and who now assesses STAR students on how well they have developed the graduate attributes. Mr Darley said: “In today’s employment market, it is getting more and more difficult for students to stand out from the crowd. This programme however enables students to do just that.  I have witnessed firsthand how STAR supports students to build a strong portfolio of skills, attributes, and reflections and also gives them the ability to sell those skills following graduation. It is these active, engaged students that we are all looking for when recruitinging, which is why we wholeheartedly support STAR.”

Peter Fantom, Head of the University of Aberdeen’s Careers Service said: “I encourage all students to undertake the Award. In today’s competitive world, it is essential that students develop the knowledge, skills and competencies that employers value before they graduate. The STAR Award is one way to help students articulate and evidence their skills and attributes to future employers.”

Emma Carlen, a STAR Award student from last academic year received a gold award for her Society President role. Emma said: “The STAR Award is a great way for students to get recognition for their co-curricular work they do during their time at University. The STAR Award helped me develop in all areas of the Aberdeen Graduate Attributes and helped me to identify areas for personal improvement in my role.”

The STAR Award is open to all current undergraduates and taught postgraduates. There are three levels of award: Bronze, Silver and Gold. Students completing the Award maintain a reflective ePortfolio diary to record and evidence their skills and attributes, attend a number of supporting skills workshops, and undertake a competency-based interview to assess their achievement of selected Aberdeen Graduate Attributes.

Applications for the STAR Award 2012/13 are now being accepted via the online STAR Award registration form available from the Careers Service website: www.abdn.ac.uk/careers/co-curriculum.

Employers interested in delivering, sponsoring or assessing the Award are encouraged to email the Careers Service careers@abdn.ac.uk.