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Connections help graduates get jobs

01 May 2007

Connections help graduates get jobs The Guardian's university league table came out this week - and Manchester University topped the table in the field of civil engineering.

The high employment success rate enjoyed by the department's graduates seems directly related to the close links the university has forged with the engineering industry.

Dr Adrian Bell, department admissions tutor, emphasised that students enjoy dealing with "real world" problems.

He told the Guardian: "We have a range of student projects linked to industry where students benefit from the input of both an academic adviser and an industry adviser. Last year, for instance, students were given the design brief for the professional competition to design the new Haley Base in Antarctica.

"They were asked to set themselves up as a company and bid for the work with competitive designs. Then they had to go to Cambridge and present their case in front of the professional engineers who judged the real competition".

This seems to be exactly the sort of approach potential employers are looking for. There are thousands of vacancies to be filled, but recruiters have complained recently about the lack of applicants with business skills and hands-on industry experience.

Many of the final-year Civil Engineering students at Manchester have already secured jobs.

Perhaps more universities need to take Manchester's approach if they hope to equip their students for the world of work.

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