Chester’s Centre for Work Related Studies joins policy makers in London

Posted on 7th June 2012

Academics at the University of Chester’s innovative Centre for Work Related Studies ( joined highly influential policy makers centre stage in London to promote flexibility in higher education.

Tony Wall
Tony Wall

The Higher Education, Further Education and Skills Conference, organised by Government Knowledge, was a key forum for discussion around:

  • Current and future Higher Education policy in England
  • The government’s key reforms to Further Education and Skills
  • How a demand-led skills system can promote economic growth
  • Cross sector insight into these important issues.

The conference was a key forum for debating the government’s vision for further education and skills in New Challenges, New Chances (December 2011), which aims to give employers the power to support the design and delivery of new courses, helping create greater confidence in qualifications and equip learners with the skills they need and the Higher Education White Paper released in late June 2011, which aims to put students at the heart of the system by reforming funding, delivering a better student experience and enabling universities to increase social mobility.

Tony Wall, Senior Lecturer and Accreditation Specialist at CWRS, presented Towards Ultimate Flexibility in Professional Development, and shared the highly regarded practices at CWRS. He said: “We can be flexible in lots of different ways to help businesses and individuals grow. Yes, university qualifications can help people get jobs, get better jobs and progress through careers rapidly, and get bigger salaries. It’s also about enabling people to grow personally, enabling them to find a direction that is right for them, and helping them live a more satisfying life and feel that huge sense of achievement at graduation, in our case, at the stunning Chester Cathedral.”

Tony added that there are three practices to ultimate flexibility. He said: “They are - negotiated work based learning – which enable people to learn and grow through their workplace activity. It’s real, it’s relevant, and it’s practical – but deeper and more insightful through work based learning because it is a more thoughtful approach. See here -

“Recognition – this enables people to get recognition for their expertise. Guess what? Higher level learning happens outside university walls. We can recognise it as part of our qualifications. And in assessing it, we find people can make sense of it better, and create even more profound learning. See here -

“Co-delivery with training departments and organisations – enable people to work towards prestigious qualifications through the training they normally do at their work, or at a training organisation. Over time, this builds a solid portfolio of professional learning, but follows the needs of the individual. It also creates benefit for the training department or organisation, in terms of brand value and credibility. See here -”

CWRS is recgonised for its high quality and standards in flexible provision and has a long and successful track record. It was recently commended and showcased by the higher education quality and funding bodies.