PREP Scheme
Bucks New University is developing a number of higher and degree apprenticeship programmes designed to appeal to a wider range of potential students. We understand the challenges faced by apprentices on similar programmes but these will be significantly different to full time undergraduate courses.

Universities will have a key role in supporting these new students and working with them to develop the skills they require to engage fully with their apprenticeships and in the workplace.

For more information, contact Julie Irwin - Assistant Director– Learning & Teaching

What does the PREP scheme entail?

Bucks New University is developing a set of pre-apprenticeship engagement resources and activities (PREP) to provide apprentice students with opportunities to conduct self-review of existing professional and academic knowledge and skills.

The scheme will explore work and university based sources of development and learning and plan for personal development. Based within the institutional VLE, PREP will combine self review activities which will form the basis for subsequent portfolio development; direct students to selfstudy resources relating to academic skills development and sources of support within the institution; and encourage apprentices to engage with other students on the scheme.

What support do you get from the University?

Development of the PREP package involves collaboration between academic developers, learning technologists and academic and administrative staff from the university and its partner institutions.

What are the motivations behind the scheme?

PREP aims to provide apprentices with opportunities to engage with their apprenticeships immediately upon enrolment, beginning the process of self-review in order to establish the extent of their knowledge and plan for future learning related to the apprenticeship. Key to this is the beginning of their development as effective work-based learners, building upon existing knowledge to set clear goals in relation to their academic and professional development.

Based upon our experience and understanding of the individual needs of students from diverse backgrounds, we recognise the challenges that apprentice students are likely to face as they engage with their courses, managing the demands of study, work and other commitments and developing their identities as students and professionals.

Key benefits to the student

PREP will provide student apprentices with opportunities to engage with the university prior to attending formal university-based sessions.

It will help students development a sense of belonging and identity as work-based higher education professionals. Structured self assessment and goal setting activities will help with fostering effective work based learning strategies and have a positive impact upon the students’ transition into higher education.

Key benefits to the University

PREP aims to establish Bucks New University as a sector specialist in the support and development of work-based learners on higher and degree apprenticeships.

Key benefits to the sector

Developing work based learning apprenticeship programmes is a challenge for higher education institutions more used to working with students studying in traditional full time education.

Building upon existing expertise by closely working with industry and by piloting, evaluating and disseminating strategies for engaging apprentice students, Bucks New University will contribute to sector wide understanding of how best to meet the needs of such students and the growing body of evidence based practice in this field.

If you would like more information on the PREP Scheme, contact Julie Irwin, Assistant Director, Learning and Teaching.

Email Julie