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The future of bioscience fieldwork in UK higher education

Mauchline, A. L., Peacock, J. and Park, J. R. (2013) The future of bioscience fieldwork in UK higher education. Bioscience Education, 21 (1). pp. 7-19. ISSN 1479-7860

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To link to this item DOI: 10.11120/beej.2013.00014

Abstract/Summary

Fieldwork is an important and often enjoyable part of learning in Bioscience degree courses, however it is unclear how the recent reforms to Higher Education (HE) may impact the future funding of outdoor learning. This paper reports on the findings from a recent survey of 30 HE Bioscience practitioners from across the UK. Their current level of fieldwork provision and factors affecting this provision in the future were explored. The data showed that the level of fieldwork had remained similar over the past five years and this was set to remain so over the next academic year and also into the next five years (when it may even increase). Funding of fieldwork was under review in most institutions due to the increase in student tuition fees and it was found that in some cases the cost of compulsory fieldwork will be subsumed within the overall course fee. Many influencing factors were discussed, but the most frequently raised topics were that of the development of employability skills during fieldwork and its importance in attracting and retaining students. Both topics are high on the agenda of HE institutions going forward into the new funding model, suggesting that fieldwork will remain a central part of the Bioscience curriculum.

Item Type:Article
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:Faculty of Life Sciences > School of Agriculture, Policy and Development > Biodiversity, Crops and Agroecosystems Division > Centre for Agri-environmental Research (CAER)
ID Code:33578
Publisher:UK Centre for Bioscience, Higher Education Academy

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