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Higher Education Achievement Reports explained

Going to uni is more than just getting a decent degree classification at the other end. New Higher Education Achievement Reports are designed to reflect just that.

Having already been trialled in 30 universities, this academic year 90 unis and higher education colleges across the UK will provide the records to their graduating students  with others expected to introduce it in the near future. 

What is a Higher Education Achievement Report?

The Higher Education Achievement Report, or HEAR, is effectively a ‘graduate report’ given in addition to your degree certificate. It's designed to give employers a fuller picture of the skills, achievements and experiences you’ve picked up while studying your degree. It's up to individual universities as to whether it offers HEARs or not.

Universities have recognised for some time that a single degree classification cannot do justice to the range of skills, knowledge and experience students gain during their time in higher education. The HEAR is designed to encourage a more sophisticated approach to recording students' achievements in the 21st century. It will benefit students, employers and higher education institutions themselves. Professor Sir Robert Burgess | Vice-chancellor - University Of Leicester

What will a HEAR include?

The report offers a detailed breakdown of your academic and extra-curricular achievements, including individual exam results and transferable skills.
 
Academics:
  • Modules studied
  • Knowledge and understanding gained from study
  • Grades for each unit
  • How the course was assessed.
Extra-curricular:
  • Student union positions
  • Work experience
  • Volunteering.

Top tips for an impressive HEAR

  • Get involved with extra-curricular activities going on at your uni. Whether you’re into snowboarding or want to try your hand at radio, there’s usually something for all interests.
  • Head to your students' union to see what societies, events or official positions you fancy getting involved with.
  • Do some work experience. Your careers department is a good place to start looking for local employers who take on interns, but if not, get in touch with any companies that interest you – you never know what it could lead to!
  • Boost your graduate prospects by learning to market yourself. Make sure you’re aware of the skills you’ve acquired while at uni and be prepared to sell these to an employer, with specific examples.
  • And don't forget your studies. Start as you mean to go on from the first year onwards.

What does it mean for you?

Think of the HEAR as an opportunity to showcase your strengths, experiences and achievements to future employers, as you can potentially use the document (which will be available electronically) as part of job applications or during an interview.

The extra detail will help to paint a picture of you as a student and future employee - individual exam results might highlight a particular strength, such as great presentation or practical skills, for instance. The inclusion of extra-curricular activities  your time as president of the debating society or your teamwork skills picked up as member of the hockey team  can give employers a good indication of your potential and what you’re like as an individual.

Because your time throughout university will be charted, it'll mean slacking off in the first year and then cramming later is even less advisable  as is not bothering with anything outside your studies at all.
 

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