On 26th of May Westminster International University in Tashkent organized the annual Teaching and Learning Symposium (TLS), which brings together academic staff members outside the University. This year's TLS gathered the record number of colleagues not only from WIUT but also from the University of Westminster in London: Richard Paterson, Richard West, Prof Terry Lamb, Monica Deshpande and Dr. Manjeet Ridon. The program included oral presentation sessions, presentations of guest speakers from the UoW and group activities.
Presentations were focused on student employability, improving students' employability skills and sharing best practices connected with teaching and learning. Richard Paterson, UoW lecturer, mentioned in his presentation that "Employability is the most important factor when evaluating job applicants" and also that it very necessary to enhance employability skills such as: presentation skills, time-management, numerical skills, research skills, punctuality, working to deadlines etc. Academic staff members have also conducted a research on the employability skills in the case of WIUT. A multi-perspective survey was carried among WIUT students/graduates, academics and Employers in Uzbekistan. The research results presented existing gaps on perceptions of employability skills, tried to predict the reasons and propose some recommendations to align employers’ and students’ expectations.
Another participant, who presented "Authentic assignment in a work-based learning", Timur Perkov shared his reasons to conduct a research on this topic: "While passing through WIUT and UoW as a student I barely had an opportunity to receive feedback from professionals while been reviewing company’s operations as a part of my research/assignment. Hence, the only motivator for demonstrating my whole potential was the mark for the assignment. As the result, during post-graduation period, I have faced the resistance of potential employers to hire graduates without practical experience. Once appointed as HRM module leader in 2015, I decided to implement a new practical assignment aimed to be both practically and academically beneficial for students".
Participants agreed, that this event is a great opportunity for them to learn from colleagues and to exchange innovative ideas in teaching. At the end of Symposium the best presenters were awarded.