Although my lecturing is only a very small part of the PR degree at Solent University, it’s great to feel part of a course that is such a success. In September the course was, for the fourth year running, ranked at the top of the National Student Survey (NSS) for student satisfaction. To know that graduates look back and feel that the course has really helped them is probably the best mesure of the value of any degree, and to be part of the team that delivers such a well-thought of education is a great feeling.
There is more information about the NSS results in the Solent press release about the PR course’s success.
Additionally the university has partnered with the Public Relations and Communications Association (PRCA), giving students on the Solent PR degree access to this important industry body and all the benefits that it brings. The partnership allows the students and staff to participate in all of the PRCA networking events, learning opportunities and the activities of their regional, national and sectoral groups (I’m hoping we will see some of them at the B2B group that I chair, although our preference for breakfast meetings might make that unlikely!).
Solent’s partnership with the PRCA also exposes students to the issue of standards and professionalism in PR. It must be good for students to understand some of the challenges the industry faces, as well as learning the theory and benefits of PR.
I’ll be interested to see if any of the students make use of the free online learning offered by the PRCA to students at participating universities. It’s probably unlikely that they will want to do extra education while they struggle through the lectures, workshops and assignments for their degree, but I hope that some do take the time and realise how valuable this practical training can be: at Napier we pay a significant amount of money for exactly the same training.
This year I’m planning to expand the practical element of the course to let students get real experience of running a PR campaign. More about this later!