Joined up thinking? A review of the impact of a higher education and industry partnership on undergraduate product design students

2015-11-09T14:57:00Z (GMT) by Karl Hurn
The aim of this paper is to provide educators and potential industrial partners with an insight into student perceptions of working with industry during their programme; and, highlight, through comment from academic staff, the effect on their design outcomes. This paper focuses on a collaborative design activity conducted with second year product design students within a Higher Education Institution (HEI). The study is part of ongoing pedagogic development of a module and programme relating to design practice. The study covers two academic years, where one year the design brief was based on a review of literature and the second where an industrial partner provided the information. Academic staff and industrial partners were interviewed. Students completed a survey regarding their experience and perception of working with the industrial partner within the module. The results indicated that there were significant improvements in student engagement, academic grading and the perceived quality of the final design outcomes. The results also showed that students not only saw industry collaboration as an essential element in their undergraduate learning but also that it was a key factor when deciding which programme they chose to study.