University of Leicester eBulletin

Secretary of State Visits Innovative University of Leicester Centre

June 2003
No 176

Patricia Hewitt, Secretary of State for Trade & Industry and MP for Leicester West, visited the Centre for Labour Market Studies at the University of Leicester on Friday, June 27 at 3.00pm.

Her visit was to one of the foremost global providers of long distance and e-learning higher degree courses. The Centre currently has over a thousand postgraduate students, located in 12 countries, who are studying for diploma, masters and doctoral degrees.

The Secretary of State is very interested in the Centre's teaching and research programmes, which are of central relevance to government policies for employment, skills and work-based learning.

Centre Director, Dr Johnny Sung, said: "Most of the Centre's students are 'high flyers' in professional and business careers, taking the chance to up-grade their qualifications, experience and knowledge. They are provided with opportunities to make connections with fellow students and academics via interactive web sites run by the Centre. As a result, although they are scattered across the globe and may never meet face-to-face, our students form a virtual community of learners."

In addition to its teaching programme, the Centre also has an international reputation for its high quality research in many aspects of employment, work processes, management, organization, training and learning. This research programme includes projects as diverse as:

         the reasons for the success of hi-tech industries in the Far East

         the fate of industrial homeworkers in Britain

         the changing face of life in the office

         the experiences of women at work

         management techniques adopted by high performing organizations

         equal opportunities for ethnic minority workers

         shifts in demand for job skills

         emotional responses to workplace pressures and many more

One project, that may be of particular interest to a Leicester MP, involves tracing the life histories of people who got their first jobs in the city in the 1960s and are now approaching retirement. 

Patricia Hewitt said: "I am very impressed by what I have seen at the Centre for Labour Market Studies, and particularly by the international teaching that has put the University of Leicester at the centre of a network of professionals all over the world."

Dr Sung said: "We were delighted that Patricia Hewitt came on this fact-finding visit and we were able to explain to her about our latest achievements in teaching and research.

For more information, contact Nick Jewson 0116 252 2749.

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