The Careers Group, University of London
The Careers Group, University of London is a division of the central University of London notable for its long history and independent governance structure which answers to the University of London as a whole in the same way as the Senate House Libraries.They currently serve five groups, detailed below, and cite their mission as being "to help individuals achieve and maintain job satisfaction throughout their working lives".
A Brief History
The Early Years
The organisation first came into existence in 1909 as the University of London Appointments Board when students and graduates paid five shillings to be registered. Within three years the first permanent full-time secretary, Dr Arthur Du Pre Denning, had been appointed, 307 students had been registered and 1,340 vacancies had been notified to graduates. With the appointment of the next secretary, Mr Henry James Crawford in 1910, these numbers continued to increase and the first advertisement of their services was placed in The Times of 14 June 1914. Their growing importance in the employment of University of London graduates was noted by Sanderson, M (1972).
Registration fell during the period of the First World War but continued to grow again steadily after the Board merged with The Commerce Degree Bureau of the University in 1922. Jointly they became the University of London Commerce Degree Bureau and Appointments Board, newly located in 46 Russell Square, Bloomsbury. Registration topped the thousand mark for the first time, at 1,228, in 1927-28.
In 1936 the board enjoyed a brief spell at premises in the newly built Senate House, only to be evacuated to Thornaugh Street, Bloomsbury, at the start of the Second World War to make way for the Ministry of Information. These temporary offices were very soon destroyed during the Blitz in 1940. After the end of the war, the Board was once again stationed in Senate House, where registrations again began to climb towards 2,000, until it was given its own premises at 49 Gordon Square in 1957 where huge organisational changes occurred.
Adapting to Change
Use of the Board’s services had grown by 15.5% and 34.7% in 1961 and 1962 respectively and a new way had to be found to cope with not only the huge increase in student numbers but also the geographical spread of the University’s colleges and institutes. This was solved by the introduction of Field Officers in 1964 who were members of the Board stationed in the colleges themselves and who were therefore easily accessible to users. By 1966 Field Officers were present in a total of seven colleges, with King’s College London being the first to request their presence.
The next major change occurred in July 1970 when the Senate of the University of London agreed that the name of the Appointments Board be changed to the University of London Careers Advisory Board and the services they provide be known as the University of London Careers Advisory Service or ULCAS. This also led to a further reorganisation of their structure into an integrated operations division which carried out the advisory work and a support services division which carried out all other functions. A further name change followed in 1994 when ULCAS was shortened to ULCS for convenience, but no major structural reorganization occurred.
On June 30, 2004, the Council of the University agreed that ULCS could change its name to The Careers Group, University of London as this more accurately reflected the nature of the organisation. The name change was accompanied by the launch of a new brand image which was rolled out across all products and services. Some re-structuring took place including within the Commercial Division which led to a unified Events Team.
In 2005, about a year after the re-branding exercise, The Careers Group moved to new purpose-built premises, having spent 48 years in Gordon Square. UCL Careers Service and SICS moved to the University of London Union Building whilst the Directorate, Central Services and C2 moved to Stewart House, Russell Square. The Chancellor, The Princess Royal, visited the new premises as part of her tour of the newly refurbished Stewart House.
The Organisation Today
In addition, its constituent colleges operate their own on-site careers services at:
- Goldsmiths, University of London
- King's College London (also serving the Courtauld Institute of Art)
- Queen Mary, University of London
- Royal Holloway, University of London
- The School of Oriental and African Studies
- University College London located in the University of London Union building
The Specialist Institutions’ Careers Service (SICS) now run by C2 Education serves the University's smaller specialist colleges, schools and institutes:
- Birkbeck, University of London
- The Central School of Speech and Drama
- Heythrop College
- The Institute of Cancer Research
- Institute of Education
- London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine
- The Royal Veterinary College
- St. George's, University of London
- School of Advanced Study, University of London
- University of London Institute in Paris
- University Marine Biological Station, Millport
Two of the University's constituent colleges (London Business School and The London School of Economics and Political Science) operate their own independent careers services, due to their specialities and global acclaim.
Structure and Organisation
Each college careers service is managed by a head, usually a senior careers adviser, who negotiates with the college authorities to ensure the on-site service meets the needs of the college.
Central Services consists of:
Communication Services and Vacancies
This department is responsible for the organisation, administration and promotion of a number of careers events including sector specific courses and conferences, sponsorship for these events and the production of publications and leaflets. It is also responsible for the development, production, sales and marketing of the products and services used to advertise employer jobs to students and graduates.
Consultancy and C2
Consultancy provides corporate clients with a broad range of career skills development and training programmes based on their individual needs. C2, The Graduate Careers Shop, provides a fee-paying advice, guidance and information service to graduates from any university, of all ages and at any stage in their careers. C2 was developed in partnership with Capital Careers, CfBT West London Careers, City University Careers Service, The London Institute Careers Service, Focus Central London Training and Enterprise Council and the DfES in 1998.
This department is responsible for the promotion and organisation of the portfolio of The Careers Group graduate recruitment and information fairs.
This branch of the events department is responsible for designing and delivering the conferences. The conferences range from interactive forums to networking breakfasts and have a variety of target groups.
This department is responsible for the collection, analysis and dissemination of statistical information for the careers service - especially all aspects of the Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education (DLHE) survey and statistics of The Careers Group's users.
Content and Information
This department is responsible for the updating and maintenance of occupational careers information, videos and other areas such as working overseas, self-employment and voluntary work. It is also responsible for the selection and acquisition of reference books and periodicals. The department also manages content on the intranet and The Careers Group website.
Online services is responsible for the maintenance and updating of all online services including the website, intranet and employer database for The Careers Group. They are not responsible for the content of these, however.
This department is responsible for developing, building and maintaining relationships with employers, identifying their graduate recruitment or admission needs and actively promoting and selling the most appropriate products and services from The Careers Group portfolio to meet their requirements.
There is also the Director’s Office, a Professional Development Unit, a Quality and College Services unit and several working groups.
In addition to the Director and Assistant Director, there are approximately 35 permanent careers advisers and 35 permanent support and commercial staff who are employed by the University of London. There are an additional 23 or so information and employer liaison staff who are employed directly by the college in which they work. Careers advisers are allocated to one or more college careers service or to C2 and the Consultancy unit.
The Careers Group has been accredited with the Matrix quality standard, for information advice and guidance services, since 2004. It most recently passed re-accreditation in May 2007. They are also a member of the Association of Graduate Careers Advisory Services (AGCAS).
- The Careers Group | Statement of Service
- All history up to 1984 is referenced to Weston, T. (1984). And Now at Gordon Square: The History of the University of London Careers Advisory Service 1909-1984. ULCAS.
- up to 1993 to Archives of the University of London Careers Advisory Service 1940-1993. Reference code GB 0096 UoL/CB housed at Senate House Library, University of London. For details on access please go to www.ull.ac.uk/historic/archives/uarchive.shtml.
- The University of London and Industrial Progress 1880-1914, Journal of Contemporary History, Vol 7 no 3/4 p259 (Sanderson, M)
Butler, T & Dane, M (2007) Reflections on Change 1967-2007. AGCAS.
- The Careers Group home page
- The University of London home page
- AGCAS - Association of Graduate Careers Advisory Services
- The Matrix Quality Standard
- The Higher Education Statistics Agency web site which includes information on DLHE
- Goldsmiths Careers Service
- King’s College London Careers Service
- Queen Mary, University of London Careers Service
- Royal Holloway, University of London Careers Service
- SOAS, University of London Careers Service
- St Mary’s University College, University of Surrey Careers Service
- University College London Careers Service