Using the knowledge transfer partnership approach in undergraduate education and practice-based training to encourage employer engagement

Margaret Harris, Colin Chisholm, George Burns

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


This is an examination of the KTP approach and how this could be used effectively in undergraduate education and training to encourage and increase practice-based learning and employer engagement. The methodology consists of a literature review, and a case study of the KTP approach. The literature reviewed examines the KTP approach, employer engagement in education and strategic government approaches to stimulate investment in knowledge and skills for workforce development, and the development of practice-based learning in the UK. The KTP provides a case study to illustrate a successful model of employer engagement, which benefits all parties to it, and assists with the strategic development required by successive governments.

Our suggestions are based on our investigation and our understanding and experience of: the KTP approach; practice-based learning; undergraduate education; and learning and teaching approaches. We suggest that the KTP approach (normally a post-graduate model) could be extended to undergraduate education to provide sustainable practice-based learning that fits well with the strategies and ideologies of government, employers and academia.

Barriers to employer and academic engagement, such as that linked to the confused terminology used to describe practice-based learning, and competing political ideologies, should be researched further to gain a better understanding of how to mitigate these in order to make the KTP approach in undergraduate education successful. The implications are that synergistic development of the KTP approach in an increased range of academic and workplace partnerships needs to be done before a fully tested model could be agreed.

The originality is the idea of utilising a well acknowledged post-graduate model of learning within an undergraduate environment. The value is to increase the awareness of the benefits of the KTP and how the approach could be adapted for use in undergraduate environments for the eventual benefit of students, academics, employers and policy makers.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)174-190
Number of pages17
JournalEducation + Training
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2013


  • undergraduate practice-based learning
  • employer engagement
  • knowledge transfer partnerships
  • terminology
  • strategies
  • barriers


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