Posts By / vrenaud

CEMP student and Faculty Placement Development Advisor Vianna Renaud showcased by Advance HE in latest employability publication

It was with great honour and surprise that I was accepted as a session presenter at the Advance HE Employability Symposium ‘Breaking the Mould’ in September 2020. Following the event, I was invited to contribute to the follow up publication in a new compendium of case studies, co-edited by Stuart Norton, Advance HE Senior Advisor in Learning and Teaching, and Roger Dalrymple, Associate Dean at Oxford Brookes University. For a quick introduction into the project, ‘as the global events of 2020 have called for a renewed creativity and flexibility in employability development in Higher Education, we very much feel the evidence of the new case study collection is that a step change in scope and vision was already well underway.’

Whist my contribution was about employability coaching and mentoring between final year and first year students, other areas of focus within the publication include that of virtual placements, the creation of placement opportunities within university settings themselves, and the empowering of students to map and plot their employability journeys and/or work related learning experiences.

As Stuart and Roger quite wisely state, ‘Since the legacy from pandemic disruption thus looks likely to extend into the medium or long- term, the new collection also brings some timely and very practical strategies to wider notice –these include embedding employability initiatives in all academic years of undergraduate and postgraduate study and cross-fertilizing the learning from employability initiatives between international and home students.’

For further information on the new publication:


FMC doctoral student Vianna Renaud published in the Journal of Comparative and International Education

It was with great pleasure that an article on my research was selected and published in the latest issue of the Journal of Comparative and International Education as part of the Graduate Student Research in Progress Supplement. Contributions were made by graduate students who are currently studying in a MA, Ed.D. or Ph.D. programme from across the globe. I was very proud to have represented Bournemouth University and the UK alongside Oxford University, the other highlighted British institution. It was wonderful showcasing the impact of peer to peer employability coaching and mentoring on student confidence and awareness. With such a positive result shown by my pilot project and fieldwork where FMC students were participants, I can not wait to investigate future implementation.

For further information:

Placement Development Advisor Vianna Renaud invited to Freie Universität Berlin for the 2019 Erasmus Plus International Staff Training Week

It was with great honour that I attended the Erasmus Plus International Training Week at the Freie Universität Berlin for the week of 17th June 2019 after a competitive selection process.

The theme was ‘Career Service: Internships and Employment competencies – Developing an international framework for student work-based learning’. I was interested in attending based on current discussions taking place on campus, particularly with BU2025 and the institutional aims for employability and placement learning , and the general discourse regarding standardisation of placement learning outcomes within the overall higher education sector in the UK.

I thoroughly enjoyed the experience as we not only explored the current trends within the EU countries, but also had presentations delivered by delegates covering a wide scope of Best Practice topics and initiatives from across the globe. With approximately 30 representatives from over 10 countries, the scope of discussions was truly incredible. I was particularly proud to be one of six delegates representing UK institutions; Queen Mary, UCL, Oxford, Bath Spa, Edinburgh and Bournemouth.

For me, it was very interesting learning that colleagues across the EU have encountered similar issues, such as low student engagement, placement opportunities, the measurement of learning gain whilst on work based or placement experiences, and the general reduction of staff resourcing with an increase of students and those with additional complexities. Building up links with academics, more streamlined working, relevant and current support of students, impact of social media and more about what students want, impact of league tables and institutional reputation, amongst other key areas were also explored.

In conclusion, I think that greater collaboration and communication with our European colleagues is necessary to ensure that we in the UK can best prepare our students for an international career. However, this is only if the institutional aims on our campuses are going to place an emphasis on having internationally mobile and adaptable graduates. Whilst everyone who attended the Careers Section of the International Week were unanimously concerned about the future of HE in the UK, we can only wait and see if and how this will impact our work with students.

Vianna Renaud, FMC PDA and CEMP doctoral student, presents research at the Change Agent Network Conference in Milton Keynes

It was with great honour that I presented my research at the recent Change Agent Conference organised by Open University and held in Milton Keynes. The theme was on the evolving landscape of staff student partnership where various initiatives and university experiences were discussed and explored.

In my session, ‘Shoulda, Woulda, Coulda; student to student employability coaching and mentoring’, I shared the preliminary findings of my fieldwork. The audience was able to discuss and explore their thoughts on the highlighted themes that I had identified through my participants of final year / first year student pairs and the impact made on their awareness of their employability, confidence in their placement search, knowledge of the university resources, and their relationship with the Faculty and overall institution. The audience feedback was overwhelmingly positive with one comment from a student attendee stating that she wished her institution had implemented something similar as that would have made her feel more ‘relevant’ during her final year.

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Placement Development Advisor and Doctoral student Vianna Renaud presents at the AUA Annual Conference

It was with great pleasure that I presented at the recent Association of University Administrators Annual Conference at the University of Manchester. With the conference theme of ‘HE: Fit for the Future?’, it was a wonderful opportunity to share the key observations and learning gained by my fellow UK delegates during the 2018 AUA Study Trip to Sweden.

Representatives from six British institutions including the University College London, BPP, De Montfort University, University of Portsmouth, and Anglia Ruskin University were chosen where I was proud to represent BU. Recording our observations whilst visiting various Swedish institutions and HE associations, the report has just been released on the AUA website.

One element of Swedish Higher Education that we found quite intriguing was that of taking a ‘Fika’ break. Essentially what we would term as a communal coffee break with a sweet bun or pastry, we found it taking place twice a day everywhere that we went where all members of a team would gather and chat. Enforced by senior managers, it was deemed to be a necessary part of everyday work life on campus as it was an extension of cultural traditions. For the British delegates observing, we felt that by implementing such a system in the UK HE sector, or our own adaptation of it, there would be clear advantages and benefits. Whilst we could see this positively impacting staff morale, establishing and developing closer relationships with both direct and indirect colleagues, growing a greater awareness of campus life, amongst many others, there was a certain amount of uncertainty around senior management being supportive of these short breaks, particularly given the current stress regarding resourcing.

During our conference presentation, my co-presenter Faith Marsh from BPP London and I gave the attendees time to explore at their tables their thoughts on if and how they could foresee implementing a Fika break into their daily patterns. It became very clear that everyone who attended unanimously agreed that whilst a daily break would be frown upon and ultimately impossible, the idea of a weekly or fortnightly staff break would be possible. We discussed how we could all take the initiative forward at our own campuses and given how many of us have been in contact since, we shall see how things progress along the Swedish way!

For further information and the report:

Swedish study tour 2018 – Welcome




Vianna Renaud, FMC PDA and doctoral student, chairs Student Panel on placements at annual ASET 2018 Conference

It was with great pleasure that I chaired a student panel session at the 2018 ASET Conference at the University of Nottingham. ASET, the UK Work Based and Placement Learning association is the leading professional body regarding placement learning and therefore it was wonderful to not only represent Bournemouth University but to also take part in this way.

With students from Ulster University, Southampton, LSE, Southampton, Leicester and University of Central Lancashire, the aim of the session was to encourage discussion around what universities can do to best support the placement experience in the eyes of students. With over 175 delegates from across the UK and Ireland, combined with the variety of backgrounds on the student panel, it was the perfect opportunity to gain their insight within an open and frank forum.

Given the reality of reducing resources within UK HE, critical questions around both central service and faculty based initiatives were asked. The main theme from the student panel was to engage students more with relative activities which included more interaction with final year students, alumni, industry representatives, etc. They agreed that universities need to think about the longevity of the student journey, from Open Days and first year, to final year. There needs to be a visible and clear link between employability activities with the academic curriculum, instead of the placement experience feeling like a bolted on experience. Students want to learn from their colleagues as it was felt that they share more realistic information in comparison to university staff. The concept of Placement PALS came up as a great initiative which for me was a highlight given that we have had this at BU for many years now. There was a consensus that the placement approval process was overall a tedious process, regarding of the software package being used, therefore keeping it as simple as possible was a key point. Another primary concern amongst the students was placement assessment and the importance of it being linked to future interviews for graduate roles. Therefore e-portfolios, a strong LinkedIn profile with recommendations, personal website or blog, amongst others, were discussed as the way forward in helping the student to make the most from the placement experience with a direct impact on their future.

This session contributed greatly to the overall theme of the conference, which was on our role as institutions to future-proof placements. Full conference proceedings will be available shortly at: You can also access the Good Practice Guides, ASET Viewpoints and other ASET publications on the website which are considered to be benchmarks in the sector.


BU staff published in new book ‘Enhancing Employability in Higher Education through Work Based Learning’ by Palgrave Macmillan

‘Enhancing Employability in Higher Education through Work Based Learning’ has just been published by Palgrave Macmillan. Edited by Dawn Morley, formerly of BU and now at Solent University, there were the following contributions by BU academics, staff and students:


Dr Sue Eccles and Vianna Renaud (Bournemouth University)

Chapter Title: Building Students’ Emotional Resilience through Placement Coaching and Mentoring


Dr Mel Hughes and Angela Warren (Bournemouth University)

Chapter Title: Use of simulation as a tool for assessment and for preparing students for the realities and complexities of the workplace


Dr Dawn Morley (Solent University), Dr Anita Diaz, Deborah Blake, Grace Burger, Tom Dando, Suzanne Gibbon, Kate Rickard (Bournemouth University)

Chapter Title: Student experience of real-time management of peer working groups during field trips


For more information:

FMC Placement Development Advisor Vianna Renaud presents at the RAISE17 Conference in Manchester

Last week Faculty Placement Development Advisor Vianna Renaud presented at the RAISE17 Conference at Manchester Metropolitan University. With over 235 delegates representing institutions throughout the UK and Ireland, this conference was focused on student engagement with the theme, “Perspectives on student engagement; looking forward..thinking back.” This was the perfect event to share best practice and information regarding the latest trends in the sector.

Presenting on the campus wide Placement PAL pilot project last year, it was a wonderful opportunity to share with colleagues from a variety of institutions. I found the conference to be of great benefit as there was an open and collaborative atmosphere in the room. The delegates were clearly passionate about this subject area with the same desire to share and learn with colleagues.

RAISE is a network of academics, practitioners, advisors and student representatives drawn from the Higher Education Sector who are working and/or interested in researching and promoting student engagement.  For further information, conference programme and proceedings:

RAISE 17 Conference


Vianna Renaud, CEMP doctoral student and FMC Placement Development Advisor, presents at the HEA What Works – Student Retention and Success Conference

It was with great pleasure that I presented at the recent Higher Education Academy ‘What Works – Student Retention and Success’ Conference in London. Discussing successful interventions from across the sector , it was a wonderful time to discuss and explore current initiatives. With key notes given by leading specialists Prof Patricia Broadfoot , Prof Liz Thomas, and Prof Les Ebdon, I found the day to be invaluable in discussing the future of HE particularly against a backdrop of upcoming challenges and increasing pressure to improve retention rates.

My presentation was on the BU Placement PAL programme and how this was our first year in full implementation across the Faculties of Management, Media and Communication, and Science and Technology. Discussing the lessons learned and aims in taking the scheme further, the session was well attended by approximately 50 delegates. From the Q&A session, it was clear that we are one of the first UK institutions to offer such a scheme and as a result, I have had numerous inquiries.

As I am looking at peer to peer coaching and mentoring regarding employability in my doctoral research, one of my highlights of the day was when Professor Patricia Broadfoot attended my session and voiced her support, given that in today’s climate, UK HEIs will need to be creative in how to best support students.

Conference programme:

For the final What Works report:




Vianna Renaud, Placement Development Advisor for FMC and doctoral student in CEMP, publishes article in the Association of Graduate Careers Advisory Services (AGCAS) Phoenix journal

The Association of Graduate Careers Advisory Services (AGCAS) is the professional body for careers and employability professionals working with higher education students and graduates and prospective entrants to higher education.

As the focal point for sector-wide research and expert opinion, this issue of Phoenix focused on current best practice surrounding placements. With membership of over 2,800 careers and employability practitioners in over 160 HE institutions, as well as in other sectors and overseas, it is a leading source of current practice and information.

‘Bournemouth University has an established history of PAL leaders, and has successfully trialled Placement PAL pilot projects, with the 2016-17 year being the first year that Placement PAL was implemented across the campus. Contributing to this dedicated issue was a wonderful opportunity to share our success with the greater UK HE university community, potentially creating Best Practice amidst the sector.’

‘Given the growing numbers of BU students choosing a sandwich placement experience, this issue contains a wide range of related current and topical issues. As both a practitioner and researcher in the field, I would highly recommend staff to read this issue.’ 


FMC Placement Development Advisor and CEMP Doctoral student, Vianna Renaud elected onto the ASET Trustee board

vianna-aset-trusteeAt the recent annual ASET AGM and Conference at the University of York, FMC Placement Advisor and CEMP doctoral student Vianna Renaud was elected onto the Trustee board of the organisation. As the professional association for work based and placement learning in HE within the UK, this will help ensure that BU will continue to be at the forefront of the sector.

“As the leading association for our work, I am honoured that I have been elected. With so much change taking place, particularly with the future implementation of the Apprenticeship Levy next year by the government, university placement provision will have certain challenges. By working together, the Board will continue in providing up to date information and guidance to our institutional members which will be essential during this time of change.”

For more information on ASET: