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Jisc and Higher Education Careers Services Unit announce merger

Jayne Rowley, chief executive of HECSU Prospects
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Higher Education Careers Services Unit and Graduate @Prospects have merged with @Jisc as part of new student services directorate 

Today (1 May 2020) the Higher Education Careers Services Unit and its commercial subsidiary Graduate Prospects (HECSU Prospects) have joined forces with Jisc, the UK’s technology solutions organisation for higher and further education. 

HECSU Prospects’ staff, products and services will be retained, adding digital careers information and guidance as well as degree verification to Jisc’s portfolio to form a new student services directorate. The combined organisations will support delivery of the government’s Careers Strategy as well as its International Education Strategy.

HECSU Prospects and Jisc already benefit from a successful strategic alliance, which has included the development of digital services such as Career Explorer and XCRI.

The consolidation will mean greater collaboration in intelligence-led careers information, and the development of products and research, adding significant value to higher education while transforming the experience and employability of students considering their options at 16, as well as older learners.

Parents, educators and employers will also benefit from improved and expanded data to help young people identify and explore the relevant pathways, skills and traits that enhance employment in regional and national labour markets.

Jayne Rowley, chief executive of HECSU Prospects, comments:

“This merger cements the strategic partnership that we have nurtured over several years. It means that the benefits of our products and services will be more widely dispersed among students and graduates and that we can better support careers services through greater investment opportunities, delivering a broader, more innovative offering.”  

Jisc’s deputy chief executive and chief operating officer Alice Colban, says:

“Jisc and HECSU and Graduate Prospects already benefit from a successful strategic alliance, which includes the development of digital services such as Career Explorer and XCRI, so a merger was a natural step to take.  

“While we already deliver several services that are valued by students, the merger will enable us to develop a more targeted offering. By immediately adding digital student information, advice and guidance services to our portfolio we will be in a better position to achieve our long-term strategy of improving the student experience.” 

While the HECSU identity will be phased out and its charitable objectives transferred to Jisc, the UK’s biggest student careers brand, Prospects, will remain and continue to deliver a portfolio of careers publications and prospects.ac.uk. With more than 800,000 registrants, the leading early careers website includes the UK’s official postgraduate course database and unique planning tools Planner and Job Match.

Investment will continue into labour market information such as a revival of the report, What do graduates do?using new graduate outcomes data from the Higher Education Statistics Agency as well as bespoke research for educators and employers. Degree verification service Prospects Hedd and the degree fraud detection service run on behalf of the Office for Students will also be enhanced.   

Prospects’ strategic partnerships with the NUS, Association of Graduate Careers Advisory Services and Institute of Student Employers will continue.

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