Introducing the UK's top work-based learning innovators

Helping motivated students to get great jobs matters. It’s about time we recognise and celebrate the institutions and individuals that make this happen.
Introducing, for the very first time, the UK’s top institutions and educators for work-based learning.
Click here to see our methodology.

View the Award Categories  →
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Award Categories

University Awards

The top 30 universities in the UK that have transformed the student experience through work-based learning initiatives.

View the full list of winners →

Educator Awards

Bridging the gap between education and the workplace is vital, and educators are at the coalface. That is why we are highlighting educators that are going above and beyond to provide valuable opportunities to their students.

View the winner’s profiles  →

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you determine the winners?

Forage's Experiential Learning Awards are chosen through a rigorous evaluation process. We use a combination of internal data and external research to examine the following three factors and weigh them in accordance with their importance:

  • Student Engagement
  • Faculty Involvement
  • Early Participation

For more information, see our methodology.

Which institutions were eligible for the Work-Based Learning Awards?

For the inaugural Work-Based Learning Awards in 2023, only public universities in the UK were considered.

If your university hasn't received a Work-Based Learning Award and you'd like to receive a breakdown of your score, simply register as an educator on Forage here and we'll send you your score and ranking.

Can universities pay to get an award?

No. Institutions are selected for an award by the Forage education team based on analysis of internal data and external research. If you're a university that would like to receive a Work-Based Learning Award, you'll need to improve your work-based learning offering for students.

The key themes amongst winning institutions are set out in the FAQ below and provide guidance on how an institution can improve its work-based learning offering.

You can register on Forage here to access free virtual experiential learning projects created by leading companies. You can also book in an experiential learning consultation session with our team here. Forage is 100% free for all universities and their students as it is an initiative funded by industry.

What are the key themes amongst winning institutions?

The key themes we identified amongst institutions excelling in the delivery of work-based learning are:

  • Work-based learning is mandatory and in curriculum - leading institutions incorporate work-based learning as a mandatory and unavoidable part of a student’s experience at university. These institutions do not rely on students seeking out career services, they go directly to the students where they’re already most engaged, in curriculum.
  • Faculty is incentivised to incorporate work-based learning in curriculum - some institutions incentivise faculty to incorporate work-based learning into new or existing coursework by offering grants or other perks to help bridge the divide between faculty and staff.
  • Work-based learning is consistently integrated - leading institutions seek to incorporate experiential learning consistently throughout a student’s journey, rather than incorporating it in a single course.
  • Students are exposed to work-based learning from their First Year- leading institutions commonly engage students in work-based learning from the moment they commence their university journey, most frequently during their first year. This enables students to try a more diverse range of opportunities prior to applying for internships and reaching graduation.
  • Work-based learning is a tool to drive more equitable post-graduation outcomes - leading institutions comment on the importance of work-based learning as a tool to drive more equitable post-graduation outcomes. By meeting students where they are, work-based learning has the capacity to ensure that all students, regardless of race or socio-economic status, are prepared to pursue meaningful work upon graduation and beyond.
  • Use of technology to scale delivery of work-based learning - leading institutions recognise that some traditional forms of work-based learning such as internships are difficult, time consuming and expensive to scale. As a result, these institutions utilise innovative, on-demand forms of virtual experiential learning such as virtual job simulations.

Want to join the experiential learning revolution?