Thursday 17 February 2022

Cross-sector Collaboration: developing skills to futureproof your career

by Julie Hutchison, Teaching Associate, University of Cumbria, Ambleside


“Interesting content, delivered well, mix of activities, responsive facilitation/lectures, great classmates. Thank you.” (2021 student)

After the challenges of the last two years, you might be looking for an injection of something new into your plans for 2022.  Today’s working patterns and careers are far less linear than in the past.  The knowledge and skills many of us initially learned one, two or three decades ago just aren’t enough to set us up for the future.  A common thread in many lines of work is the need to operate across boundaries in shared projects.  Cross-sector collaboration, partnership working, stakeholder engagement – these are all terms you might come across, but what’s actually involved?  How can these ways of working be done well, and what can be learned from case studies and the experience of others?

The University of Cumbria’s post-graduate level ‘Strategic Collaboration and Stakeholder Engagement’ course reflects on the spectrum of relationships that we have in different contexts, and the language and practices around them.  You explore the lifecycle of partnerships and take on a practical task of writing a short partnership agreement.  Case studies of successful and failed partnerships are reflected upon.  Negotiation skills are put into use.  The private, public, academic and voluntary sectors are all considered in the context of cross-sector collaboration and partnership working.  This all takes place over three days on campus in Ambleside, within a UNESCO World Heritage site, which provides a great setting for exploring both the theories and practices connected to these concepts.

Even pre-COVID, the course involved an online element, with an initial welcome and induction webinar prior to the on-campus element.  In 2022, the introductory webinar on 4 May will be followed by three days on the Ambleside campus from 18-20 May.    

If you’re looking to immerse yourself in a new environment, to be part of a supportive learning experience and to build new skills in cross-sector collaboration and partnership working, this short course could be for you.  The course blends concepts, tools, and practices, with the opportunity to learn from others:

“I feel the group work was really useful. Outside opinions and simplifying your own work to explain to others was very revealing. Gave me a lot to think about.” (2021 Student)

More information about the course ‘Strategic Collaboration and Stakeholder Engagement’ and how to apply can be found here. You may also wish to contact the course leader directly:

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