Plans to offer degree course credits for work experience have been announced in a bid for universities to boost the level of corporate skills among graduates.

Depending on the university, students could earn credits for managing a workshop or giving a presentations as well as participating in work experience

The move includes arts-based courses that do not traditionally include work experience or a sandwich year in industry, such as English literature and history. It marks a departure from the current system where only students studying vocational subjects like engineering are expected to participate.

Paul Jackson, Leicester University’s director of student support and development told the Telegraph newspaper that the university was “looking closely at how to embed corporate skills into the curriculum at the undergraduate stage”.

“There is no difference between academic skills and employment skills. We are looking for students who can apply things in a new context,” he said.

The CBI said it would support plans to increase the level of employment-based skills included in undergraduate degrees.

But James Ladyman, professor of philosophy at Bristol University, warned that awarding credits for corporate skills could shift the focus too far towards the needs of corporate employers.

Ladyman told the Guardian newspaper: “Incorporating corporate skills into the curriculum is short-term thinking. The point about education is that it equips you for the long-term.”

He also said that an increased focus on the monetary value of a course would deter international students who come to Britain to learn under leading academics rather than gain corporate skills.