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Employer perspectives on a broader curriculum and graduate attributes

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1 Employer perspectives on a broader curriculum and graduate attributes
Tony Donohoe, Head of Education Policy

2 Outline Business Context Employers’ view – IBEC Survey 2010
National Strategy for Higher Education Employability skills and attributes PhD skills Five Minds for the Future Impact on curriculum, pedagogy and learning environment Education for employment v good student learning

3 Post industrial concerns
Globalisation 75% of world’s population does not speak English End of US global economic dominance Pervasiveness of technology Complex and dynamic markets Respond to customers, governments, markets, economic and social instabilities Growth of services 70% of employment and 40% of exports Sustainability is a growing concern

4 IBEC Survey 2010 Majority of respondents said they had no difficulty in recruiting suitable graduates from Irish HEIs (74.6%). Most employers who had difficulty highlighted problems with the engineering-related disciplines Employers were less satisfied with graduate’s ‘ability to work autonomously’ Employers are now expecting higher education institutions to embed generic or employability skills more fully into their curricula. 38% of respondents have informal or ad hoc college placement procedures in place in their organisations.

5 IBEC Survey 2010

6 National Strategy for Higher Education to 2030
Integrating research with teaching learning Parity of esteem between roles Clear routes of progression Work/service placements acknowledged through accreditation or diploma supplement Flexible routes of progression within and across HEIs National framework for RPL First year experience Induction and preparation programmes More interdisciplinary learning opportunities

7 National Strategy for Higher Education to 2030
Generic skills Explicitly address skills required for workplace and engagement in society Ensure alignment between learning outcomes, pedagogy and assessment Review quality assurance frameworks Develop guidelines to support National Framework of Qualifications Review of external examiner system

8 National Strategy for Higher Education to 2030
Engagement with wider society Encourage greater inward and outward mobility of staff and students between HEIs, business, industry, the professions and wider community Respond positively to the continuing professional needs of the wider community Recognise civic engagement of students through programme accreditation Encourage involvement of wider community in a range of activities including programme design

9 Vitae (UK) Report –ranking of skills for PhDs
Data analysis Problem solving Drive and motivation Project Managing Interpersonal skills Leadership Commercial awareness

10 The entrepreneurial skill-set
Self-confidence Strategic thinking Cooperate for success Ability to plan work, organise tasks and communicate decisions Project development and implementation Team-building and attribution of success Recognition and proactive orientation to change and innovation Risk assessment and foresight activity with regard to market changes and opportunities

11 Gardner’s Five Minds for the Future
The Disciplinary Mind mastery of major schools of thought The Synthesizing Mind ability to integrate ideas from different disciplines or spheres into a coherent whole The Creating Mind Capacity to uncover and clarify new problems, questions and phenomena The Respectful Mind awareness of and appreciation for differences among human beings and human groups. The Ethical Mind fulfilment of one's responsibilities as a worker and as a citizen.

12 Employability A richer construct than ‘skills wish-list’
A set of achievements, understanding and personal attributes helps students to realise their potential Meets corporate expectations Supports values of citizenship Helps produce learning that will shape the future Should be located in an academic context Not inimical to the values and practices of the academy Implications for pedagogy, learning environment and assessment

13 Impact on learning environment
Employability – not a stand-alone ‘bolt on Learning not just tied to instruction Inter-disciplinary teaching Active learning Problem-based learning Reflective learning Team development Work experience modules & materials Work-based projects

14 Promoting employability
Explain what we mean by ‘employability’ to teaching colleagues and students Write employability into programme specifications Audit and promote employability Not ‘one-size fits all’ Tuning existing curricula Use a variety of assessment methods Help students to translate their achievements into ‘employer-friendly language

15 How business can do more
Support case for realistic funding models Provide more guidance on the content of courses and the nature of employability skills Provide opportunities to undertake real-life projects and provide undergraduate work experience Seek to work with HEIs as a core part of their innovation activity Seek to engage with the HE system to develop and help finance bespoke training provision for employees A national graduate internship scheme

16 What will success look like?
Stronger business-university partnerships in which employers’ needs and HE outcomes are aligned A sustainable and more efficient HE sector with the right incentives to deliver high-quality teaching and research Business taking a more active and integral part in developing students’ skills and experience of the work of work A richer experience for students

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