AGCAS Phoenix, June 2016 – Defining Graduate Attributes

This issue of Phoenix was compiled just as the government had announced the higher education white paper, Success as a knowledge economy: teaching excellence, social mobility and student choice, which sets out big plans for university reform. The Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) consultation was released in tandem with the white paper, with HESA’s fundamental review of destinations and outcomes data for leavers from HE published just a few days before that. As weeks go, it was a big one for HE policy.

You can read articles addressing a range of issues as part of the wider graduate attributes debate. What’s the difference between graduate attributes and skills? How can we engage others – students, employers, academics – in this debate and work together for the benefit of all parties? How do you produce ‘distinctive graduates’? Whose responsibility is it to teach/learn graduate attributes? Can they be taught/learnt? Are they so vague as to be meaningless? How do students feel about conforming to a pre-determined list?

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