‘Because Sometimes Your Failures Can Also Teach You Certain Skills’: Lecturer and Student Perceptions of Employability Skills at a Transnational University

Richard Paterson

Abstract


This exploratory study investigates lecturers’ and students’ understanding of the concepts and language underpinning higher education strategies of developing employability skills. While a solid grounding in discipline-specific knowledge and skills is what most graduate degrees aim at providing, employability skills are increasingly becoming an important factor when evaluating prospective employees. Embedding the acquisition of employability skills into higher education courses has emerged as a response to industry demands for work-ready graduates. The forces of internationalisation and globalisation mean that employers the world over are looking for graduates with additional soft skills, abilities and achievements. The context for this study is Westminster International University, Tashkent (WIUT), a transnational university in Uzbekistan. By means of a qualitative case study, the views of lecturers and students were investigated and common themes and perspectives identified. The main findings indicate that although students and lecturers share similar perspectives on the importance of employability skills, the purpose of employability focused pedagogy is not easily communicated to students. Furthermore, students feel that a more systematic approach to recognising and demonstrating employability skills would help them in their transition from education to work. 


Keywords


global higher education, employability skills, transnational education, employability pedagogy

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.17583/qre.2017.2583

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Qualitative Research in Education | ISSN: 2014-6418

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