Evidencing student success in the contemporary world-of-work: renewing our thinking
Higher Education Research & Development
Taylor & Francis
School of Business and Law
This paper explores the conceptualisation and measurement of higher education (HE) student success relating to the world-of-work. It first considers the factors that catalysed a shift in perception and understanding of student success from engagement and academic achievement at university to post-graduation employment outcomes. It summarises and critiques approaches to measuring graduate employment outcomes for a range of developed countries. There are fundamental flaws in utilising current measures of graduate employment outcomes to gauge student success. These include devaluing the social, cultural and economic value of graduates; favouring full-time employment measures; tracking graduates in their transitional phase to the labour market and encouraging HE providers to manipulate the metrics to raise institutional status. The paper suggests a more coherent approach to gauging student success in the world-of-work, which is aligned to a broader definition of graduate outcomes, realities of contemporary working practices and the sector’s locus of control.