Journal of Higher Education Policy and Management
School of Business and Law
Despite ongoing efforts by universities, challenges and tensions continue to exist in academic discourse, policy and practice around graduate employability. These factors can militate against the sector’s capacity to prepare learners for life and work, because they promote unclear, and sometimes counterproductive and competing, courses of action. This article suggests that higher education institutions’ approaches to graduate employability reflect at least three aims. The aims relate to: (i) short-term graduate outcomes; (ii) professional readiness; and (iii) living and working productively and meaningfully across the lifespan. The commitment to each of these aims is often tacit and ill-defined and varies within as well as between institutions, and over time. This article attempts to navigate a productive path through the multiple aims and agendas, along with the definitional and measurement challenges, to identify, workable approaches. It suggests some actionable principles to enhance employability that address the tensions between the three employability aims.
Available for download on Monday, January 25, 2021