Graduate Attributes Students Perspective Liam Burns

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					Graduate Attributes:
Students Perspective

        Liam Burns
       NUS Scotland
      Depute President
Purpose of Conference

• How can we embed learning, teaching and assessment
  approaches at Edinburgh Napier that are consistent with
  fostering the attributes which we value in our graduates?

• How can we enable the progressive development by our
  students of scholarly capabilities?

• What strategies can we adopt to clarify to our students the
  importance of such capabilities to their achievement at
  university and in later life?
Is the new theme…

“what should be the attributes of a graduate
 from Scottish Higher Education in the 21st
  century and how can the achievement of
     these attributes best be supported?”
           Enhancement Themes website: 21st Century Graduates
…or is it…

“…about radical thinking that can help prepare our
  higher education sector for the global challenges
    we face as a country over the next 20 years.”

     Government spokesperson on the Joint Future Thinking Task Force
       1) “The Purpose”

Seeking to indirectly define graduate
attributes by first defining the present
    and future purpose of Higher
        Education in Scotland
P.E.S.T Analysis...

               • Joint Future Thinking Task Force
                 Graduates that meet skills shortages
                 – vocational (skills)
               • Outcomes based relationship
               • Graduates that build capacity in
                 2009 class research”
               • “worldDIUS Review (Knowledge)

               • Graduates that“Frame work”
               • The Denham actively contribute to
                 the economy
P.E.S.T Analysis...

Economic (Skills)

  Graduates that are more flexible
• Collapse of Graduate market in
  terms of destination
• Increase in up or re-skilling
• Graduates that are more aware of
• lifelong learning
  International Student market?

• A sector less reliant on international
  student fees
P.E.S.T Analysis...

             Social (Knowledge)
             Social (Knowledge)
             • Diverse demographic in different
               Graduates who can learn
               ways and through different mediums
                – Part-time
                – Mature
                – International Students
             • Graduates who are far more multi-
             • The BIG Questions
                – Energy, climate change, international
             • Graduates who are more aware of
               consequences, impact and
               stakeholders in their field
             • Ethics/Citizenship
  P.E.S.T Analysis...


    Graduates who are IT
•• Progression of VLE’s Clairvoyant

   Sector which is IT confident
•• Distance Learners

   Graduates who
•• Who knows? can up-skill regularly
Conclusion on the “Purpose”

• Policy debates often simplifies to opposites
  (i.e Skills vs Knowledge and Employability vs Academia)

• Reality MUST not be so black & white

• Purpose will always be dynamic, our work should ensure a
  flexible learning & teaching experience that can adapt

• Learning & Teaching has proven its worth…
2) “Graduate Attributes”

Simply defining desirable Scottish
graduate attributes from previous

…Bringing the Themes together
Why come to University?

                  “To gain a qualification”
                  “To improve my chances of
                     getting a job”
                  “To improve my earning
  Drawing the themes together

        Attribute              Vehicle                     Theme
Well Qualified      Feedback                     Integrative Assessment (?)
                    Information on L&T           The First Year
                    Support Services             International Benchmarking

Employable          Skills Articulation          Employability/RT Linkages
                    Industry Informed Learning   RT Linkages/Employability
                    PDP                          Employability
                    Placement & Volunteering     The First Year/Employability
   Suggested priorities…

Low level of verbal feedback,

Especially in final year, yet

most desired form.
Suggested priorities…

  Presentation                           Presentation              Presentation                                  Presentation

                                                                                             Literature review
                                Computer Labs

                                Practical Labs                                                Final Year Project

                  YEAR 2                                YEAR 3                             YEAR 4

                                                 Travel                           Travel

                 Sports Union                                                                       Students Association

                                         PR & Marketing

                                                  Scottish Water

                  YEAR 2                                YEAR 3                             YEAR 4
                                                                                         Emphasis on process
                                                                 “Research Orientated”                           “Research Based”

                                                                              HOW                          TRYING

                                                                                                                                              Student-centred learning
                                                                                                                                                                         Students are participants
Students are the audience
                            Teacher-centred learning

                                                                               PDP                       Practical Labs
                                                                      HOW to research                    Scottish Water

                                                                            ABOUT                           DOING
                                                                      Module Content                   Final year project
                                                                       Student Officer                    Volunteering
                                                                 “Research Led”                                “Research Informed”

                                                                                         Emphasis on content
  Suggested priorities…

Skills Articulation
• Students are always grateful for the chance of industrial experience.

• The Research-Teaching Linkages theme must result in industry related
   skills being embedded in the curriculum from day 1.

• The Higher Education Achievement Record (HEAR) is now being piloted.
   Are we falling behind in recognising skills & experiences in Scotland?

• Students’ Associations must be valued for their role in skills
Suggested priorities…

                 High Quality
                 Deficit of information on L&T:
                     – Contact hours
                     – Quality of teaching
                     – Exams & Timetables

                 Although 41% stated they
                    received all the information
                    they needed…
3) The 21st Century Lecturer?

 All of this work is (and in some
 cases has been) futile if grass roots
    lecturers are not involved…
Practicing what we preach…

• We want graduates who are:
  – Lifelong learners
  – Confident in up/re-skilling
  – Reflective and self critical

• Can all our lecturers claim the above in
  regards to Learning & Teaching?

“Co-creators of Education”
                             Although students
                             want to be involved in
                             shaping their course,

                             they feel as though they
                             have not.

• Do not seek to silo attributes (employability, skills, research, vocational)

• Attributes will need to be multidisciplinary, with awareness of ethics,
  citizenship ect

• Feedback & opportunities for Skills Articulation must prioritised.

• Mechanisms for up-skilling ALL lecturers must be explored

• More resources given to L&T and Students’ Associations

Thank You.