Monday, 1 October 2018

Of course I can ride a horse, I went to the lecture!

What does University actually equip the graduate to do?

Photo by Kirsten LaChance on Unsplash
The discussion in Higher Education about "outcomes" and "employability" (note that this is different from "graduate employment") takes on greater focus when such things are measured in a way that can inform quality ratings.
One problem arises, however, when skills development is not embedded in the curriculum but is seen as optional or voluntary (and less valued as a consequence).  And, what are the skills that should be developed, about which evidence should be garnered to support CV claims about, and armed with which, graduates assault the world of work?
Ha! so many institutions claim, that's why we have "professional placements" or Work Based Learning - to ensure that key skills are embedded.
But what if, I hear you say, what if the students opt out of those options or spend their "year out" studying in a partner institution or hiding in their room or they did not do a "year out"?
Then we can rely on a handy translation device like this:

CV speak
Managed a focused team in a pressured, customer facing environment.

Flipped burgers for McDonald's
Organised a group visit to a foreign location, arranged cultural tours and negotiated return travel for an injured colleague.

Nearly got into the Sagrada Família in Barcelona and persuaded Ryanair to let Tom board, even though he was badly hungover.
Established an on-line support group for homesick students.

Put my Mum on Whatsapp.
Achieved 100% attendance record at lectures and seminars for 3 years.

Hacked the mobile app the Uni uses for monitoring.
References on Request
I haven’t found anyone willing to give me a positive reference yet.

Ethnicity: Prefer not to divulge


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