Students’ perceptions on the need to introduce employability skills on their degree: the vocational v liberal dichotomy

Researcher: Dr Maribel Canto-Lopez

Institution: University of Leicester

Research Year: 2020

Project aims:

This study will look mainly at what students perceive as the skills they need for the world of work. The requirement of producing employable graduates is being ‘arguably’ pushed into Higher Education more than ever, but there is no clear picture regarding what students think about what employability skills are and how they want them integrated, if at all, in their degrees. For the past five years in Leicester Law School we have developed a model to introduce group work and professional writing skills into different subjects; through quantitative and qualitative data we can confirm that learners do approve and want us to continue with embedding these skills into the curriculum. However, it is time to start thinking together with our students what are the attributes that according to them will make them more useful in society. Will those be different from what employers, government and professional bodies, parents or teachers are endorsing? It is the right time to re-think together with our students, through qualitative data, what are the attributes our graduates should be aiming for, and whether there is discrepancy between what will make them employable and/or better citizens.


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