Developing a Graduate Attribute Framework for Higher Education.

Staunton, C, Cowley-Cunningham, M and Hodgers, J (2021) Developing a Graduate Attribute Framework for Higher Education. Sociology of Education eJournal, 4 (74).


[Augmented Framework based on this consultation was adopted by DkIT Academic Council No.177, October 2021] Graduate Attributes are the core abilities and values a higher education institute community agrees all its graduates should develop. They are the abilities employers deem necessary for today’s knowledge workers and graduate success (HEA UK, 2013). The National Framework for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education identifies ‘Student Success’ as: ‘Student success optimises the learning and development opportunities for each student to recognise and fulfil their potential to contribute to, and flourish in, society. To be achieved, this requires a culture in Irish higher education that values inclusivity, equity and meaningful engagement between students, staff, their institutions, and the wider community…’ (Farrell & McEvoy, 2019) The Graduate Attribute agenda is key to fulfilling this promise to its students by Dundalk Institute of Technology, and this report outlines the results of our research with the goal of establishing our own graduate attribute framework. First, we review the development of the policy context driving graduate attribute development nationwide, and then turn to a discussion of relevant graduate attribute theories to ground our research. Finally, we present the main results of our first piece of research on graduate attributes, namely our Focus Group Consultation, and outline the implications. Keywords: Graduate Attributes, Higher Education, Changemakers, Employability, Mindsets, Embedding Employability in the Curriculum

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