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Are we all on the same page? Teacher, graduate and student perceptions of the importance of skills thought to enhance employability

Furnell, Julie; Scott, Graham


Julie Furnell


Graduate employability is a key issue for Higher Education Institutions (HEIs), academic faculty and of course for students themselves. It is recognised that to be employable graduates require both discipline specific skills/knowledge and more generic skills for employment. A key step to the development of the latter is an understanding of their significance on the part of those designing courses and the students who take them. Here we compare the perceived importance of key skills from the perspective of teachers, current students and recent graduates. We find that the three groups differ in the relative importance they ascribe to several key skills. Staff rated all skills as being important and saw many as being more important than did their students. With hindsight, graduates prioritized skills that were not seen as being very important by current students. As a result of our synthesizing the views of current undergraduates, employed graduates and lecturing staff, we recommend that proper signposting of the significance of key skills to students is vital.


Furnell, J., & Scott, G. (2015). Are we all on the same page? Teacher, graduate and student perceptions of the importance of skills thought to enhance employability. Journal of Learning Development in Higher Education, 8,

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jan 1, 2015
Publication Date 2015-03
Deposit Date Jun 3, 2015
Publicly Available Date Jun 3, 2015
Journal Journal of learning development in higher education
Print ISSN 1759-667X
Electronic ISSN 1759-667X
Publisher Association for Learning Development in Higher Education
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 8
Keywords Employability, Key skills, Graduate skills, Biology students, Bioscience students, Biology faculty
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Copyright Statement
©The A uthor(s). This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 International License (CC-BY 3.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. See

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