Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1959.14/153003
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Changing perceptions underpinning graduate attributes : a pilot study
Higher Education Research and Development Society of Australasia Conference (33rd : 2010) (6 - 9 July 2010 : Melbourne)
M. Devlin, J. Nagy and A. Lichtenberg. Research and development in higher education : papers presented at the 33rd annual conference of the Higher Education Research and Development Society of Australasia, p.105-117
The research discussed in this paper presents the preliminary findings of a comparative analysis of graduate attributes statements across Australian universities. Specifically, it addresses the change over fifteen years through a thematic and word frequency analysis of institutional definitions of and justifications for graduate attributes. An analysis of the scholarship around graduate attributes demonstrates four broad conceptions of their purpose: employability; lifelong learning; preparing for an uncertain future; and acting for the social good. Our findings reveal the emergence of a further three conceptions in the last five years: adapting to change, promoting change and community leadership. This is aligned with a shift in emphasis towards community and participation. This research demonstrates a number of assumptions embedded in attribute statements concerning the primacy of the individual, the future of work and life, and the privileging of particular moral and ideological perspectives or values.