Employability: A Contested Concept in Higher Education

Stoten, David (2018) Employability: A Contested Concept in Higher Education. Journal of Pedagogic Development, 7 (1). pp. 9-17. ISSN 2047-3257

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Employability is a concept that has attracted greater interest in the past two decades as Higher Education (HE) looks to ensure that its output is valued by a range of stakeholders, not least Central Government. The graduate labour market has changed remarkably during the past two decades with global employment becoming an option for some and a threat for others. In addition, the nature of work has changed with a range of technological and employment practices altering the way we work. It is this dynamic and uncertain context that has led many within the Higher Education sector to re-evaluate its purpose and value. A number of universities have drawn up typologies of behaviours and attributes that characterise their graduates. This paper aims to look beyond the apparent ascendancy of employability and ask why is employability a contested concept within HE? This paper draws from post‐structuralism, Positional Conflict Theory as well as liberal‐humanist thought. The paper is structured at three levels of decision‐making: the macro‐ that of public policy, the meso‐ that of the Higher Education sector, and the micro‐ that of the student.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Employability, Higher Education; graduate attributes; post-structuralism; Positional Conflict Theory; Liberal humanism
Subjects: N200 Management studies
X300 Academic studies in Education
Department: Faculties > Business and Law > Newcastle Business School
Depositing User: Paul Burns
Date Deposited: 28 Mar 2018 09:05
Last Modified: 31 Jul 2021 20:50
URI: http://nrl.northumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/33869

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