The University and the Knowledge Network: A New Educational Model for Twenty-first Century Learning and Employability
Bridgstock, Ruth (2016) The University and the Knowledge Network: A New Educational Model for Twenty-first Century Learning and Employability. In Tomlinson, Michael & Holmes, Leonard (Eds.) Graduate Employability in Context: Theory, Research and Debate. Palgrave Macmillan, London, pp. 339-358.
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The higher education sector is under ongoing pressure to demonstrate quality and efficacy of educational provision, including graduate outcomes. Preparing students as far as possible for the world of professional work has become one of the central tasks of contemporary universities. This challenging task continues to receive significant attention by policy makers and scholars, in the broader contexts of widespread labour market uncertainty and massification of the higher education system (Tomlinson, 2012). In contrast to the previous era of the university, in which ongoing professional employment was virtually guaranteed to university-qualified individuals, contemporary graduates must now be proactive and flexible. They must adapt to a job market that may not accept them immediately, and has continually shifting requirements (Clarke, 2008). The saying goes that rather than seeking security in employment, graduates must now “seek security in employability”. However, as I will argue in this chapter, the current curricular and pedagogic approaches universities adopt, and indeed the core structural characteristics of university-based education, militate against the development of the capabilities that graduates require now and into the future.
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