Developing a Graduate Attribute Framework for Higher Education

Focus Group Report, Dundalk Institute of Technology, Ireland

33 Pages Posted: 8 Jul 2021 Last revised: 27 Jun 2022

See all articles by Catherine Staunton

Catherine Staunton

Dundalk Institute of Technology

Michelle B. Cowley-Cunningham

Royal Statistical Society; University of Oxford

Jonathan Hodgers

Trinity College Dublin

Date Written: July 1, 2021

Abstract

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

Suggested Citation

Staunton, Catherine and Cowley-Cunningham, Michelle B. and Hodgers, Jonathan, Developing a Graduate Attribute Framework for Higher Education (July 1, 2021). Focus Group Report, Dundalk Institute of Technology, Ireland, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3878312 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3878312

Catherine Staunton

Dundalk Institute of Technology ( email )

Dublin Road
Dundalk
Ireland

Michelle B. Cowley-Cunningham (Contact Author)

Royal Statistical Society ( email )

NCFB
Dublin
Ireland

University of Oxford ( email )

CSLS
Oxford
United Kingdom

Jonathan Hodgers

Trinity College Dublin ( email )

School of Law, House 39, New Square
Trinity College Dublin, the University of Dublin
Dublin, D02 X376
Ireland

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