Style or substance: how Australian universities contextualise their graduate attributes for the curriculum quality space

Article


Hammer, Sara, Ayriss, Peter and McCubbin, Amanda. 2021. "Style or substance: how Australian universities contextualise their graduate attributes for the curriculum quality space." Higher Education Research and Development. 40 (3), pp. 508-523. https://doi.org/10.1080/07294360.2020.1761304
Article Title

Style or substance: how Australian universities contextualise their graduate attributes for the curriculum quality space

ERA Journal ID20348
Article CategoryArticle
AuthorsHammer, Sara (Author), Ayriss, Peter (Author) and McCubbin, Amanda (Author)
Journal TitleHigher Education Research and Development
Journal Citation40 (3), pp. 508-523
Number of Pages16
Year2021
PublisherRoutledge
Place of PublicationUnited Kingdom
ISSN0729-4360
1469-8366
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1080/07294360.2020.1761304
Web Address (URL)https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/07294360.2020.1761304
Abstract

Graduate attributes are now a fixture in higher education. They are perceived as statements of desirable graduate learning outcomes, yet this space is becoming increasingly crowded. In this study, we examine how universities contextualise their graduate attributes statements for the curriculum quality space. We analysed the way Australian universities represent the aims and function of their graduate attributes statements on publicly available web pages, in policies and in documents. Identified themes included the way graduate attributes were conceptualised and framed, their location, and how their integration with strategic internal documents and relevant external, sector quality standards was represented. Based on our findings, we make three recommendations. First, that universities critically examine their statements to ensure there is alignment with strategic institutional and sector aims and outcomes. Second, that they develop detailed policy implementation plans to contextualise and integrate them with key strategic, policy, and regulatory documents. Third, that universities develop a standards framework to articulate the relationship between their graduate attributes, other desired graduate learning outcomes, and relevant sector standards.

KeywordsGraduate attributes; integration; curriculum; quality; universities
Contains Sensitive ContentDoes not contain sensitive content
ANZSRC Field of Research 2020390303. Higher education
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Byline AffiliationsOffice for the Advancement of Learning and Teaching
Institution of OriginUniversity of Southern Queensland
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