Higher Education and the Future of Graduate Employability
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Higher Education and the Future of Graduate Employability

A Connectedness Learning Approach

Edited by Ruth Bridgstock and Neil Tippett

This book challenges the dominant ‘employability skills’ discourse by exploring socially connected and networked perspectives to learning and teaching in higher education. Both learning and career development happen naturally and optimally in ecologies, informal communities and partnerships. In the digital age, they are also highly networked. This book presents ten empirical case studies of educational practice that investigate the development of learner capabilities, teaching approaches, and institutional strategies in higher education, to foster lifelong graduate employability through social connectedness.
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Chapter 11: Institutional enabling strategies

Ruth Bridgstock and Neil Tippett


University structures and processes often militate against the promotion of connectedness learning. From the outside, they are often seen as walled gardens, restricting the flow of people and information between themselves and the outside world, while on the inside, the often-used metaphor is a series of siloes, where staff, programs, and organisational areas in different academic and functional areas all work in parallel to each other with relatively little interaction. If we are to support students to develop connections and use these to work and live productively and meaningfully, then it follows that universities themselves should also be well connected. This chapter explores the range of approaches that universities can use to overcome the institutional barriers to connectedness. Seven enabling institutional strategies are outlined which can be used to create, grow and maintain inter- and intra-institutional connectedness. The chapter then introduces three empirical studies which explore how these enabling strategies are being integrated within and across different higher education institutions, and the impact they have had toward enhancing graduates’ connectedness capabilities.

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