Perceptions, pedagogy, employability: from survey indicators to improving skills

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Outcomes of a 2014 small-scale survey, comparing employability skills perceptions of final year undergraduate students and alumni of the chemical and process engineering department at the University of Strathclyde, demonstrate some significant factors in successful student transition into employment. Significant shifts of perceived importance of skills were found as graduates gain employment experience. Shifts in perceptions of skill importance can inform teaching practice, particularly for vocational subjects; e.g. the lower ranked importance of technical knowledge amongst graduates compared to students. However, in contrast, there was student-graduate agreement in their perceptions of the most important skill for work, which was also found to be lacking perceptions of educational experiences: communication skills. The literature and survey results finds group project work as beneficial in developing communication skills and a favourable learning method respectively.

Reflections on the introduction of communication skills to group project work will be presented. Communication skills are general to all disciplines; complex; and can be developed implicitly. Some observations on how educators can assist in developing skills, using authentic learning experiences, as well as the tensions that may result in implementing change in curricula will be discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages5
Publication statusPublished - 6 Jun 2017
Event14th Enhancement Themes Conference - Glasgow, United Kingdom
Duration: 6 Jun 20179 Jun 2017


Conference14th Enhancement Themes Conference
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom


  • student learning
  • pedagogy
  • employability
  • student skills
  • university education


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