What are graduate attributes?

The QAA Enhancement themes of Graduates for the Twenty-first Century and  Developing and Supporting the Curriculum highlighted the concept of graduate attributes, and encouraged debate across the sector on the key skills and characteristics that those graduating from Scottish higher education should be able to demonstrate. 

Each institution has developed its own set of graduate attributes and Stirling, in the current Learning and Teaching Quality Enhancement Strategy (LTQES), articulates its Graduate Attributes as follows.

Stirling graduates are: 

  • Scholarly and skilled within and between disciplines
  • Intellectually curious and research minded
  • Committed to personal and professional development
  • Engaged individuals with a global perspective

The difference between employment, employability and graduate attributes:

These terms are widely used, and it is worth being clear what each one means.

Employment is simply about getting a job whilst Employability is about having the right combination of skills, attributes and attitudes to work successfully in any required role.

Graduate attributes are the high level qualities, skills and understandings that a student should gain as a result of the learning they engage with while at university. This ‘graduateness’ is what sets them apart from those without a degree, and is the added value graduates offer.

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