Improving graduate attributes within the Egyptian university sector
This source preferred by Tania Humphries-Smith
Authors: Nassef, I., Humphries-Smith, T. and Keenan, C.
Journal: Higher Education
Abstract Throughout the years universities have attempted to foster graduate attributes in undergraduate degree courses. Despite the initiatives and funds put in place, attempts have been met with limited success causing what is known as the skills gap. This study sets out to understand the causes underpinning the skills gap by examining the specific nature of graduate attributes through using complexity theory. It builds on earlier work into graduate attributes by investigating the reasons influencing the variation in their interpretation thus providing an analysis of their contextual nature. Rather than determining key factors, this paper examines the multi factor causalities that affect the teaching and learning of graduate attributes in their educational context which requires to be acknowledged in higher education policies and practices. The study was explored in the Egyptian computer engineering undergraduate context. Using semi-structured interviews, a number of questions were posed to a purposive sample of academics and graduates belonging to two different computer engineering undergraduate programmes; one that is private and another that is public. To ensure the validity of data, more data were collected from Egyptian employers as well as the documents that represent the different educational policies and practices implemented in both private and public programmes of study. This research could be of interest to higher education authorities including: universities, deans of faculties, and heads of academic programmes, academics teaching undergraduate bachelor degrees, and course designers and reviewers for undergraduate bachelor degrees.