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The contested curriculum: academic learning and employability in higher education

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<mark>Journal publication date</mark>15/01/2013
<mark>Journal</mark>Tertiary Education and Management
Issue number2
Volume19
Number of pages15
Pages (from-to)112-126
Publication statusPublished
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

This article explores the discourse of employability in higher education by investigating the understanding of different stakeholder groups (students, staff, employers) of the University of Nottingham (UK and China), and their fit to each other and to the educational literature. It finds that, while theories of life-long or life-wide learning position employability as an outcome of a holistic curriculum embracing both discipline and employability, stakeholders perceive learning for employability as a threat to disciplinary learning. The results suggest that to progress significant curriculum development in support of employability, a greater consensus of stakeholder views is needed with a deeper sympathy towards the integration of academic learning and employability. The article concludes with an assessment of the re-envisioning needed by Nottingham and other universities as they prepare students for an "employability" fit for purpose in a twenty-first century characterized by change and challenge.