Full paper Higher Education Research and Development Society of Australasia 2015

Graduate attributes: A generative curriculum model for international students (#123)

Yoshi Budd 1 , Marilyn Kell 1 , Nici Humphry
  1. Charles Darwin University, NT, Australia

Abstract Content (up to 300 words recommended)

 The move into a competitive, international market place is changing the function and character of higher education in Australia. The mandating and mapping of generic graduate outcomes in Australian universities demonstrate the high stakes nature of higher education and the powerful influence of industry alliances. Increased competition for funding, globalisation, new technologies, and quality assurance processes have resulted in expanded operational models that include recruiting and catering for students from a wide range of social, cultural and academic backgrounds. The result is an increased concern for ways in which universities can effectively support such diverse student cohorts to ensure both equity and quality graduate outcomes. This paper describes and evaluates the effectiveness of a generative curriculum model which was designed to address the needs and expectations of a diverse group of international students studying in Masters programs in an Australian university. The findings identify a number of challenges and benefits of the generative curriculum model, including concerns about the additional demands placed on teachers and students, and also positive reports about improved graduate outcomes and improvements to students’ sense of autonomy and agency.   

Addressing the theme/s of the Conference (up to 200 words recommended)

 This paper addresses the conference theme, ‘Learning for Life and Work in a Complex World’ through a focus on the effects of globalisation and the internationalisation of the curriculum on international students.  A discussion on the often contesting influences of equity and quality graduate outcomes for diverse student cohorts also acknowledges the accountability of higher education to not only students, bit also potential employers such as business and industry bodies. This is considered in the light of  the intensification of auditing practices and its affect on understandings of inclusion and quality in education. In this regard, the sub-themes of ‘Educating graduates to be responsive and adaptable professionals’ and ‘Navigating uncertainty and complexity’ are tightly intertwined throughout the paper.

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