Employability is a key aspect of higher education, as the graduates we turn out must posses both skills valuable to their prospective employers, and they must also be able to continue learning, applying the critical and reflective skills they have developed through their studies to new situations and problems. Employability is of key importance in higher education.
Since the publication of the 2006 edition of Pedagogy for employability (Pedagogy for Employability Group 2006), the economic, political and environmental pressures upon higher education institutions (HEIs) have placed the issue of graduate employability centre stage. A substantial amount of work has been undertaken over the last five years, much of which we draw upon in this new edition, yet the key challenge to those working in this area remains: how can we best integrate and balance different ways of teaching and learning that promote both effective learning and employability for students?
In an environment of high tuition fees and low economic growth, student expectations of both the qualification, and the experience of higher education (HE) itself, have been raised and questioned. Many HEIs are now adopting a renewed focus on the student experience and in engaging students as partners in learning. The challenge for HEIs is to address this through enhancing the quality of pedagogical approaches: the context of delivery, curricula construction and recognition of the impact that co-curricular and extra-curricular activities have in encouraging students to become confident learners and individuals capable of making a full contribution to society.