In its statement on courses and curriculum restructure and renewal the University draws attention to ‘Graduate qualities embedded across all Bachelor-level degrees' (3.2).
It advises that the embedding process should involve three ‘steps', as follows:
- consider the aims and learning outcomes of your course or major sequence;
- map the program of study against the graduate qualities;
- consider the development of capstone topics, where these do not currently exist.
The premise for this approach is that:
The graduate qualities provide a generic description of the core skills and attributes, along with more program-specific professional competencies, that bachelor degree students should have the opportunity to acquire by the time they graduate.
The University's graduate qualities page amplifies this premise by stating that graduate qualities must be linked to learning, accountability and employment outcomes. They propose that graduate qualities are integral to students' experience when there is:
- consistency of interpretation;
- complementarity to avoid duplication;
- connection with other policies.
They also state that a clear process of implementation across cost centres helps to:
- avoid confusion;
- identify good practice and share it;
- avoid reinventing the wheel.
The Case Studies offered here - and others that will follow - signal ways of thinking about graduate qualities from the perspective of different cultures of inquiry. Some accentuate learning aims and objectives, others map programs of study against qualities, and still others accentuate the role to be played by students in transmission and reception of ideas about graduate qualities. The objective is to share examples of good, creative thinking and practice about the role to be played by graduate qualities in curriculum renewal. The case studies draw on extensive reserves of well-researched practice by staff and students across the University about the integration of ideas on qualities, attributes and skills.
Thanks are due to collegial members of the university who have generously shared their work, to help others avoid ‘reinventing the wheel' and to smooth the ride. Thanks also to Gus Worby who worked closely with colleagues to produce the case studies.