BRINGING TO LIFE INSTITUTIONAL GRADUATE ATTRIBUTES WITHIN AN INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS AND LANGUAGES UNDERGRADUATE PROGRAMME
Graduate attributes are the focus of considerable attention in higher education institutions. Many have identified a set of attributes that encapsulates the academic abilities, personal, social and professional qualities which they endeavour to instil in their students. This paper presents a multiple stakeholder approach to the contextualisation of graduate attributes within an international business and languages programme in the Dublin Institute of Technology. Stakeholders included a selection of academics, employers, final year students and institutional drivers of graduate attributes. In the first phase of the process, stakeholders were brought together to prioritise and select a number of graduate attributes relevant to the programme under study. The Diamond 9 activity was used for this purpose. In doing so, stakeholders’ beliefs and understandings of various graduate attributes were revealed and underlying reasons for discrepancies were explored. In the second phase of the process, a number of modules within the programme were mapped against a selection of key attributes, revealing strengths and areas for improvement. The overall aim of this process is not only to bring our institutional graduate attributes to life, but also to use relevant graduate attributes as a framework to engage a broader discussion with academics on learning outcomes within the programme. Furthermore, the outcomes of this process will support academics and career officers in helping students to map their pathways by articulating their graduate attributes to potential employers. Finally, academics within the programme will be empowered to contribute in a meaningful way to the recent institutional debate on graduate attributes.