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Page: 1364 (abstract only)
Publication year: 2017
ISBN: 978-84-697-6957-7
ISSN: 2340-1095
doi: 10.21125/iceri.2017.0443

Conference name: 10th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 16-18 November, 2017
Location: Seville, Spain

ENGAGING INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS TO DEVELOP THEIR EMPLOYABILITY: A CASE STUDY OF A BRITISH UNIVERSITY

R. Huang, R. Turner

University of Plymouth (UNITED KINGDOM)
Graduate employability has been widely debated by policy-makers and academics (Pegg et al., 2012); indeed, enhancing graduate employability is a priority for many stakeholders in higher education (HE) (O’Leary, 2017). A theoretical framework is essential for the effective evaluation of employability but there is a wide range of definitions of employability coexisting in current literature (Williams, et al 2016). Waters (2009) points out that little reference is made to the increasingly international dimensions of HE. In reality, Jones (2016) argues that the relationship between internationalisation and the development of graduate employability skills are largely ignored at present. Multiple studies show close interests in supporting international students to develop employability skills and consistently report that students were aware of a range of opportunities available to develop their employability but engagement was variable due to issues surrounding language barriers, cultural differences and perceived relevance.

There has been unprecedented growth of social media and other Web 2.0 technologies over the past decade (Tess, 2013), with many younger people tending to take social media for granted (Benson et al, 2014). Students raised with pervasive technology are believed to have developed skills and ways of thinking that require new approaches to education. Constantinides and Stagno (2011) propose that it is attractive to engage with social media in the settings of the HE. In particular, the use of social media as an education tool to promote student engagement is increasingly attracting researchers’ attention, and many of them argue that social media can benefit student learning both inside and outside the classroom. However, researchers (e.g. Benson et al., 2014; Zekiri, 2016) are also questioning how social media can be used 'effectively'. A large gap remains in understanding student preferences regarding social media in courses (Towner and Klemz, 2016) and how its use across specific groups such as international students (Saw et al., 2013).

Against the above background, drawing on data collected from international students at all levels of study across a range of degree programmes, the aim of this research was to investigate whether social media can be used as an effective mechanism to disseminate training opportunities and engage international students in initiatives to develop their employability while they study in the UK. A three-part questionnaire survey was designed based on a detailed literature review, it captured demographic information, social media behaviour in relation to the university employability activities, as well as capturing their general social media behaviour (importance and performance). The online survey started from March and finished at the first week of June 2017.

From this research, it is clear that although the university made great efforts to use different social media platforms to engage students to develop their employability, the international students’ awareness of such platforms was low and their actual use of such platforms was disappointing. The social media platforms were perceived most useful for interaction with people and job/placement opportunities. The importance-performance analysis provided four strategies for the university career & employability services to adopt in order to better use social media to engage international students to develop their employability.
@InProceedings{HUANG2017ENG,
author = {Huang, R. and Turner, R.},
title = {ENGAGING INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS TO DEVELOP THEIR EMPLOYABILITY: A CASE STUDY OF A BRITISH UNIVERSITY},
series = {10th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation},
booktitle = {ICERI2017 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-697-6957-7},
issn = {2340-1095},
doi = {10.21125/iceri.2017.0443},
url = {http://dx.doi.org/10.21125/iceri.2017.0443},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Seville, Spain},
month = {16-18 November, 2017},
year = {2017},
pages = {1364}}
TY - CONF
AU - R. Huang AU - R. Turner
TI - ENGAGING INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS TO DEVELOP THEIR EMPLOYABILITY: A CASE STUDY OF A BRITISH UNIVERSITY
SN - 978-84-697-6957-7/2340-1095
DO - 10.21125/iceri.2017.0443
PY - 2017
Y1 - 16-18 November, 2017
CI - Seville, Spain
JO - 10th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
JA - ICERI2017 Proceedings
SP - 1364
EP - 1364
ER -
R. Huang, R. Turner (2017) ENGAGING INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS TO DEVELOP THEIR EMPLOYABILITY: A CASE STUDY OF A BRITISH UNIVERSITY, ICERI2017 Proceedings, p. 1364.
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