About Graduate Employability 2.0

Graduate Employability 2.0 seeks to foster a networked approach to graduate employability. The ‘2.0’ in the fellowship title signifies the central importance of social connections and relationships to all dimensions of life and work in the 21st century.

Why take a networked approach to graduate employability?

The ability to grow and strengthen professional connections, and then interact and work with them effectively and strategically has long been recognised as essential to lifelong employability. For instance, professional networks have a vital role to play in various aspects of career development, innovation and problem-solving processes, and socially-based learning (see Bridgstock, 2016). With the advent of digitally mediated communication and the widespread use of social media, network effects on employability are both intensified and amplified.

Increasingly, universities are also seeking to build their own connectedness, and to enrich learning and teaching by collaborating and partnering with stakeholders from industry and community and their own alumni and students. In so doing, they strengthen their programs’ authenticity and relevance. They also can start to foster dynamic lifelong learning communities and networks, where the learning relationship can continue far beyond the conclusion of a degree program (see Bridgstock, 2017).

 

The connectedness learning model

The GE2.0 connectednesss learning model is the theoretical framework that has been developed for the fellowship. The culmination of more than 70 interviews with university representatives, industry / community representatives and graduates, it summarises the

• individual capabilities

• pedagogic approaches

• enabling strategies

that support students, teachers, programs and educational institutions to cultivate and promote a networked approach to lifelong graduate employability.

The connectedness learning toolkit

The toolkit for educators is designed to help enhance the connectedness of students, teachers, programs, organisational areas, and the wider university. It includes:

– a reflection on practice tool to help educators characterise their current practice and identify key areas for action;

– an action-planning tool to help strategise next steps;

– in-depth descriptions and resources for each model element, including the progression of capability learning through a course sequence (foundational – intermediate – capstone), and

– case studies of connected graduates, industry and educational practice The toolkit can be used by teachers, program and initiative co-ordinators, and area / institutional leaders.

The toolkit can be used by teachers, program and initiative co-ordinators, and area / institutional leaders.

About the fellowship

The GE2.0 fellowship is a program of activities designed to foster a networked approach to graduate employability across the Australian higher education sector. The fellowship comprises three phases:

Phase 1 comprises:
– more than 60 interviews with higher education teachers, program and initiative co-ordinators, and institutional leaders across the country about current engagement with connectedness learning
– case studies of innovative and exemplary practice in connectedness learning and teaching
– case studies of graduates and industry representatives for whom taking a networked approach has been important
Phase 2 comprises:
– development and initial testing of the connectedness learning model and the toolkit for educators via a national forum and online community of practice
Phase 3 comprises:
– embedding the networked approach through seminars, workshops and curriculum development initiatives that apply the model and toolkit across Australian higher education.

About Ruth Bridgstock
Associate Professor Ruth Bridgstock is Australian Office of Learning & Teaching National Senior Teaching Fellow for Graduate Employability 2.0. She is passionate about building ‘future capable’ learners, teachers, and educational institutions. Her activities are all centered on the question of how universities can foster capabilities for productive participation in the 21st century knowledge economy and society, including how to foster dynamic lifelong learning communities and networks.

Based in the Creative Industries Faculty at Queensland University of Technology, Ruth engages in research and scholarship into the changing world of work, capability needs, and approaches to learning in the digital age. She designs, develops and evaluates innovative curricula and teaching approaches for the development of these capabilities, and is also engaged in teacher capacity building and university transformation projects. She is co-author of Creative Work Beyond the Creative Industries: Innovation, Employment and Education (Edward Elgar, 2014), and Creative Graduate Pathways within and Beyond the Creative Industries (Routledge, 2016).
Graduate Employability 2.0 is the title of Ruth Bridgstock's Australian Office of Learning and Teaching National Senior Teaching Fellowship