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ERIC Number: EJ1080997
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015-Nov
Pages: 19
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1477-8785
Should Universities Promote Employability?
McCowan, Tristan
Theory and Research in Education, v13 n3 p267-285 Nov 2015
Employability is becoming increasingly central to the mission and functioning of universities, spurred on by national and supranational agencies, and the demands of marketisation. This article provides a response to the normative dimensions of the question, progressing through four stages: first, there is a brief consideration of the meaning and manifestations of employability and the historical conditions underpinning its emergence; second, the question is addressed of whether employability is a desirable societal and individual aim "per se"; third, there is a discussion of the fundamental purpose of the university, drawing on the well-known accounts of Newman and Collini, before--fourth--addressing the principal question of whether and in what way employability might fit within that purpose. It is argued that employability is a valid aim of universities only in so far as it is consistent with the central purpose of the institution to foster human understanding through open-ended enquiry. Further questions are discussed, namely, whether other social institutions are better equipped to promote employability, possible costs for the university, the ethical dimension and differences between public and private institutions.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A