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ERIC Number: EJ1102533
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016
Pages: 16
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0307-5079
Employability Deconstructed: Perceptions of Bologna Stakeholders
Sin, Cristina; Neave, Guy
Studies in Higher Education, v41 n8 p1447-1462 2016
The paper analyses employability as a floating signifier--a construct that accommodates different and often contending meanings. A preliminary analysis of scholarly literature identifies two opposed interpretations of employability--an individual responsibility versus a comprehensive context-aware construct. These are subsequently applied to the discourse of the major interests in the Bologna Process: policy-makers; institutions and academics; students; and employers. Their standpoints are examined from two dimensions: How far is responsibility for employability individualised? and What is higher education's role in fostering employability? As a concept, employability commands little consensus. Rather, it is interpreted in the light of each interest group's concerns. As to higher education's role, utilitarianism characterises all but academic actors' views. Applying the concept of a floating signifier to employability as it is debated within the Bologna Process--a policy arena for competing interest groups to dispute meaning--reveals a finer, more nuanced understanding of how policy comes to be and, in particular, the importance of discourse and conflicts over meaning as factors intrinsic to it.
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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