Higher Education Whisperer
Course Design, Teaching and Research.
Saturday, August 22, 2015
Universities Can and Should Educate for Employment
Senior Lecturer at University of Melbourne argues that "
Universities can’t, and shouldn’t, educate to suit employers
" (The Conversation, 12
August 2015). But I suggest higher education (HE) is, in part, about "training". I want the motor mechanic who fixes my car, and the surgeon who operates on me, to know the practical parts of their job. There is no point in having high order thinking skills, if you kill your client through a lack of basic technique. At the lower end HE should be mostly about training.
Collaboration between HE and employers can happen, but this does not have to be companies telling individual universities what to teach. This is best done, I suggest, by industry and professional bodies working with HE representatives. In the Australian VET sector there are formal committees made up of industry and HE representatives. As an example, there is an
Auto Skills National Training Advisory Committee
Professional bodies also issue accreditation requirements for VET and university programs. The Austrian Computer Society (ACS)
accredits VET and university programs
This assumes that HE programs are orientated to specific jobs. There are many university programs which are not specific to a job. There has been a move in Australia to have generic "graduate attributes" for university graduates, to show employers they have work relevant skills. But employers don't want
employees, they want ones who can do a specific job.
It would be more useful for the universities to follow the VET practice and certify graduates have specific skills relevant to a job. This could be done alongside a broad university education by using
e-portfolios for certification
. This could be done in co-operation with the VET sector.
Post a Comment
View web version