The Economics Network

Improving economics teaching and learning for over 20 years

Graduates for the 21st Century

Taking place within institutions and across the sector, the consideration of ‘graduate attributes’ will encompass not just established attributes such as critical thinking, but also the values that inform the work of the Universities, their contribution to culture, citizenship and intellectual growth , and HEI’s ability to educate graduate with the flexible competencies needed for a knowledge economy.

This Theme will look at the proposal through three levels:

  • Institutional - each University has put in place an institutional team to take forward and coordinate the work of the Theme within their institution.
  • Areas of shared interest- one aim of the Theme is to help institution in sharing and learning from enhancement approaches from across the whole spectrum of HEI’s in Scotland and, as with previous Themes, from approaches outside Scotland.
  • Sectoral – A key aim of the 21st Century Graduate Theme will be to engage all Scottish HEIs in a general consideration of, the types of graduates attributes necessary for the 21st Century, the likely needs of the increasingly diverse range of learners and how to support the diversity of learning in the achievement of such attributes.

Enhancement Theme outcomes:

More information on the Theme and details of the activities and outcomes can be found on the Enhancement Themes website.

Further Resources

Economics Network Employers Survey

Publisher: Economics Network
A survey conducted by the Economics Network aimed at employers which aims to establish whether employers generally think economics graduates possess the required skills and knowledge for employability. It also provided employers with the opportunity to discuss any clear shortfalls they saw in the economics graduates and the economics curriculum.

Studying Economics

Publisher: Economics Network
A website dedicated to Economics undergraduates offering support on everything from module choices and career options to writing skills and maths help.

Industrial placement and degree performance: evidence from a British Higher Education Institutions

Publisher: Economics Network, International Review of Economics Education, Alexandros Mandilaras, University of Surrey
This paper looks at the relationship between undertaking a professional placement and degree performance. Placement years equip students with transferable skills as well as other graduate attributes that they can take into the workplace. This paper also proves that undertaking a placement year can significantly increase a students’ chance of obtaining a higher class degree.


Publisher: Economics Network, Prof Rebecca Taylor, NTU.
This handbook chapter looks at seminars, how to conduct them effectively and how they can be best be used to facilitate student learning. Of particular interest to the Graduates for the 21st Century Theme is the section on transferable skills, how seminars can be developed to include these transferable skills and how best to do this effectively.