Although BTEC has considerably refined its approach to the development and embedding of common skills (core skills) within its Higher National Programmes in recent years, argues that there are still a number of problems associated with the practical operation of this strategy and obstacles to a deeper acceptance of the common skills pedagogy within a higher education context remain. From a survey of students who completed a Higher National Diploma at Sheffield Business School in 1993 the crucial issues in this respect were seen to be the complexity of the common skills strategy, difficulties in the area of assessment, the value placed on subject knowledge by students, the lack of an acceptance of a common skills profile when applying for jobs, interviews, and further study, the fact that students thought some skills to be more important than others, and the fact that the development of skills was not undertaken with sufficient reference to probable future contexts where they could be utilized.
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