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University and graduates employability: Academics’ views regarding university activities (the case of Iran)

Mahtab Pouratashi (Institute for Research and Planning in Higher Education, Tehran, Iran)
Asghar Zamani (Institute for Research and Planning in Higher Education, Tehran, Iran)

Higher Education, Skills and Work-Based Learning

ISSN: 2042-3896

Publication date: 12 August 2019

Abstract

Purpose

A graduate must be qualified in order to be successful in the labor market. Hence, embedding employability into higher education is a priority of policymakers and universities. The purpose of this paper is to promote students’ employability skills deal with the issue.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper is accomplished in three phases, and qualitative and quantitative approaches were conducted. Data were collected from 14 entrepreneurs and experts in the field of business and 150 faculty members from the main academic categories (including: engineering, humanities, agriculture and veterinary, science, and art).

Findings

The findings revealed that employability skills of students could be totally classified in three categories (basic, intermediate and advance) and five levels. Also, factor analysis regarding university activities to develop students’ employability skills showed five activities including: support, cultural, informing, research and educational activities.

Practical implications

The results can be beneficial for universities’ plan activities and offer proper services that enhance students’ skills for their future career. Also, the findings can be fruitful for higher education policymakers to find the right way to foster employability issues at universities. Mechanisms such as employers’ participation in curriculum development and work-based learning are useful in ensuring a good match between the supply of skills and the demand for skills.

Originality/value

This study classified graduates’ employability skills in basic, intermediate and advance categories. Another important contribution of this study was the proposed paths for improving each level of employability skills, enabling universities to be aware of the proper activities for each skills enhancement.

Keywords

Citation

Pouratashi, M. and Zamani, A. (2019), "University and graduates employability: Academics’ views regarding university activities (the case of Iran)", Higher Education, Skills and Work-Based Learning, Vol. 9 No. 3, pp. 290-304. https://doi.org/10.1108/HESWBL-12-2017-0103

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2019, Emerald Publishing Limited