Contextual Studies and Employability

David Heap


Recently the importance of student employability has taken centre stage of the Higher Education (HE) agenda. The HE pedagogic rationale has shifted from students acquiring knowledge for its own sake to students attaining a set of employability attributes that will ready them for employment. Although anecdotal evidence suggests Contextual Studies (CS) within the Art, Media and Design (AMD) Faculty of Staffordshire University is frequently viewed as ‘academic’ by students, it actually includes a number of activities and skills that feature repeatedly in lists of key employability attributes as published by the UK Government, academics and employers. The purpose of this paper is to challenge the prevalent student view of CS by looking into the positive contribution it can make to a student’s employability.

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