Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 51

Search results for: Graduates

51 A Study on the Waiting Time for the First Employment of Arts Graduates in Sri Lanka

Authors: Imali T. Jayamanne, K. P. Asoka Ramanayake

Abstract:

Transition from tertiary level education to employment is one of the challenges that many fresh university graduates face after graduation. The transition period or the waiting time to obtain the first employment varies with the socio-economic factors and the general characteristics of a graduate. Compared to other fields of study, Arts graduates in Sri Lanka, have to wait a long time to find their first employment. The objective of this study is to identify the determinants of the transition from higher education to employment of these graduates using survival models. The study is based on a survey that was conducted in the year 2016 on a stratified random sample of Arts graduates from Sri Lankan universities who had graduated in 2012. Among the 469 responses, 36 (8%) waiting times were interval censored and 13 (3%) were right censored. Waiting time for the first employment varied between zero to 51 months. Initially, the log-rank and the Gehan-Wilcoxon tests were performed to identify the significant factors. Gender, ethnicity, GCE Advanced level English grade, civil status, university, class received, degree type, sector of first employment, type of first employment and the educational qualifications required for the first employment were significant at 10%. The Cox proportional hazards model was fitted to model the waiting time for first employment with these significant factors. All factors, except ethnicity and type of employment were significant at 5%. However, since the proportional hazard assumption was violated, the lognormal Accelerated failure time (AFT) model was fitted to model the waiting time for the first employment. The same factors were significant in the AFT model as in Cox proportional model.

Keywords: AFT model, first employment, proportional hazard, survey design, waiting time.

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50 A Follow–Up Study of Bachelor of Science Graduates in Applied Statistics from Suan Sunandha Rajabhat University during the 1999-2012 Academic Years

Authors: Somruedee Pongsena

Abstract:

The purpose of this study is to follow – up the graduated students of Bachelor of Science in Applied Statistics from Suan Sunandha Rajabhat University (SSRU) during the 1999 – 2012 academic years and to provide the fundamental guideline for developing the current curriculum according to Thai Qualifications Framework for Higher Education (TQF: HEd). The sample was collected from 75 graduates by interview and online questionnaire. The content covered 5 subjects were Ethics and Moral, Knowledge, Cognitive Skills, Interpersonal Skill and Responsibility, Numerical Analysis as well as Communication and Information Technology Skills. Data were analyzed by using statistical methods as percentiles, means, standard deviation, t- tests, and F- tests. The findings showed that samples were mostly female had less than 26 years old. The majority of graduates had income in the range of 10,001-20,000 Baht and experience range were 2-5 years. In addition, overall opinions from receiving knowledge to apply to work were at agree; mean score was 3.97 and standard deviation was 0.40. In terms of, the hypothesis testing’s result indicate gender only had different opinion at a significance level of 0.05.

Keywords: Follow up, Graduates, knowledge, opinion, Work performance.

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49 Embedding Employability Skills in Computer and Information Science Program Curriculum

Authors: Nadezda Pizika

Abstract:

The paper discusses possible approaches of embedding the development of employability skills in the program curriculum. This paper contains analysis of the problem areas raised by employers regarding new graduates’ readiness to join workforce, the ways of possible improvements, and the actions required from different stakeholders. The case discussed in the paper is related to Computer and Information Science (CIS) Program offered at Higher Colleges of Technology (UAE).

Keywords: Curriculum Design, Employability Skills, Employers, Graduates.

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48 Effective Strategies for Teaching Cultural Competency to MSW Students in a Global Society

Authors: W. Jay Gabbard, Saundra H. Starks, Jeremiah Jaggers, Amy C. Cappiccie

Abstract:

An ethical mandate of the social work profession in the United States is that BSW and MSW graduates are sufficiently prepared to both understand diverse cultural values and beliefs and offer services that are culturally sensitive and relevant to clients. This skill set is particularly important for social workers in the 21st Century, given the increasing globalization of the U.S. and world. The purpose of this paper is to outline a pedagogical model for teaching cultural competency that resulted in a significant increase in cultural competency for MSW graduates at Western Kentucky University (WKU). More specifically, this model is predicated on five specific culturally sensitive principles and activities that were found to be highly effective in conveying culturally relevant knowledge and skills to MSW students at WKU. Future studies can assess the effectiveness of these principles in other MSW programs across the U.S. and abroad.

Keywords: Cultural Competence, Social Work, Teaching

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47 Fisheries Education in Karnataka: Trends, Current Status, Performance and Prospects

Authors: A. Vinay, Mary Josephine, Shreesha. S. Rao, Dhande Kranthi Kumar, J. Nandini

Abstract:

This paper looks at the development of Fisheries education in Karnataka and the supply of skilled human capital to the sector. The study tries to analyse their job occupancy patterns, Compound Growth Rate (CGR) and forecasts the fisheries graduates supply using the Holt method. In Karnataka, fisheries are one of the neglected allied sectors of agriculture in spite of having enormous scope and potential to contribute to the State's agriculture GDP. The State Government has been negligent in absorbing skilled human capital for the development of fisheries, as there are so many vacant positions in both education institutes, as well as the State fisheries department. CGR and forecasting of fisheries graduates shows a positive growth rate and increasing trend, from which we can understand that by proper utilization of skilled human capital can bring development in the fisheries sector of Karnataka.

Keywords: Compound growth rate, fisheries education, Holt method, skilled human capital.

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46 The Integration of Environmental Educational Outcomes within Higher Education to Nurture Environmental Consciousness amongst Engineering Undergraduates

Authors: Sivapalan, S., Subramaniam, G., Clifford, M.J., Balbir Singh, M.S., Abdullah, A

Abstract:

Higher education has an important role to play in advocating environmentalism. Given this responsibility, the goal of higher education should therefore be to develop graduates with the knowledge, skills and values related to environmentalism. However, research indicates that there is a lack of consciousness amongst graduates on the need to be more environmentally aware, especially when it comes to applying the appropriate knowledge and skills related to environmentalism. Although institutions of higher learning do include environmental parameters within their undergraduate and postgraduate academic programme structures, the environmental boundaries are usually confined to specific engineering majors within an engineering programme. This makes environmental knowledge, skills and values exclusive to certain quarters of the higher education system. The incorporation of environmental literacy within higher education institutions as a whole is of utmost pertinence if a nation-s human capital is to be nurtured to become change agents for the preservation of environment. This paper discusses approaches that can be adapted by institutions of higher learning to include environmental literacy within the graduate-s higher learning experience.

Keywords: Higher education, engineering education, environmental literacy, Malaysia.

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45 Effects of an Educative Model in Socially Responsible Behavior and Other Psychological Variables

Authors: Gracia V. Navarro, Maria V. Gonzalez, Carlos G. Reed

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The eudaimonic perspective in philosophy and psychology suggests that a good life is closely related to developing oneself in order to contribute to the well-being and happiness of other people and of the world as a whole. Educational psychology can help to achieve this through the design and validation of educative models. Since 2004, the University of Concepcion and other Chilean universities apply an educative model to train socially responsible professionals, people that in the exercise of their profession contribute to generate equity for the development and assess the impacts of their decisions, opting for those that serve the common good. The main aim is to identify if a relationship exists between achieved learning, attitudes toward social responsibility, self-attribution of socially responsible behavior, value type, professional behavior observed and, participation in a specific model to train socially responsible (SR) professionals. The Achieved Learning and Attitudes Toward Social Responsibility Questionnaire, interview with employers and Values Questionnaire and Self-attribution of SR Behavior Questionnaire is applied to 394 students and graduates, divided into experimental and control groups (trained and not trained under the educative model), in order to identify the professional behavior of the graduates. The results show that students and graduates perceive cognitive, affective and behavioral learning, with significant differences in attitudes toward social responsibility and self-attribution of SR behavior, between experimental and control. There are also differences in employers' perceptions about the professional practice of those who were trained under the model and those who were not. It is concluded that the educative model has an impact on the learning of social responsibility and educates for a full life. It is also concluded that it is necessary to identify mediating variables of the model effect.

Keywords: Educative model, good life, professional social responsibility (SR), values.

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44 Head of the Class: A Study of What United States Journalism School Administrators Consider the Most Valuable Educational Tenets for Their Graduates Seeking Careers at U.S. Legacy Newspapers

Authors: Adam Pitluk

Abstract:

In a time period populated by legacy newspaper readers who throw around the term “fake news” as though it has long been a part of the lexicon, journalism schools must convince would-be students that their degree is still viable and that they are not teaching a curriculum of deception. As such, journalism schools’ academic administrators tasked with creating and maintaining conversant curricula must stay ahead of legacy newspaper industry trends – both in the print and online products – and ensure that what is being taught in the classroom is both fresh and appropriate to the demands of the evolving legacy newspaper industry. This study examines the information obtained from the result of interviews of journalism academic administrators in order to identify institutional pedagogy for recent journalism school graduates interested in pursuing careers at legacy newspapers. This research also explores the existing relationship between journalism school academic administrators and legacy newspaper editors. The results indicate the value administrators put on various academy teachings, and they also highlight a perceived disconnect between journalism academic administrators and legacy newspaper hiring editors.

Keywords: Academic administration, education, journalism, media management, newspapers.

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43 Investigating the Contemporary Architecture Education Challenges in India

Authors: Vriddhi Prasad

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The paper briefly outlines the nature of contemporary Architecture Education in India and its present challenges with theoretically feasible solutions. It explores in detail the arduous position of architecture education owing to, privatization of higher education institutes in India, every changing demand of the technology driven industry and discipline, along with regional and cultural resources that should be explored academically for the enrichment of graduates. With the government's education policy of supporting privatization, a comprehensive role for the regulating body of Architecture Education becomes imperative. The paper provides key insights through empirical research into the nature of these roles and the areas which need attention in light of the problems. With the aid of critically acclaimed education model like Design Build, contextual retrofits for Indian institutes can be stressed for inclusion in the curriculum. The pairing of a private institute and public industry/research body and vice versa can lead to pro-economic and pro-social research environment. These reforms if stressed by an autonomous nationwide regulating body rather than the state will lead to uniformity and flexibility of curriculum which promotes the creation of fresh graduates who are adaptable to the changing needs.

Keywords: Architecture education, building information modeling, design build, pedagogy.

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42 Students, Knowledge and Employability

Authors: James Moir

Abstract:

Citizens are increasingly are provided with choice and customization in public services and this has now also become a key feature of higher education in terms of policy roll-outs on personal development planning (PDP) and more generally as part of the employability agenda. The goal here is to transform people, in this case graduates, into active, responsible citizen-workers. A key part of this rhetoric and logic is the inculcation of graduate attributes within students. However, there has also been a concern with the issue of student lack of engagement and perseverance with their studies. This paper sets out to explore some of these conceptions that link graduate attributes with citizenship as well as the notion of how identity is forged through the higher education process. Examples are drawn from a quality enhancement project that is being operated within the context of the Scottish higher education system. This is further framed within the wider context of competing and conflicting demands on higher education, exacerbated by the current worldwide economic climate. There are now pressures on students to develop their employability skills as well as their capacity to engage with global issues such as behavioural change in the light of environmental concerns. It is argued that these pressures, in effect, lead to a form of personalization that is concerned with how graduates develop their sense of identity as something that is engineered and re-engineered to meet these demands.

Keywords: students, higher education, employability, knowledge, personal development

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41 Entrepreneurship Education as a Pre-Requisite for Graduate Entrepreneurship: A Study of Graduate Entrepreneurs in Yenagoa City

Authors: Kurotimi M. Fems, Francis D. W. Poazi, Helen Opigo

Abstract:

The concepts of entrepreneurship education together with graduate entrepreneurship have taken centre stage in many countries as a 21st century strategy for economic growth and development. Entrepreneurship education has been viewed as a pre-requisite tool for a more effective and successful business operation. This paper seeks to verify if entrepreneurship education is pre-requisite to graduate entrepreneurship, and to ascertain if such other factors as the need for achievement, competence and experience etc. also play a foundational role in the choice of a graduate becoming an entrepreneur. The scope of the research study is entrepreneurs within Yenagoa metropolis in Bayelsa state, Nigeria. The sample target is graduates engaged in entrepreneurship activities (graduates who own and run businesses). Stratified sampling technique was used and 101 responses were obtained from a total of 300 questionnaires issued. Bar chart, tables and percentages were used to analyze the collected data. The findings revealed that personality traits, situational circumstance, need for achievement and experience/competence were the foundational factors stimulating graduate entrepreneurs to engage in entrepreneurial pursuits. Of all, personality trait showed the highest score with 73 (73%) out of 101 entrepreneurs agreeing. Experience/Competence and situational circumstances followed behind with 66 (65%) and 63 (62.4%), respectively. Entrepreneurship education revealed the least score with 33 (32.3%) out of 101 participating entrepreneurs. All hope, however, is not lost, as this shows that something can be done to increase the impact of entrepreneurship education on graduate entrepreneurship.

Keywords: Creative destruction, entrepreneurs, entrepreneurship education, graduate entrepreneurship, pre-requisite.

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40 Building the Professional Readiness of Graduates from Day One: An Empirical Approach to Curriculum Continuous Improvement

Authors: Fiona Wahr, Sitalakshmi Venkatraman

Abstract:

Industry employers require new graduates to bring with them a range of knowledge, skills and abilities which mean these new employees can immediately make valuable work contributions. These will be a combination of discipline and professional knowledge, skills and abilities which give graduates the technical capabilities to solve practical problems whilst interacting with a range of stakeholders. Underpinning the development of these disciplines and professional knowledge, skills and abilities, are “enabling” knowledge, skills and abilities which assist students to engage in learning. These are academic and learning skills which are essential to common starting points for both the learning process of students entering the course as well as forming the foundation for the fully developed graduate knowledge, skills and abilities. This paper reports on a project created to introduce and strengthen these enabling skills into the first semester of a Bachelor of Information Technology degree in an Australian polytechnic. The project uses an action research approach in the context of ongoing continuous improvement for the course to enhance the overall learning experience, learning sequencing, graduate outcomes, and most importantly, in the first semester, student engagement and retention. The focus of this is implementing the new curriculum in first semester subjects of the course with the aim of developing the “enabling” learning skills, such as literacy, research and numeracy based knowledge, skills and abilities (KSAs). The approach used for the introduction and embedding of these KSAs, (as both enablers of learning and to underpin graduate attribute development), is presented. Building on previous publications which reported different aspects of this longitudinal study, this paper recaps on the rationale for the curriculum redevelopment and then presents the quantitative findings of entering students’ reading literacy and numeracy knowledge and skills degree as well as their perceived research ability. The paper presents the methodology and findings for this stage of the research. Overall, the cohort exhibits mixed KSA levels in these areas, with a relatively low aggregated score. In addition, the paper describes the considerations for adjusting the design and delivery of the new subjects with a targeted learning experience, in response to the feedback gained through continuous monitoring. Such a strategy is aimed at accommodating the changing learning needs of the students and serves to support them towards achieving the enabling learning goals starting from day one of their higher education studies.

Keywords: Enabling skills, student retention, embedded learning support, continuous improvement.

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39 Education and Research in Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation in Libya

Authors: W. Astiata, A. Wasif

Abstract:

In this paper, an overview is made on the educational and research activities in the field of physical medicine and rehabilitation in Libya, including development in rehabilitation science, research, training, occupational therapy, physiotherapy and physiatrist, which are mainly concerned with the patients in Libya[3] [13].

Keywords: Physiotherapy, Rehabilitation, Libya, Graduates, Institutions, Universities, Research, Education, Courses.

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38 A Study on the Relation among Primary Care Professionals Serving the Disadvantaged Community, Socioeconomic Status, and Adverse Health Outcome

Authors: Chau-Kuang Chen, Juanita Buford, Colette Davis, Raisha Allen, John Hughes, Jr., James Tyus, Dexter Samuels

Abstract:

During the post-Civil War era, the city of Nashville, Tennessee, had the highest mortality rate in the United States. The elevated death and disease rates among former slaves were attributable to lack of quality healthcare. To address the paucity of healthcare services, Meharry Medical College, an institution with the mission of educating minority professionals and serving the underserved population, was established in 1876. Purpose: The social ecological framework and partial least squares (PLS) path modeling were used to quantify the impact of socioeconomic status and adverse health outcome on primary care professionals serving the disadvantaged community. Thus, the study results could demonstrate the accomplishment of the College’s mission of training primary care professionals to serve in underserved areas. Methods: Various statistical methods were used to analyze alumni data from 1975 – 2013. K-means cluster analysis was utilized to identify individual medical and dental graduates in the cluster groups of the practice communities (Disadvantaged or Non-disadvantaged Communities). Discriminant analysis was implemented to verify the classification accuracy of cluster analysis. The independent t-test was performed to detect the significant mean differences of respective clustering and criterion variables. Chi-square test was used to test if the proportions of primary care and non-primary care specialists are consistent with those of medical and dental graduates practicing in the designated community clusters. Finally, the PLS path model was constructed to explore the construct validity of analytic model by providing the magnitude effects of socioeconomic status and adverse health outcome on primary care professionals serving the disadvantaged community. Results: Approximately 83% (3,192/3,864) of Meharry Medical College’s medical and dental graduates from 1975 to 2013 were practicing in disadvantaged communities. Independent t-test confirmed the content validity of the cluster analysis model. Also, the PLS path modeling demonstrated that alumni served as primary care professionals in communities with significantly lower socioeconomic status and higher adverse health outcome (p < .001). The PLS path modeling exhibited the meaningful interrelation between primary care professionals practicing communities and surrounding environments (socioeconomic statues and adverse health outcome), which yielded model reliability, validity, and applicability. Conclusion: This study applied social ecological theory and analytic modeling approaches to assess the attainment of Meharry Medical College’s mission of training primary care professionals to serve in underserved areas, particularly in communities with low socioeconomic status and high rates of adverse health outcomes. In summary, the majority of medical and dental graduates from Meharry Medical College provided primary care services to disadvantaged communities with low socioeconomic status and high adverse health outcome, which demonstrated that Meharry Medical College has fulfilled its mission. The high reliability, validity, and applicability of this model imply that it could be replicated for comparable universities and colleges elsewhere.

Keywords: Disadvantaged Community, K-means Cluster Analysis, PLS Path Modeling, Primary care.

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37 Private Monetary Rates of Return to Humanities and Education Programs in Public Universities in Osun State, Nigeria

Authors: A. S. Adelokun, O. O. Gambo, A. A. Adegboye

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This study estimates the private cost of Humanities and Education programs in public universities in Osun state, Nigeria, as well as the private monetary returns to Humanities and Education programs in public universities in the state. It also estimates the private rates of return to Humanities and Education programmes in public universities in Osun state; with the view of providing information on the relative profitability of investments in Humanities and Education programs in public universities in Osun state. The study adopted a descriptive survey research design. The population for the study consisted of all Humanities and Education students from public universities in Osun State and all Humanities and Education graduates who are workers in Osun state establishments. The sample was made up of 600 students and 120 workers. The students were selected through simple random sampling technique from the two public universities in the state while the workers were purposively selected from Osun state establishments. These workers were graduates of Humanities and Education programs. The selected programs included Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in English, Bachelor of Education (B.Ed.) in English, B.A. in Religious Studies, B.Ed. in Religious Studies, B.A. in Yoruba and B.Ed. in Yoruba. Two research instruments were used, namely: Private Costs of University Education Questionnaire (PCUEQ) and Age Education Earnings of Workers Questionnaire (AEEWQ). The data were analyzed using compounding and discount cash flow techniques. The results showed that the private costs of Humanities and Education programs in public universities in Osun state were N855,935.59 and N694,269.34 respectively. The private monetary returns to Humanities and Education programs in public universities in the State were N9,052,859.28 and N9,052,859.28, respectively. The private rates of return to Humanities and Education programmes in public universities in Osun state were 27.36% and 34.40% respectively. The study concluded that it was more profitable to invest in Education programs than in Humanities programs at public universities in Osun state, Nigeria.

Keywords: Rates of return, private cost, investment, education.

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36 Assessment of Master’s Program in Technology

Authors: Niaz Latif, Joy L. Colwell

Abstract:

Following implementation of a master’s level graduate degree program in technology, a research-based assessment of the program was undertaken to determine how well the program met its goals and objectives, and the impact of the degree program on the objectives and the needs of its graduates. Upon review of the survey data, it was concluded that the program was meeting its goals and objectives, and that the directed project option should be encouraged.

Keywords: Master’s Degree, Graduate Program, Assessment.

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35 Course Adoption of MS Technologies – Case Study

Authors: Lilac Al Safadi, Rana Abu Nafesa, Regina Garcia

Abstract:

Motivated by Microsoft Co. Academic Program initiative, the department of Information Technology in King Saud University has adopted Microsoft products in three courses. The initiative aimed at enhancing the abilities of the university graduates and equipping them with skills that would help them in the job market. A number of methods of collecting assessment data were used to evaluate the course adoption initiative. Assessment data indicated that the goal of the course adoption is being achieved and that the students were much better prepared to design applications and administrate networks.

Keywords: course adoption, assessment, programming, technologies

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34 The Importance of Changing the Traditional Mode of Higher Education in Bangladesh: Creating Huge Job Opportunities for Home and Abroad

Authors: M. M. Shahidul Hassan, Omiya Hassan

Abstract:

Bangladesh has set its goal to reach upper middle-income country status by 2024. To attain this status, the country must satisfy the World Bank requirement of achieving minimum Gross National Income (GNI). Number of youth job seekers in the country is increasing. University graduates are looking for decent jobs. So, the vital issue of this country is to understand how the GNI and jobs can be increased. The objective of this paper is to address these issues and find ways to create more job opportunities for youths at home and abroad which will increase the country’s GNI. The paper studies proportion of different goods Bangladesh exported, and also the percentage of employment in different sectors. The data used here for the purpose of analysis have been collected from the available literature. These data are then plotted and analyzed. Through these studies, it is concluded that growth in sectors like agricultural, ready-made garments (RMG), jute industries and fisheries are declining and the business community is not interested in setting up capital-intensive industries. Under this situation, the country needs to explore other business opportunities for a higher economic growth rate. Knowledge can substitute the physical resource. Since the country consists of the large youth population, higher education will play a key role in economic development. It now needs graduates with higher-order skills with innovative quality. Such dispositions demand changes in a university’s curriculum, teaching and assessment method which will function young generations as active learners and creators. By bringing these changes in higher education, a knowledge-based society can be created. The application of such knowledge and creativity will then become the commodity of Bangladesh which will help to reach its goal as an upper middle-income country.

Keywords: Bangladesh, economic sectors, economic growth, higher education, knowledge-based economy, massifcation of higher education, teaching and learning, universities’ role in society.

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33 New Insights for Soft Skills Development in Vietnamese Business Schools: Defining Essential Soft Skills for Maximizing Graduates’ Career Success

Authors: Hang T. T. Truong, Ronald S. Laura, Kylie Shaw

Abstract:

Within Vietnam's system of higher education, its schools of business play a vital role in supporting the country’s economic objectives. However, the crucial contribution of soft skills for maximal success within the business sector has to date not been adequately recognized by its business schools. This being so, the development of the business school curriculum in Vietnam has not been able to 'catch up', so to say, with the burgeoning need of students for a comprehensive soft skills program designed to meet the national and global business objectives of their potential employers. The burden of the present paper is first to reveal the results of our survey in Vietnam which make explicit the extent to which major Vietnamese industrial employers’ value the potential role that soft skill competencies can play in maximizing business success. Our final task will be to determine which soft skills employers discern as best serving to maximize the economic interests of Vietnam within the global marketplace. Semi-structured telephone interviews have been conducted with the 15 representative Head Employers of Vietnam's reputedly largest and most successful of the diverse business enterprises across Vietnam. The findings of the study indicate that all respondents highly value the increasing importance of soft skills in business success. Our critical analysis of respondent data reveals that 19 essential soft skills are deemed by employers as integral to business workplace efficacy and should thus be integrated into the formal business curriculum. We are confident that our study represents the first comprehensive and specific survey yet undertaken within the business sector in Vietnam which accesses and analyses the opinions of representative employers from major companies across the country in regard to the growing importance of 19 specific soft skills essential for maximizing overall business success. Our research findings also reveal that the integration into business school curriculums nationwide of the soft skills we have identified is of paramount importance to advance the national and global economic interests of Vietnam.

Keywords: Business curriculum, business graduates, employers’ perception, soft skills.

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32 Rethinking the Languages for Specific Purposes Syllabus in the 21st Century: Topic-Centered or Skills-Centered

Authors: A. Knezović

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21st century has transformed the labor market landscape in a way of posing new and different demands on university graduates as well as university lecturers, which means that the knowledge and academic skills students acquire in the course of their studies should be applicable and transferable from the higher education context to their future professional careers. Given the context of the Languages for Specific Purposes (LSP) classroom, the teachers’ objective is not only to teach the language itself, but also to prepare students to use that language as a medium to develop generic skills and competences. These include media and information literacy, critical and creative thinking, problem-solving and analytical skills, effective written and oral communication, as well as collaborative work and social skills, all of which are necessary to make university graduates more competitive in everyday professional environments. On the other hand, due to limitations of time and large numbers of students in classes, the frequently topic-centered syllabus of LSP courses places considerable focus on acquiring the subject matter and specialist vocabulary instead of sufficient development of skills and competences required by students’ prospective employers. This paper intends to explore some of those issues as viewed both by LSP lecturers and by business professionals in their respective surveys. The surveys were conducted among more than 50 LSP lecturers at higher education institutions in Croatia, more than 40 HR professionals and more than 60 university graduates with degrees in economics and/or business working in management positions in mainly large and medium-sized companies in Croatia. Various elements of LSP course content have been taken into consideration in this research, including reading and listening comprehension of specialist texts, acquisition of specialist vocabulary and grammatical structures, as well as presentation and negotiation skills. The ability to hold meetings, conduct business correspondence, write reports, academic texts, case studies and take part in debates were also taken into consideration, as well as informal business communication, business etiquette and core courses delivered in a foreign language. The results of the surveys conducted among LSP lecturers will be analyzed with reference to what extent those elements are included in their courses and how consistently and thoroughly they are evaluated according to their course requirements. Their opinions will be compared to the results of the surveys conducted among professionals from a range of industries in Croatia so as to examine how useful and important they perceive the same elements of the LSP course content in their working environments. Such comparative analysis will thus show to what extent the syllabi of LSP courses meet the demands of the employment market when it comes to the students’ language skills and competences, as well as transferable skills. Finally, the findings will also be compared to the observations based on practical teaching experience and the relevant sources that have been used in this research. In conclusion, the ideas and observations in this paper are merely open-ended questions that do not have conclusive answers, but might prompt LSP lecturers to re-evaluate the content and objectives of their course syllabi.

Keywords: Languages for specific purposes (LSP), language skills, topic-centered syllabus, transferable skills.

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31 Adaptive Conjoint Analysis of Professionals’ Job Preferences

Authors: N. Scheidegger, A. Mueller

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Job preferences are a well-developed research field. Many studies analyze the preferences using simple ratings with a sample of university graduates. The current study analyzes the preferences with a mixed method approach of a qualitative preliminary study and adaptive conjoint-analysis. Preconditions of accepting job offers are clarified for professionals in the industrial sector. It could be shown that, e.g. wages above the average are critical and that career opportunities must be seen broader than merely a focus on formal personnel development programs. The results suggest that, to be effective with their recruitment efforts, employers must take into account key desirable job attributes of their target group.

Keywords: Conjoint analysis, employer attractiveness, job preferences, personnel marketing.

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30 Impact of Graduates’ Quality of Education and Research on ICT Adoption at Workplace

Authors: Mohammed A. Kafaji

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This paper aims to investigate the influence of quality of education and quality of research, provided by local educational institutions, on the adoption of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in managing business operations for companies in Saudi market. A model was developed and tested using data collected from 138 Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) of foreign companies in diverse business sectors. The data is analyzed and managed using multivariate approaches through standard statistical packages. The results showed that educational quality has little contribution to the ICT adoption while research quality seems to play a more prominent role. These results are analyzed in terms of business environment and market constraints and further extended to the perceived effectiveness of applied pedagogical approaches in schools and universities.

Keywords: Domestic Competition, Quality of Education, Quality of Research, ICT Adoption, Mediation.

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29 Detecting Major Misconceptions about Employment in ICT: A Study of the Myths about ICT Work among Females

Authors: Eneli Kindsiko, Kulno Türk

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The purpose of the current article is to reveal misconceptions about ICT occupations that keep females away from the field. The study focuses on the three phases in one’s career life cycle: pre-university, university and workplace with the aim of investigating how to attract more females into an ICT-related career. By studying nearly 300 secondary school graduates, 102 university students and 18 female ICT specialists, the study revealed six myths that influence the decision-making process of young girls in pursuing an ICT-related education and career. Furthermore, discriminating conception of ICT as a primarily man’s world is developed before the university period. Stereotypical barriers should be brought out to the public debate, so that a remarkable proportion of possible employees (women) would not stay away from the tech-related fields. Countries could make a remarkable leap in efficiency, when turning their attention to the gender-related issues in the labour market structure.

Keywords: ICT, women, education, stereotypes, computers.

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28 Proposing Problem-Based Learning as an Effective Pedagogical Technique for Social Work Education

Authors: Christine K. Fulmer

Abstract:

Social work education is competency based in nature. There is an expectation that graduates of social work programs throughout the world are to be prepared to practice at a level of competence, which is beneficial to both the well-being of individuals and community. Experiential learning is one way to prepare students for competent practice. The use of Problem-Based Learning (PBL) is a form experiential education that has been successful in a number of disciplines to bridge the gap between the theoretical concepts in the classroom to the real world. PBL aligns with the constructivist theoretical approach to learning, which emphasizes the integration of new knowledge with the beliefs students already hold. In addition, the basic tenants of PBL correspond well with the practice behaviors associated with social work practice including multi-disciplinary collaboration and critical thinking. This paper makes an argument for utilizing PBL in social work education.

Keywords: Constructivist theoretical approach, experiential learning, pedagogy, problem-based learning, social work education.

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27 A Soft Systems Methodology Perspective on Data Warehousing Education Improvement

Authors: R. Goede, E. Taylor

Abstract:

This paper demonstrates how the soft systems methodology can be used to improve the delivery of a module in data warehousing for fourth year information technology students. Graduates in information technology needs to have academic skills but also needs to have good practical skills to meet the skills requirements of the information technology industry. In developing and improving current data warehousing education modules one has to find a balance in meeting the expectations of various role players such as the students themselves, industry and academia. The soft systems methodology, developed by Peter Checkland, provides a methodology for facilitating problem understanding from different world views. In this paper it is demonstrated how the soft systems methodology can be used to plan the improvement of data warehousing education for fourth year information technology students.

Keywords: Data warehousing, education, soft systems methodology, stakeholders, systems thinking.

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26 Middle East towards Incubator Benefits: Case Studies

Authors: Hanadi Mubarak AL-Mubaraki, Michael Busler

Abstract:

In the context of business incubation (BI) as strategic enablers, this paper critically reviews the literature relating to the strategic benefits of BI in the Middle East. The taxonomy of BI benefits in the strategic elements on 1) type, 2) financial model, 3) services, 4) objectives, 5) number of clients, 6) number of graduates, and 7) jobs creation. Understanding the importance of BI benefits can be significant in the economic development although most incubators lead to diversify the economy. Thus, taxonomies of the benefits of BI are produced from both the academic literature and published case studies. In this way, a classification of strategic benefits elements as they relate to incubators has been developed to provide a greater understanding of the benefits needed to obtain a specific element. The result of this paper is Business incubators is aimed entrepreneurship, jobs creation, research commercialization and profitable enterprises in Middle Eastern countries.

Keywords: Economic Development, Incubators, Middle East, Strategic.

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25 An Exploration on Competency-Based Curricula in Integrated Circuit Design

Authors: Chih Chin Yang, Chung Shan Sun

Abstract:

In this paper the relationships between professional competences and school curriculain IC design industry are explored. The semi-structured questionnaire survey and focus group interview is the research method. Study participants are graduates of microelectronics engineering professional departments who are currently employed in the IC industry. The IC industries are defined as the electronic component manufacturing industry and optical-electronic component manufacturing industry in the semiconductor industry and optical-electronic material devices, respectively. Study participants selected from IC design industry include IC engineering and electronic & semiconductor engineering. The human training with IC design professional competence in microelectronics engineering professional departments is explored in this research. IC professional competences of human resources in the IC design industry include general intelligence and professional intelligence.

Keywords: IC design, curricula, competence, task, duty.

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24 Mindfulness and Employability: A Course on the Control of Stress during the Search for Work

Authors: O. Lasaga

Abstract:

Defining professional objectives and the search for work are some of the greatest stress factors for final year university students and recent graduates. To manage correctly the stress brought about by the uncertainty, confusion and frustration this process often generates, a course to control stress based on mindfulness has been designed and taught. This course provides tools based on relaxation, mindfulness and meditation that enable students to address personal and professional challenges in the transition to the job market, eliminating or easing the anxiety involved. The course is extremely practical and experiential, combining theory classes and practical classes of relaxation, meditation and mindfulness, group dynamics, reflection, application protocols and session integration. The evaluation of the courses highlighted on the one hand the high degree of satisfaction and, on the other, the usefulness for the students in becoming aware of stressful situations and how these affect them and learning new coping techniques that enable them to reach their goals more easily and with greater satisfaction and well-being.

Keywords: Employability, meditation, mindfulness, relaxation techniques, stress.

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23 Integrating Visual Modeling throughout the Computer Science Curriculum

Authors: Carol B.Collins, M. H. N Tabrizi

Abstract:

The purposes of this paper are to (1) promote excellence in computer science by suggesting a cohesive innovative approach to fill well documented deficiencies in current computer science education, (2) justify (using the authors- and others anecdotal evidence from both the classroom and the real world) why this approach holds great potential to successfully eliminate the deficiencies, (3) invite other professionals to join the authors in proof of concept research. The authors- experiences, though anecdotal, strongly suggest that a new approach involving visual modeling technologies should allow computer science programs to retain a greater percentage of prospective and declared majors as students become more engaged learners, more successful problem-solvers, and better prepared as programmers. In addition, the graduates of such computer science programs will make greater contributions to the profession as skilled problem-solvers. Instead of wearily rememorizing code as they move to the next course, students will have the problem-solving skills to think and work in more sophisticated and creative ways.

Keywords: Algorithms, CASE, Problem-solving, UML.

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22 The Engineering Eportfolio: Enhancing Communication, Critical Thinking and Problem Solving and Teamwork Skills?

Authors: Linda Mei Sui Khoo, Dorit Maor, Renato Schibeci

Abstract:

Graduate attributes have received increasing attention over recent years as universities incorporate these attributes into the curriculum. Graduates who have adequate technical knowledge only are not sufficiently equipped to compete effectively in the work place; they also need non disciplinary skills ie, graduate attributes. The purpose of this paper is to investigate the impact of an eportfolio in a technical communication course to enhance engineering students- graduate attributes: namely, learning of communication, critical thinking and problem solving and teamwork skills. Two questionnaires were used to elicit information from the students: one on their preferred and the other on the actual learning process. In addition, student perceptions of the use of eportfolio as a learning tool were investigated. Preliminary findings showed that most of the students- expectations have been met with their actual learning. This indicated that eportfolio has the potential as a tool to enhance students- graduate attributes.

Keywords: Eportfolio, Communication Skills, Critical Thinking and Problem Solving Skills and Teamwork Skills

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