Flinders University aims to inspire its students to achieve at the highest possible level.
Our degrees are recognised and highly regarded internationally. We provide a learning environment which is innovative, supportive and of high quality. We expect our students to develop an intellectual and cultural curiosity, both within academic and professional disciplines and across discipline boundaries. We expect them to develop the problem-solving work-ready skills required in our dynamic and changing world. We expect them to demonstrate cultural awareness, to develop a global perspective and to cultivate a respect and tolerance for others. We are proud that so many Flinders graduates identify with, and can be distinguished by, these distinctive academic, professional and cultural characteristics.
Within this context, each bachelor degree program aims to develop, along with more program-specific professional competencies, the core qualities listed here. These expected graduate qualities shape the more detailed educational aims and learning outcomes which are specified for each course and topic at Flinders.
We expect our students to develop an extensive and well-founded knowledge in their field of study. This includes the ability to acquire and understand, using current technologies and effective learning strategies, information and ideas that underpin this knowledge.
We expect our students to develop the ability to use their knowledge to plan, to analyse, to think critically, logically and creatively, to reflect upon and evaluate ideas, options, and potential solutions to problems, and to make and implement decisions.
We expect our students to learn to convey clearly and fluently their knowledge, understanding, reasoning and decisions. We expect them to be able to do this in written and spoken form, as appropriate to the particular audience and setting. We also expect them to listen well and to respond constructively.
We expect our students to take responsibility for, and become self-reliant in, their learning and their work. This includes organising their activities, prioritising their tasks and managing their time productively. It also includes recognising that the world is dynamic and changing, and therefore being prepared to take responsibility in the years ahead to review, update and adapt their knowledge and skills.
We expect our students to interact effectively and properly with others in a variety of settings. This includes, where appropriate, working cooperatively and productively within a group or team towards a common outcome. It also includes showing respect to others and to their ideas and perspectives, and learning to negotiate and resolve conflict or difficulties constructively.
We expect our students to act with integrity in all matters. We also expect them to become aware of the ethical complexities and implications of various issues that can arise within their field of study, and to appreciate the need for themselves and others to act ethically and to learn how to arrive at ethical solutions to problems.
We expect our students to engage positively with people and ideas beyond the limits of their own geographical, disciplinary, social, cultural or other boundaries, and to span the boundary between the world of study and the world of work.
Many universities have identified a set of generic graduate qualities or graduate attributes that they expect to characterise their graduates across all courses and programs.
An important motivation behind identifying and promulgating a set of expected graduate qualities in this way is the recognition of the importance placed by employers, by society and by graduates themselves on the generic characteristics that can reasonably be associated with a university graduate. This generic expectation is in addition to the more specific skills and knowledge that graduates should be acquiring through the specific university course that they have undertaken.
Until recently, Flinders University’s approach has been to identify graduate outcomes for each course relating to course-specific aims and learning outcomes. However, the University’s submission to its Australian Universities Quality Agency (AUQA) auditors in 2006 noted the advice of an earlier Trial Audit Panel. That Panel had advised that, while the University's approach was sound, further consideration should be given to whether course-specific statements provided a meaningful resource for graduates and employers. Accordingly, the University undertook to review the ISSe.
The 2006 AUQA Report duly affirmed “Flinders’ planned development of a cohesive approach to identifying and implementing generic graduate outcomes (attributes) that will assist in preparing graduates for employment and define the characteristics of a Flinders graduate in the labour market”.
Emeritus Professor Gus Worby was appointed as a consultant to undertake a scoping study through the second half of 2007. Professor Worby produced an extensive and detailed report and background paper. The Report placed the concept of graduate attributes/qualities within a broad sectoral and intellectual context. It also provided detailed advice, based on intensive consultation across the University, about how Flinders staff and students perceived the characteristics - both distinctive of Flinders and more broadly applicable to all university graduates - that might be described as graduate attributes/qualities.
Under the authority of the Vice-Chancellor’s Committee, the statement of attributes recommended in the Worby Report was considered alongside a list of ideal graduate workplace skills set out in the Flinders University Employer Survey and the educational principles set out in the Education at Flinders statement. The draft statement that emerged was then considered several times by Academic Senate, by the Vice-Chancellor’s Committee and by the Education Matters Advisory Group (a committee that includes chairs of faculty teaching and learning committees).
The intention in drafting the final statement was:
The final statement was approved by Academic Senate on 23 July 2008 and in turn noted by University Council on 7 August 2008.
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