Date of this Version


Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Details

Accepted version

Kinash, S., McGillivray, L., & Crane, L. H. (2017). Do university students, alumni, educators and employers link assessment and graduate employability? Higher Education Research and Development, 1-15.

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© 2017 HERDSA


0729-4360 (print), 1469-8366 (online)


Within higher education literature, assessment and graduate employability are linked and co-presented, in that quality student assessment is purported to enhance employability. This research was designed to query the extent to which these same conceptual links are perceived by those actively involved in higher education. Four stakeholder groups from multiple disciplines and eight Australian states and territories (students, alumni, educators and employers) were interviewed about graduate employability (n s= 127). Interviewers intentionally omitted any mention of assessment to determine whether the various stakeholders would bring it up themselves when asked questions such as what is and is not effective for nurturing employability. The results indicated that among the educators, assessment emerged as a dominant theme. While the three other stakeholder groups infrequently used the term assessment, they did discuss related educational concepts and practices in the context of enhanced employability. All stakeholder groups identified a missing link between theory and practice, with educators specifying that link as assessment. Recommendations to improve employability through assessment are the key takeaways from this research.

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This document has been peer reviewed.