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The Graduates for the 21st Century Theme combined the work of the earlier Enhancement Themes and consider two overarching questions.

  • What should be the attributes of a graduate from Scottish higher education in the 21st century?
  • How can we support the achievement of these attributes?

We carried out the work for this Theme in a variety of ways.

Institutional activity

We supported institutions to share and learn different enhancement approaches, through areas of shared interest. We looked at approaches both from within and outside the Scottish higher education sector.


Graduates for the 21st Century: Institutional activity 2008-2011

Publication Date: 21 Aug 2012

Graduate attributes for the 21st Century

The Scottish higher education sector collectively considered the graduate attributes needed for the 21st century. We also looked at the likely needs of an increasingly diverse range of learners and how best to support students to achieve these attributes. We published an overview paper on the topic.  


The foundation for graduate attributes developing self regulation through self-assessment

Publication Date: 22 Aug 2011

Commissioned projects

During the ‘Graduates for the 21st Century’ Enhancement Theme we set up teams to consider graduate attributes and to support the work of the previous Themes with their own institutional priorities and strategies. Commissioned project facilitators worked on updating the work from selected areas of the previous Themes.

Employability strand

Issues raised relating to Employability are still relevant in 2019, and the following resources may prove useful.


Employability and the austerity decade

Publication Date: 24 May 2011

Thinking strategically about employability and graduate attributes

Publication Date: 25 May 2011

What is topical/emergent in Employability?

Publication Date: 23 May 2011

Enhancing research-teaching linkages to improve the development of employability attributes

Publication Date: 23 May 2011

Responding to student needs strand

Responding to student needs: Emerging and continuing issues

Publication Date: 12 May 2011

Co-responsibility between students and institutions

Publication Date: 15 May 2011

Classroom-based response to student needs

Publication Date: 23 May 2011

Research-Teaching Linkages strand

Maintaining research-mindedness in Scotland's universities

Publication Date: 23 May 2011

What is topical/emergent in Research-Teaching Linkages?

Publication Date: 23 May 2011

Assessment and feedback strand

First and foremost: Learner autonomy in first year

Publication Date: 23 May 2011

The First year: Back to the future

Publication Date: 23 May 2011

First things first: First year in Scottish higher education

Publication Date: 17 May 2011

Assessment and feedback strand

Assessment and feedback with implications for practice

Publication Date: 23 May 2011

Developing students' ability to construct feedback

Publication Date: 26 May 2011