Graduates for the 21st Century ran from 2008 to 2011 and combined the work of the seven preceding Themes. The Theme explored the attributes of a graduate from Scottish higher education in the 21st century and sector support for the achievement of these attributes. Graduate attributes are defined differently from one institution to another but generally include components which relate to the mastery of subject-specific knowledge, study skills digital literacies and other 21st century skills. They are important statements for graduates, who need to understand what they can offer in fulfilling their future aspirations, and for employers, to understand what graduates bring with them into the workplace.
An overview paper collected the Theme’s exploration of the likely needs of an increasingly diverse range of learners and how best to support students to achieve these attributes. With equality, diversity and equity being at the forefront of a contemporary student experience, this resource is as relevant today as it was at the time of the Theme. The disruption of the global pandemic and its repercussions means challenging times lie ahead and graduates have a critical role in supporting economic recovery. The ‘Employability and the Austerity Decade’ paper reminds us of the skills diversity that graduates bring, and will be needed, to support recovery and future growth.