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Employers and Universities: conceptual dimensions, research evidence and implications

Employers and Universities: conceptual dimensions, research evidence and implications
Employers and Universities: conceptual dimensions, research evidence and implications
The relationship between universities and employer organisations has been given significant attention in the context of a changing graduate economy and the policy imperative to enhance post-university returns. This article presents a conceptual analysis of this relationship in the context structural changes on both sides and its bearing on the nature, form and outcomes emerging from this relationship. Three key conceptual domains relating to theories of human capital, signalling and institutionalism are outlined to show the dynamics of the university-employer interplay and employer behaviour towards recruiting graduates. This is then further illustrated by an outline of salient research evidence from employers’ perceptions of graduate employability and approaches to recruitment. The article shows that a largely contextual and set of cultural dimensions underscores much of this relationship and this transcends the supply-demand and skill mismatch accounts which pervade policy approaches on how this relationship should operate in practice. Implications for higher education institutions and key stakeholders in this relationship are further highlighted.
0952-8733
1-23
Tomlinson, Michael
9dd1cbf0-d3b0-421e-8ded-b3949ebcee18
Tomlinson, Michael
9dd1cbf0-d3b0-421e-8ded-b3949ebcee18

Tomlinson, Michael (2018) Employers and Universities: conceptual dimensions, research evidence and implications. Higher Education Policy, 1-23. (doi:10.1057/s41307-018-0121-9).

Record type: Article

Abstract

The relationship between universities and employer organisations has been given significant attention in the context of a changing graduate economy and the policy imperative to enhance post-university returns. This article presents a conceptual analysis of this relationship in the context structural changes on both sides and its bearing on the nature, form and outcomes emerging from this relationship. Three key conceptual domains relating to theories of human capital, signalling and institutionalism are outlined to show the dynamics of the university-employer interplay and employer behaviour towards recruiting graduates. This is then further illustrated by an outline of salient research evidence from employers’ perceptions of graduate employability and approaches to recruitment. The article shows that a largely contextual and set of cultural dimensions underscores much of this relationship and this transcends the supply-demand and skill mismatch accounts which pervade policy approaches on how this relationship should operate in practice. Implications for higher education institutions and key stakeholders in this relationship are further highlighted.

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HEP Employers and Universities 051118 (1) - Accepted Manuscript
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More information

Accepted/In Press date: 5 November 2018
e-pub ahead of print date: 27 November 2018

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 425889
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/425889
ISSN: 0952-8733
PURE UUID: 6c8305de-a221-4c1f-a553-5a168bfa7fa0

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Date deposited: 06 Nov 2018 17:30
Last modified: 07 Dec 2019 05:01

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