Citizens for an unknown future: Developing generic skills and capabilities in the Gulf context

Michelle McLean*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)
58 Downloads (Pure)


Over the past 20 years or so, there has been a growing demand
for Higher Education to more closely meet economic needs
and employer requirements. HE in the UK and Australia, for
example, has responded by identifying generic skills (UK) or
generic graduate attributes (Australia) that are considered to
improve students’ learning, develop their employability skills
and prepare them for life-long learning. The Bologna agreement
has also identified skills that graduates will require as future
European Union citizens. These skills have also been called ‘key’,
‘core’ or ‘transferable’ skills and are “the skills, knowledge and
abilities of university graduates, beyond disciplinary content
knowledge which are applicable in a range of contexts” (Barrie,
2007). This paper discusses our current understanding of generic
skills in Higher Education, including the Gulf, and presents
research findings from the literature and from a three-year
study of incoming medical students conducted at the United
Arab Emirates University
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)9-31
Number of pages23
JournalLearning and Teaching in Higher Education: Gulf Perspectives
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2010


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