Advertisement

Higher Education

, Volume 59, Issue 5, pp 599–613 | Cite as

International experience and graduate employability: stakeholder perceptions on the connection

  • Joanna Elizabeth Crossman
  • Marilyn Clarke
Article

Abstract

This paper reports the findings of an Australian qualitative study (N = 45) concerned with the way that employers, academics and students perceived connections between international experience and graduate employability. Drawing on the literature, the authors argue that increasing globalisation and internationalisation has heightened the need for graduates with the ability to operate in culturally diverse contexts. Universities have focussed upon exchange as part of internationalisation to prepare students for work but there is still limited literature on the nature of the relationship between international experience, more broadly and graduate employability. The findings suggest that all stakeholders identify clear connections between international experience and employability given outcomes associated with the forging of networks, opportunities for experiential learning, language acquisition and the development of soft skills related to cultural understandings, personal characteristics and ways of thinking.

Keywords

Higher education Employability International education 

References

  1. AIESEC. (2007). Every day starts today. Global Annual Report, Andergroup, Switzerland, http://www.aiesec.org/cms/aiesec/AI/Asia%20Pacific/AUSTRALIA/index.html Accessed 5 Aug 2008.
  2. Amaral, A., & Magalhaes, A. (2004). Epidemiology and bologna saga. Higher Education, 48, 79–100.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Barrie, S. (2004). A research-based approach to generic graduate attributes policy. Higher Education and Development, 23(3), 261–275.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Berrell, M., Teal, G., & Gloet, M. (2005). Culture and globalisation in the curriculum: Theory, cases and practice. Journal of New Business Ideas and Trends, 3(1), 1–8.Google Scholar
  5. Bird, A. (2008). Assessing global leadership competencies. In M. Mendenhall, J. Osland, A. Bird, G. Oddou, M. Maznevski, et al. (Eds.), Global leadership. Research, practice and development (pp. 64–81). London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  6. Bogdan, R., & Bikklen, S. (2003). Qualitative research for education. An introduction to theories and methods. Boston: Allyn and Bacon.Google Scholar
  7. Bremer, L. (1998). The value of international study experience on the labour market: the case of Hungary: A study on the impact of Tempus on Hungarian students and their transition to work. Journal of Studies in International Education, 40–57.Google Scholar
  8. Cacioppe, R. (1998). An integrated model and approach for the design of effective leadership development programs. Leadership and Organization Development Journal, 19(1), 44–53.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Cassidy, S. (2006). Developing employability skills: Peer assessment in higher education. Education and Training, 48(7), 508–517.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Chan, W., & Dimmock, C. (2008). The internationalisation of universities. Globalist, internationalist and translocalist models. Journal of Research in International Education, 7(2), 184–204.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Clarke, K. (2005). Critical, multicultural education for remembering and reconciliation: A discussion of an interdisciplinary social science course for international students in Finland. Compare, 35(4), 479–494.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Cowen, R. (2007). An appraisal of European exchange programs for nursing students. Nursing Standard, 21(22), 40–47.Google Scholar
  13. Cox, S., & King, D. (2006). Skill sets: An approach to embed employability in course design. Education and Training, 48(4), 262–274.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Cranmer, S. (2006). Enhancing graduate employability: Best intentions and mixed outcomes. Studies in Higher Education, 31(2), 169–184.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Cuthbert, D., Smith, W., & Boey, J. (2008). What do we really know about the outcomes of Australian international education? A critical review and prospectus for future research. Journal of International Studies, 12(3), 255–275.Google Scholar
  16. Davis, D., Milne, C., & Olsen, A. (1999). Becoming internationally competitive: The value of international experience for Australian students. Canberra: IDP Education Australia.Google Scholar
  17. De Anca, C., & Vázquez, A. (2007). Managing diversity in the global organization. Creating new business values. (trans: Andy Goodall). New York: Palgrave Macmillan.Google Scholar
  18. Dickmann, M., & Doherty, N. (2008). Exploring the career capital impact of international assignments within distinct organizational contexts. British Journal of Management, 19, 145–161.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Dickmann, M., & Harris, H. (2005). Developing career capital for global careers: The role of international assignments. Journal of World Business, 40(4), 399–408.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Dubrin, A., Dalglish, C., & Miller, P. (2006). Leadership. Milton, Qld: Wiley.Google Scholar
  21. Earley, P., Soon, A., & Tan, J. (2006). Developing cultural intelligence at work. Stanford, California: Stanford Business Books.Google Scholar
  22. Ellingboe, B. (1998). Divisional strategies to internationalize a campus portrait. Results, resistance, and recommendations from a case study at a US university. In J. Mestenhauser & B. Ellingboe (Eds.), Reforming the higher education curriculum. Internationalizing the campus. Phoenix, Arizona: The American Council on Education and the Oryx Press.Google Scholar
  23. Foddy, W. (1999). Constructing questions for interviews and questionnaires. Theory and practice in social research. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  24. Forrier, A., & Sels, L. (2003). The concept of employability: A complex mosaic. International Journal of Human Resources Development and Management, 3(20), 102–124.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Fugate, M., Kinicki, A. J., & Ashforth, B. E. (2004). Employability: A psycho-social construct, its dimensions, and applications. Journal of Vocational Behaviour, 65, 14–38.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Glaser, B., & Strauss, A. (1967). The discovery of grounded theory. Strategies for qualitative research. New York: Aldine Publishing Company.Google Scholar
  27. Goby, V. (2007). Business communication needs. Journal of Business and Technical Communication, 21(4), 425–437.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Gosling, J., & Mintzberg, H. (2003). The five minds of a manager. Harvard Business Review, 81(11), 54–63.Google Scholar
  29. Goulding, C. (2006). A practical guide for management, business and market researchers. London: Sage.Google Scholar
  30. Gupta, V., & House, R. (2004). Understanding leadership in diverse cultures: Implications of project GLOBE for leading international ventures. In D. Tjosvold & L. Kwok (Eds.), Leading in high growth Asia. Managing relationship for teamwork and change (pp. 3–54). New Jersey: World Scientific.Google Scholar
  31. Harvey, L. (2001). Defining and measuring employability. Quality in Higher Education, 7(2), 97–109.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Harvey, L., & Bowers-Brown, T. (2004). Employability cross country comparisons. Graduate Market Trends Winter 2004/5.Google Scholar
  33. Herfst, S., van Oudenhoven, J., & Timmerman, M. (2007). Intercultural effectiveness training in three western immigrant countries: A cross-cultural evaluation of critical incidents. International Journal of Intercultural Relations, 32, 67–80.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Hermans, J. (2007). High potentials: A CEO perspective. Journal of Studies in International Education, 11(3/4), 510–521.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Hillage, J., & Pollard, E. (1998). Employability: Developing a framework for policy analysis. DFEE. London: Department for Education and Employment.Google Scholar
  36. Hills, J. M., Robertson, G., Walker, R., Adey, M. A., & Nixon, I. (2003). Bridging the gap between degree programme curricula and employability through implementation of work-related learning. Teaching in Higher Education, 8(2), 211–231.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Hodges, D., & Burchell, N. (2003). Business graduate competencies: Employers’ views on importance and performance. Asia Pacific Journal of Cooperative Education, 4(2), 16–22.Google Scholar
  38. House, R., Hanges, P., Javidan, M., Dorfman, P., & Gupta, V. (Eds.). (2004). Culture, leadership and organisations. The globe study of 62 societies. Thousand Oaks: Sage.Google Scholar
  39. Inkson, K., & Arthur, M. B. (2001). How to be a successful career capitalist. Organizational Dynamics, 30(1), 48–61.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Knight, J. (1997a). A shared vision? Stakeholders’ perspectives on the internationalisation of higher education in Canada. Journal of Studies in International Education, 1(1), 27–44.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Knight, J. (1997b). Internationalisation of higher education: a conceptual framework. In J. Knight & H. de Wit (Eds.), Internationalisation of higher education in Asia Pacific countries. Amsterdam: EAIE/IDP.Google Scholar
  42. Knight, J. (2004). Internationalisation remodeled: Definition, approaches, and rationales. Journal of Studies in International Education, 8(1), 5–31.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Koskinen, L., & Tossavainen, K. (2003). Relationships with undergraduate nursing exchange students—A tutor perspective. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 41(5), 499–508.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Kuzel, A. (1999). Sampling in qualitative inquiry. In B. Crabtree & W. Miller (Eds.), Doing qualitative research (pp. 33–47). Thousand Oaks: Sage.Google Scholar
  45. Leask, B. (2007). Chapter 8 Internationalisation of the curriculum in an interconnected world. In G. Crosling, L. Thomas, & M. Heagney (Eds.), Improving student retention in higher education—The role of teaching and learning (pp. 95–101). Routledge: Abingdon.Google Scholar
  46. Leckey, J. F., & McGuigan, M. A. (1997). Right tracks—Wrong rails: The development of generic skills in higher education. Research in Higher Education, 38(3), 365–378.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Ledwith, S., & Seymour, D. (2001). Home and away: Preparing students for multicultural management. International Journal of Human Resource Management, 12(8), 1292–1312.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Leininger, M. (1994). Evaluation criteria and critique of qualitative research studies. In J. Morse (Ed.), Critical issues in qualitative research methods. Thousand Oaks: Sage.Google Scholar
  49. Little, B. (2001). Reading between the lines of graduate employment. Quality in Higher Education, 7(2), 121–129.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Lunn, J. (2008). Global perspectives in higher education: Taking the agenda forward in the United Kingdom. Journal of Studies in International Education, 12(3), 231–254.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Mak, A., Barker, M., Logan, G., & Millman, L. (1999). Benefits of cultural diversity for international and local students: Contributions from an experiential social learning program (The Excel Program). In D. Davis & A. Olsen (Eds.), International education: The professional edge, a set of research papers presented at the 13th Australian International Education Conference. Freemantle: Education Australia.Google Scholar
  52. Marcotte, C., Desroches, J., & Poupart, I. (2007). Preparing internationally minded business graduates: The role of international mobility programs. International Journal of Intercultural Relations, 31, 655–668.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Marginson, S. (2000). Rethinking academic work in the global era. Journal of Higher Education Policy and Management, 22(1), 23–35.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. McQuaid, R. W., & Lindsay, C. (2005). The concept of employability. Urban Studies, 42(2), 197–219.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Melkman, A., & Trotman, J. (2005). Training international managers, designing, deploying and delivering effective training for multi-cultural groups. Aldershot, UK: Gower.Google Scholar
  56. Mendenhall, M. (2008). Leadership and the birth of global leadership. In M. Mendenhall, J. Osland, A. Bird, G. Oddou, M. Maznevski, et al. (Eds.), Global leadership. Research, practice and development (pp. 1–18). London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  57. Mir, R., Mir, A., & Wong, D. (2006). Diversity. The cultural logic of global capital? In A. Konrad, P. Prasad, & J. Pringle (Eds.), Handbook of workplace diversity. Thousand Oaks: Sage.Google Scholar
  58. OECD Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) (2005). Education at a glance 2005. Paris.Google Scholar
  59. Osland, J. (2008a). The multidisciplinary roots of global leadership. In M. Mendenhall, J. Osland, A. Bird, G. Oddou, & M. Maznevski (Eds.), Global leadership. Research, practice and development (pp. 18–34). London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  60. Osland, J. (2008b). Overview of the global leadership literature. In M. Mendenhall, J. Osland, A. Bird, G. Oddou, & M. Maznevski (Eds.), Global leadership. Research, practice and development (pp. 34–64). London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  61. Parry, K., & Proctor-Thompson, S. (2003). Leader career development. Who should take responsibility? Asia Pacific Journal of Human Resources, 41(3), 316–337.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. Patton, M. (2002). Qualitative research and evaluation methods. Thousand Oaks: Sage.Google Scholar
  63. Quek, A. (2005). Learning for the workplace: A case study in graduate employees’ generic competencies. Journal of Workplace Learning, 17(4), 231–242.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  64. Rossen, R., Digh, P., Singer, M., & Phillips, C. (2000). Global literacies. New York: Simon and Schuster.Google Scholar
  65. Rothwell, A., & Arnold, J. (2007). Self-perceived employability development and validation of a scale. Personnel Review, 36(1), 23–41.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  66. Schneider, S., & Barsoux, J. (2003). Managing across cultures. London: Prentice Hall.Google Scholar
  67. Shah, A., Pell, K., & Brooks, P. (2004). Beyond first destinations. Active learning in higher education, 5(1), 9–26.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  68. Spreiltzer, G., McCall, W., & Mahoney, J. (1997). Early identification of international executive potential. Journal of Applied Psychology, 82(1), 6–29.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  69. Stohl, C. (2001). Globalizing organizational communication. In F. Jablin & L. Putnam (Eds.), The new handbook of organizational communication. Accessing theory, research and methods. Thousand Oaks: Sage.Google Scholar
  70. Strauss, A., & Corbin, J. (1994). Grounded theory methodology. An overview. In N. Denzin & Y. Lincoln (Eds.), Handbook of qualitative research. Thousand Oaks: Sage.Google Scholar
  71. Suutari, V. (2002). Global leader development: An emerging research agenda. Career Development International, 7(4), 218–233.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  72. Teichler, U. (2004). The changing debate on internationalisation of higher education. Higher Education, 48, 5–26.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  73. Teichler, U. (2007). Does higher education matter? Lessons from a comparative graduate survey. European Journal of Education, 42(1), 11–34.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  74. Teichler, U., & Jahr, V. (2001). Mobility during the course of study and after graduation? European Journal of Education, 36(4), 443–458.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  75. Thijssen, G. L., Van Der Heijden, B. I. J. M., & Rocco, T. S. (2008). Toward the employability link model: Current employment transition to future employment perspectives. Human Resource Development Review, 7(2), 165–183.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  76. Thomas, D., & Inkson, K. (2004). Cultural intelligence. People skills for global business. San Francisco: Berrett-Koehler Publishers.Google Scholar
  77. Tung, R., & Thomas, D. (2003). Human resource management in a global world: The contingency framework extended. In D. Tjosvold & L. Kwok (Eds.), Cross-cultural management. Foundations, future. Hampshire, England: Ashgate.Google Scholar
  78. Van Buren III, H. J. (2003). Boundaryless careers and employability obligations. Business Ethics Quarterly, 13(2), 131–149.Google Scholar
  79. Webb, G. (2005). Internationalisation of curriculum. An institutional approach. In J. Carroll & J. Ryan (Eds.), Teaching international students. Improving learning for all. Abingdon, Oxford: Routledge.Google Scholar
  80. Welch, A., & Denman, B. (1997). Internationalisation of higher education: Retrospect and prospect. Forum of Education, 52, 14–29.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of ManagementUniversity of South AustraliaAdelaideAustralia
  2. 2.Business SchoolThe University of AdelaideAdelaideAustralia

Personalised recommendations