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Developing global citizenship: Co-creating employability attributes in an international community of practice

Radclyffe-Thomas, Natascha and Roncha, Ana and Peirson-Smith, Anne and Huang, Adrian and Lacouture, Anais (2018) Developing global citizenship: Co-creating employability attributes in an international community of practice. In: Enhancing Employability in Higher Education through Work Based Learning. Palgrave Macmillan. ISBN 978-3-319-75166-5

Type of Research: Book Section
Creators: Radclyffe-Thomas, Natascha and Roncha, Ana and Peirson-Smith, Anne and Huang, Adrian and Lacouture, Anais

This book chapter discusses how creative industries graduates' employability skills and attributes are fostered through international collaboration.

The creative industries have come to represent not only ‘soft’ cultural power but also a substantial contribution to national economies in the 21st century (DMCS, 2015). In the post-industrial knowledge economy universities are reframing what a career in the creative industries is or could be. The University of the Arts London is the largest art and design institution in Europe and its alumni practice their diverse crafts internationally and across disciplines ranging from fine arts to management. The Fashion Business School is one of three discipline-related schools at the London College of Fashion and its graduates join an industry which requires facility with working internationally and across disciplines with colleagues in design, operations, finance and promotions.

Many of the established working practices of creative industries have been adopted more widely in a drive for innovation in the wake of the digital revolution which has seen a move towards less formal organizational structures and value placed on ‘diversity and divergence of opinion’ (Mathe, 2015: 135). Added value is sought through restructuring businesses to take advantage of the benefits of ‘Co-ordination, collaboration, outsourcing and open-source software’ afforded by hyper-connected living (Mathe, 2015: 135).

Increasing pressure to meet the expectations of multiple stakeholders has driven the employability agenda and made it a priority in the 21st century for all higher education providers (HEA, 2016). Universities recognize the power of social media to engage alumni and boost employability prospects by building a network of graduates with a shared affinity for the institution (Lavrusik, 2009). At a less reductive level, the change that social media promised for pedagogy is one that sees students as ‘active co-producers’ of knowledge and also one where the learning process is a ‘participatory, social process supporting personal life goals and needs’(McLoughlin & Lee, 2007:664). A notion developed further as one of the ability to create ‘Personalised Learning Environments’ for students which reflect their lived experiences and create multiple online learner communities (McLoughlin & Lee, 2010: 29). Thus, social media interaction is promoted not only to enhance digital literacies necessary for 21st century job market but also to enhance self-efficacy through fostering Communities of Practice (Junco, 2012).

With an increasing need to prepare our students for the globalised workplace and their future professional life, notably in the creative and communication industries, the role of education as a boundary spanner between cultures is critical (Byram & Fleming, 1998). Yet, it is important to recognise that inter-cultural empathy amongst students is not engendered by merely ‘connecting up’ with culturally different others. Rather, the inter-cultural interaction should be based on active engagement – necessitating reflection, analysis and action and these extended and ‘deep’ encounters should be facilitated by the educator (Byram, 2008).

The chapter will discuss an example of a global classroom project which simulates some of the complexities of working in the modern fashion industry. Students from London College of Fashion work collaboratively with peers studying in Asia at three partner institutions: City University Hong Kong, LASALLE College of the Arts and RMIT Vietnam adopting multiple roles as researcher, advisor and expert reviewer and co-create learning outcomes which support the development of attributes and capabilities required by the future creative industries. A detailed case study will describe and evaluate this flexible informal collaboration which adopts a blended learning approach and has established a Community of Practice with over 450 students internationally.

The successes enjoyed with regard to each institution’s employability and pedagogic aims as well as the cultural and practical difficulties faced will be explored. To further support the discussion the University of the Arts London employability initiative the Creative Attributes Framework will be introduced.

Keywords/subjects not otherwise listed: pedagogy, intercultural communication, glocal, employability
Publisher/Broadcaster/Company: Palgrave Macmillan
Your affiliations with UAL: Colleges > London College of Fashion
Date: 30 June 2018
Date Deposited: 12 Jul 2017 10:44
Last Modified: 29 Nov 2022 11:33
Item ID: 11133
URI: https://ualresearchonline.arts.ac.uk/id/eprint/11133

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