University of Oulu

Brauer, Sanna; Ratinen, Ilkka; Kumpulainen Kaisu; Kyrö-Ämmälä Outi; Nikander Leena; Väänänen Ilkka (2021) Agency, expertise and working life skills : students’ conceptions of the generic competences required in the world of work. European Journal of Education Studies 8(5): 26-54.

Agency, expertise and working life skills : students’ conceptions of the generic competences required in the world of work

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Author: Brauer, Sanna1; Ratinen, Ilkka2; Kumpulainen, Kaisu3;
Organizations: 1University of Oulu, Learning & Educational Technology Research Unit, Oulu University of Applied Sciences, School of Professional Teacher Education, Finland
2University of Lapland, Faculty of Education, Finland
3University of Jyväskylä, Department of Social Sciences and Philosophy, Finland
4HAMK Häme University of Applied Sciences, HAMK Edu Research Unit, Finland
5LAB University of Applied Sciences, Finland
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.8 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Open Access Publishing Group, 2021
Publish Date: 2021-05-05


Fundamental changes in working life highlight the demands on the co-operation between the educational sector and working life, that should contribute to students’ employability. In addition to discipline-specific expertise, the development of working life skills has received increasing attention when it comes to employment. Drawing on data from Finnish universities of applied sciences (n=5) and universities (n=3), this paper examines how students (n=380) value the generic competences needed in in the world of work. The study is based on European reforms of labour markets and educational structures. This paper adds to current discourses around employability by highlighting differences between students of universities and universities of applied sciences. The implications of this research suggest paying attention to the concepts of agency, expertise and working life skills as outlined in the integrative pedagogy model, as well as emphasising the requirement for soft skills and generic competences needed in working life.

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Series: European journal of education studies
ISSN: 2501-1111
ISSN-E: 2501-1111
ISSN-L: 2501-1111
Volume: 8
Issue: 5
Pages: 26 - 54
DOI: 10.46827/ejes.v8i5.3710
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 516 Educational sciences
Funding: Työelämäpedagogiikka korkeakoulutuksessa. OKM. 2018-2020.
Copyright information: © 2021 Sanna Brauer, Ilkka Ratinen, Kaisu Kumpulainen, Outi Kyrö-Ämmälä, Leena Nikander, Ilkka Väänänen. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.