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CREATEC Weekly Seminar Series - Associate Professor Trevor Cullen

Thursday, 29 September 2016


Presenter: Associate Professor Trevor Cullen

Title: Being employed or employable?

Biography: Trevor has received several university and national teaching awards. In July 2015, he was awarded an Australian Learning and Teaching Fellowship to design and develop journalism capstone units for tertiary journalism programs throughout Australia. He is the first journalism educator in Australia to become a National Teaching Fellow. For more information, please visit the Trevor Cullen website.

This paper draws on research, conducted in 2016, with more than 30 academics in 16 universities across Australia.

Abstract: In his book – Selling Students Short – Richard Hil refers to research that shows many universities in Australia marketing undergraduate degrees with definite job prospects. But should this be allowed when employment figures for disciplines such as Engineering, Psychology, Law and Journalism show graduates struggling to find any real employment in these professions, unless, that is, they enrol in postgraduate study. Linked to this issue is the debate about whether it is the mission of universities to ensure employment. I spent the last six months travelling to 16 universities in five States in Australia, where I interviewed more than 30 academics about employment prospects for undergraduates. A frequent response was that the role of an educator was to make sure students were ‘start ready’ rather than ‘job ready’, and that students were equipped with a range of analytical and entrepreneurial skills for such an uncertain future job market. This paper examines whether it is time to change the emphasis from ‘employment’ to ‘employability’. This approach challenges current curricula and also universities that promote definite professional job prospects.

Event details

Date: Wednesday, 5 October 2016
Time: 12.30pm - 1.30pm
Venue: ECU Mount Lawley Campus, Building 3, Room 3.251
Cost: Free
Lunch will be provided.


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