Cultural capital in business higher education

reconsidering the graduate attributes movement and the focus on employability

Senia Kalfa*, Lucy Taksa

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

53 Citations (Scopus)


This article examines the increased interest being shown by Australian business faculties in the development of students' employability skills. Many universities have demonstrated their commitment to translating such interest into practice by elaborating lists of ‘graduate attributes’ in order to enable the development of generic skills and by encouraging their staff to adopt specific pedagogical tools for such ends. This approach is underpinned by the assumption that the acquisition and transferability of such skills can enhance students' human capital and, therefore, their employability. The aim in this article is to identify the limitations of this perspective and to present a conceptual framework that overcomes them. To this end, the article draws on various concepts elaborated by Bourdieu as a means to encompass the multiple stakeholders involved in the field of tertiary education and to investigate the adoption of teaching methodologies designed to enable the development of generic skills.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)580-595
Number of pages16
JournalStudies in Higher Education
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 21 Apr 2015

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