Launch of the Graduate Attributes Programme

24 Sep 2019

University College Cork (UCC) has today launched the Graduate Attributes Programme which will advance the development of students’ academic, specialist and technical competencies, equipping them with transferrable skills that can be applied in life-wide contexts. A key focus will be on the development of core values and graduate attributes which will be embedded in the academic curriculum and nurtured through curricular and extracurricular activities. This initiative will a holistic educational approach to develop character, professionalism and the capacity for critical and creative thought and will nurture students’ ability to be more socially-minded and civically-engaged in their communities.


Major careers and life-wide skills programme launched at UCC  

The Graduate Attributes Programme is a transformative programme and is the first of its kind in Ireland. It will support students at second level in making the right degree choices as well as through their life cycle of study in university.

National Government policy has identified challenges encountered by students in transition to Higher Education as contributing to high withdrawal and failure rates, with personal and system-wide implications. In addition a lack of support for second and third year students in higher education to become ‘work ready’ has been identified.  This programme, funded by the Higher Education Authority Innovation and Transformation Programme 2018, seeks to respond to those issues identified within Government policy.

UCC will deliver modules to students which will include “taster” lectures, helping pre-entry students to select a degree before they come to college. This will form part of the Transition In suite of initiatives. While at UCC, students will undergo an annual skills test with the ability to obtain an e-portfolio of skills, for which they can receive a micro-credential (digital badge) on completion, and  which will form part of their academic transcript. This is an example of a Transition Through initiative.  In their final year, students will avail of Transition Out initiatives in preparation for the transition into professional environments or further study, delivered in close collaboration with the UCC Careers Service and our industry partners.

“The Guidance Counsellor cannot do it alone. We are responding to student, policy and industry needs with what is an innovative programme” commented Professor John O’Halloran, Deputy President & Registrar, UCC. “The world of work demands advanced employability skills and we are seeking to support students in every step they make from secondary to third level education.”

Ibec are delighted to see this innovative programme to help students unlock their true potential and to apply their learning in a meaningful way in any type of organisation as they transition from study to the world of work. Claire McGee, Head of Education Policy in Ibec, commented that “ Increasingly, Irish industry are seeking graduates who can marry their strong technical and academic ability with key employability skills such as communication, teamwork and creativity. As people move through different careers and life stages, we never stop learning and acquiring new skills, this programme will help students to develop a solid foundation in personal leadership and prepare them to take advantage of any exciting new opportunities that come their way”.

The Graduate Attributes Programme offers a systematic, structured and student-centric framework to enable and empower our students to develop and reach their whole person potential ensuring they create more value than they consume.  In an era where sustainability and value creation for the collective good have never been more critical to our survival and success, this programme is a vital step in securing a brighter, more equitable and inclusive future for us all.

The Graduate Attributes Programme will help develop and shape your whole student experience - developing a strong set of graduate attributes and values will help you in being more successful in your career, in your studies and research, and in your contribution to community and society.

This programme is funded by the HEA Innovation and Transformation Fund, and is being launched in UCC to advance the development of students’ academic, specialist and technical competencies, equipping them with transferrable skills that can be applied in different environments. .



For more on this story contact:

Eleanor Donoghue or Carol Veiga Graduate Attributes Programme 021 4903127

Graduate Attributes Programme

5, Brighton Villas, (First Floor) Western Road, University College Cork, T12 EC95