Enhancing graduate employability – exploring the influence of experiential simulation learning on life skill development

Florian Scheuring*, Jamie Thompson

*Corresponding author for this work

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Skills and knowledge which increase the likelihood of university graduates finding employment is an increasingly important factor for higher education institutions. Even though subject matter expertise remains a primary objective, supporting students to build life skills that are desired by employers is essential to enhance graduate employability. Firstly, we draw on consultive interviews with 11 graduate recruiters to build a life skill ability scale. Through these interviews, we identify two constructs worth measuring (resilience and adaptability) not yet represented in extant life skill ability scales. Thereby contributing to life skills measures and their link to graduate employability. Secondly, this paper explores the influence of a team-based business simulation on the development of life skills at two higher education institutions in the UK for first- and fourth-year undergraduate students. Through a pre-survey and post-survey, this paper empirically finds that experiential learning by means of a team-based business simulation has an overwhelmingly positive influence on first-year students’ self-assessed life skill development as well as their course-specific subject matter expertise. Yet, the findings show less significant results for fourth-year students. This contributes to our understanding of business simulations as a pedagogical practice and its benefits for students beyond their education.
Original languageEnglish
JournalStudies in Higher Education
Early online date1 Apr 2024
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 1 Apr 2024


  • Graduate employability
  • experiential learning
  • life skills
  • business simulation
  • gamification


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