Universities' role in enhancing generic competencies in multicultural students

M. Salama*, W. Keogh, O. Tabunshchikova

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


The current competitive economic environment implies that graduates should have besides the area specific academic knowledge a range of transferable skills. This study investigates the transferable skills that graduates should acquire to enhance their chances in the employment market. The study also touches on the contemporary challenges facing universities. The primary research was conducted throughout a set of semi-structured interviews involving key staff from the technology transfer units in two Scottish universities as a proxy to employers. In Addition, a questionnaire was sent to a sample of 100 multicultural postgraduate students in Scotland, Dubai and Russia. The findings display a ranking of the transferable skills portraying the students' perception about the effectiveness of the university's role in preparing graduates for the employment market. The results reflect a gap in perceptions between students and employers. Also the three groups surveyed had different expectations regarding the skills students should acquire through higher education to enhance their employability. Finally the paper concludes by suggesting that universities still need to take actions to narrow this gap in expectations and perceptions by further strengthening the links between the academic world and the industry meanwhile involving students in this bilateral context.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 23rd Annual Conference of Association of Researchers in Construction Management
Number of pages10
ISBN (Print)9780955239007
Publication statusPublished - 2007
Event23rd Annual Conference on Association of Researchers in Construction Management 2007 - Belfast, United Kingdom
Duration: 3 Sept 20075 Sept 2007


Conference23rd Annual Conference on Association of Researchers in Construction Management 2007
Abbreviated titleARCOM 2007
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom


  • Culture
  • Employability
  • Graduates
  • Transferable skills

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Building and Construction


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