Employability, human development and capabilities formation: enablements and constraints

A Centre for International Education Research seminar presented by Professor Melanie Walker, University of the Free State, South Africa.

Professor Melanie Walker’s paper explores employability through a conceptual lens of human development values and valued capabilities formation among diverse students at four historically distinctive South African universities.

Development in this approach is understood as a process of expanding the real freedoms that people enjoy; universities would then be a key site for ‘inclusive development’, which in turn would be constituted by

  1. the relationship between macro-meso and micro and between government policy and universities
  2. an interdisciplinary approach
  3. individual and social well-being processes and outcomes of  capabilities expansion for quality of life beyond economic development and human capital, especially for the disadvantaged in society
  4. shaped by historical, political social and cultural ‘conversion’ factors.

In particular, Professor Walker focus empirically on the capability to aspire and on aspirations as a space to investigate operationalizing capabilities and conversion factors, drawing on the biographies of students who were re-interviewed, and focusing in on four stories in some detail.  Finally Professor Walker consider a grid of four threshold capabilities which emerge as important for employability as human development.

This event is free but please register online. Refreshments and a light buffet will be available.

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