Student networks as learning spaces

Sandra Hill

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper


The development of employability within academic programmes has been under scrutiny for a
number of years. How students recognise and value its development has attracted less
attention. Reports from employers suggest that the interpersonal skills and attributes which
are needed to demonstrate employability still require attention.
This paper will propose that the development of social capital is the missing link in
employability and that unless students are skilled and confident in connecting with a range of
networks, within and outside the learning environment, they are unlikely to be able to
demonstrate the achievement or application of the full range of employability skills, including
interpersonal skills and attributes.
Based on research conducted with a group of first generation university students undertaking
an entrepreneurship nodule, as part of a Business Studies degree, this paper will present
evidence which illustrates that the more students relate to diverse others, the more confident
and competent they become in a wide range of employability capabilities. However, students
have to be practised and confident in identifying and mobilising social capital if they are to fully
benefit from making these new connections. Furthermore, the benefits are only likely to be
fully realised when the student is supported in reflecting upon their experiences, are able to
recognise the attainment of skills and attributes and identify their own development needs.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2009
EventScottish Education Research Association (SERA) Annual Conference 2009 - , United Kingdom
Duration: 26 Nov 200927 Nov 2009


ConferenceScottish Education Research Association (SERA) Annual Conference 2009
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom


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