01 December 2007

Grad Profile

I recently attended a meeting where the discussion centered around a 'grad profile'. Now, I understand the reasoning behind the profile exercise. The institution wants to ensure that the grads of a program will meet the needs and expectations of stakeholders, namely the institution, the industry, the profession, etc.

However, I couldn't help wonder how they could determine what the grad profile should be? It's a bit like gazing into the crystal ball isn't it? Are we concentrating too much on churning out graduates who 'fit a mould'. I'm not saying that the grad profiling is wrong, just inhibiting to the idea that grads should not just fit a mould, but be ready to break or redesign the mould. I keep thinking about how fast, diverse and complex the world is, and how easily institutions seems to be able to define the qualities needed to survive and flourish in this complex environment. I think grad profiles may have been useful once upon a time but I do not think their effectiveness is sustainable. I think of education nowadays as a journey, an experience that colours your thoughts and ideas. These new colours blend with the colours of the world and eventually, new colourful ideas will emerge. Lets not wash out the richness of individual colours with 'current-need' profiling that limits creative freedom.

Additional piece: Just read an interesting article on "Push and Pull ". It's an interesting look at the difference between institutions that support employees with predefined programs such as those requiring grad profiles, compared to pull systems which respond to the timely needs of the employees. Seems like a no-brainer to me.

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