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Graduate Attributes

A guide to share information and research about Graduate Attributes

USC Graduate Attributes

Graduate attributes are a common feature across the Australian tertiary education environment. They are agents for transforming teaching and learning practice, as well as help to articulate the distinctive features of a higher education and express institutional values.

This term Graduate Attributes is used to encompass the graduate qualities and generic skills that USC commits to fostering in all students enrolled in coursework programs.

Introduced in 2004 (revised in 2009 and 2018), the USC Graduate Attributes have had over ten years to evolve and are now positioned as tested and robust instruments to support curriculum design work. They are organised in a two-category approach of including 6 Graduate Qualities and 6 Generic Skills. The qualities shape the program and course learning outcomes and the generic skills are associated with how students demonstrate those qualities in assessments.

The Graduate Qualities

Graduate qualities are the qualities of being and thinking and the transferable skills that the university community values and agrees its graduates should exhibit on completion of their program.

Graduate Quality Definition Rubric
Creative and critical thinkers Independently problem solve and think critically; generate original ideas and concepts and appreciate innovation and entrepreneurship.

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Empowered Apply cognitive, technical and communication skills and knowledge to real work issues and contexts.

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Engaged Contribute positively to diverse communities through research, service and leadership.

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Ethical Understand ethical dilemmas, make ethical and professional choices and lead with integrity in intellectual, professional and community pursuits.

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Knowledgeable Build disciplinary and interdisciplinary knowledge through a scholarly approach.

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Sustainability-focussed Recognise the interrelated nature of all systems and support a socially just and environmentally healthy future.

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The Generic Skills

Generic Skills are transferable skills that are valued by the University as being important outcomes of a University education. These skills are those identified as important by employers, government and the higher education sector.

Graduate Skill Definition Rubric
Applying technologies Apply information and communication technologies and discipline specific technologies and equipment.

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Collaboration Work with other people to achieve a desired outcome, negotiating roles, responsibilities and contributions and accountability.

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Communication Share knowledge and understanding with diverse audiences effectively, respectfully and culturally appropriately using a variety of modes, techniques and media.

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Information literacy Know when and how to find relevant information using diverse sources and methods to make sense of information and construct new understandings .

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Organisation Systematically plan and set goals, manage time and information to successfully accomplish tasks.

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Problem solving Respond to a problem and find solutions using creative and critical thinking.

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