Sanna Brauer, Ilkka Ratinen, Kaisu Kumpulainen, Outi Kyrö-Ämmälä, Leena Nikander, Ilkka Väänänen


Fundamental changes in working life highlight the demands on the co-operation between the educational sector and working life, that should contribute to students’ employability. In addition to discipline-specific expertise, the development of working life skills has received increasing attention when it comes to employment. Drawing on data from Finnish universities of applied sciences (n=5) and universities (n=3), this paper examines how students (n=380) value the generic competences needed in in the world of work. The study is based on European reforms of labour markets and educational structures. This paper adds to current discourses around employability by highlighting differences between students of universities and universities of applied sciences. The implications of this research suggest paying attention to the concepts of agency, expertise and working life skills as outlined in the integrative pedagogy model, as well as emphasising the requirement for soft skills and generic competences needed in working life.

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competence-based orientation, employment, generic competence, working life skills, higher education

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