n South African Journal of Higher Education - Valuing employability : supervision training and the generic or transferable skills agenda

Volume 21, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1011-3487



This article describes the impact of generic research skills training on the supervision process, and the implications for training supervisors, in a northern Irish university. It seeks to find appropriate conceptual and theoretical frameworks with which to provide training for supervisors that recognise a pedagogy of supervision, which embraces the transferable skills agenda. The study is a case study, grounded in current and proposed work at the University of Ulster, which has around 900 Ph.D. or early-stage researchers, a growing number of research only staff who supervise, and increasing numbers of experienced researchers and principal investigators. Ph.D. students are required to accumulate evidence of competence in all (A-G) skills listed in the Joint Skills Statement, to the extent of 180 Research Training Credits (RTCs), over a three year registration. The article also describes a web-based personal development plan (PDP) known as the PDSystem, recently adapted for the benefit of research students and their supervisors to track efforts to engage with such training, recognise prior experiential learning, and assist with training needs analysis within an electronic, and evidenced-based environment.

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