Towards a framework for closer university-industry collaboration in educating built environment professionals
Recent reports suggest that even the current industry skills needs are not being adequately met with graduate capabilities falling short of industry expectations. If higher education institutions (HEIs) are to respond effectively to the current and future challenges, a robust conceptual appreciation of the education-industry skills context is required in order to support recommendations and, ultimately, interventions. A conceptual framework aimed at addressing the ‘mismatch’ between the skills requirements of industry and the competences of graduates in the built environment sector was derived. A series of surveys was undertaken on the basis of the derived framework. It was intended that the findings from the surveys would enable the framework to be refined and validated. However, some of the findings suggest that the originally derived conceptual framework does not adequately represent the complexity of the professional learning context and it is not feasible to refine it. This paper describes the conceptual framework which was derived, highlights selected findings from surveys which indicate its inadequacy and then draws on the contemporary literature of higher education futures to discuss the implications for a more representative framework. Recommendations for a closer representation of the education-industry context and for further research directions are made.