Graduate Capabilities


In our roles as academic advisers we find programme development teams need support and resources to update their graduate profiles to ensure graduate success and relevance to the workplace, the profession or vocation. Key to a programme graduate profile is a strong focus on alternative forms of learning in which students attributes and capability are at the forefront.  Programmes with a strong attribute and capability element focus on what students are able to “do” and “be”.


To assist teachers to develop strong student capabilities in their programme of study we have created a set of resources for programme development teams to consider as they focus on the future of their programmes of study. We have selected these themes based on recent research into graduate capabilities in New Zealand, Australia, and around the world.  You may want to include all or some of the capabilities in your graduate profile, and you may want to give greater emphasis to some of the capabilities than others. Each of the themes will need to be tailored to the unique characteristics of the programme of study.


Statements of graduate capabilities typically focus on the skills, characteristics and knowledge graduates require for effective participation in the workplace. They may also demonstrate an institution’s commitment to ethics, social justice, equity, accessibility, environmental sustainability and internationalisation. Read more….

There are a range of interesting perspectives on developing graduate capabilities. Read more….


The purpose of capabilities is to engage students in their learning through relevance and preparation for graduate success.  Engaged students are happier, and more successful in their studies.  Good teaching will encourage and support student engagement by ensuring each programme of study, course and assessment includes a detailed, consistent and strategic programme design articulated through a graduate profile.  Well designed graduate profiles provide a foundation for a programme and graduate success in the first five years of work.


Each of the following themes is designed to develop student attributes and capabilities.


Information Skills

Inclusive leadership


Professional Skills

Legal Astuteness

Enhanced Learning

Effective communication

Thinking skills

Global connectedness

Discipline studies

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