Making 'professionalism' meaningful to students in higher education

Anna Wilson, Gerlese Akerlind, Barbara WALSH, Bruce STEVENS, Bethaney TURNER, Alison SHIELD

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Citations (Scopus)


With rising vocational expectations of higher education, universities are increasingly promoting themselves as preparing students for future professional lives. This makes it timely to ask what makes professionalism meaningful to students. In addressing this question, we first identify aspects of professionalism that might represent appropriate aspirations for higher education, in particular the development of professionalism as a transformational rather than acquisitional process. We then report on an empirical study aimed at examining current students' understandings of professionalism, and identifying what they commonly notice and do not notice about professionalism. Finally, we give examples of curriculum interventions designed by subject convenors in response to these findings
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1222-1238
Number of pages17
JournalStudies in Higher Education
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2013


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