Developing Employable, Emotionally Intelligent, and Resilient Graduate Citizens of the Future

Dacre-Pool, Lorraine orcid iconORCID: 0000-0003-2049-8670, Gurbutt, Dawne and Houston, Kathleen (2019) Developing Employable, Emotionally Intelligent, and Resilient Graduate Citizens of the Future. In: Employability via Higher Education: Sustainability as Scholarship. Springer. ISBN 978-3-030-26342-3

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For at least a decade, the importance of including opportunities for students to develop their emotional intelligence (EI) as part of their university experience has been asserted (Dacre Pool & Sewell, 2007). More recently, the HE community and employers alike confirmed the necessity of helping students to develop the resilience required for the rapidly changing, and challenging futures they are likely to face when entering the world of work (e.g. Burns & Sinfield, 2004). Additionally, because of the influence of social media, relationships, networks and connectivity are changing, making both EI and resilience of even greater relevance.
The concepts of EI and resilience are closely related. This chapter argues that developing EI also supports the development of resilience, resulting in students who are better equipped to deal with, and bounce back from, life’s unavoidable setbacks. The chapter defines EI and examines the research evidence that supports its inclusion as an essential aspect of graduate employability development. It also explores the concept of resilience and explains why it is of vital importance to our students and graduates, both for their success within HE and in the years that follow. The chapter also incorporates some practical ideas academic staff can utilise in order to support the development of these essential concepts in their students. This includes the use of interdisciplinary activities, which research has demonstrated can help students to develop their emotional competencies (Pertegal-Felices et al. 2017). Finally, the chapter looks ahead and argues that, in a world that includes large-scale automation and other significant changes in the workplace and society in general, EI and resilience will be of even greater importance for the global graduate citizens of the future.


Burns, T. & Sinfield, S. (2004). Teaching and Learning and Study Skills: a Guide for Tutors, London: Sage.
Dacre Pool, L. & Sewell, P. (2007). The key to employability: developing a practical model of graduate employability. Education + Training, 49 (4), 277-289.
Pertegal-Felices, M.L., Marcos-Jorquera, D., Gilar-Corbi, R. & Jimeno-Rorenilla, A. (2017). Development of Emotional Skills through Interdisciplinary Practices Integrated into a University Curriculum. Education Research International, Vol 2017, Article ID 6089859.

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