Social inclusion, graduate attributes and higher education curriculum

  • Agnes Bosanquet Macquarie University
  • Theresa Winchester-Seeto Learning and Teaching Centre, Macquarie University, Australia
  • Anna Rowe Learning and Teaching Centre, Macquarie University, Australia
Keywords: graduate attributes, social inclusion, curriculum, global citizenship, internationalisation, diversity


Drawing on data from 39 Australian universities over the past 15 years, this paper examines the social inclusion curriculum in higher education through an analysis of university statements of graduate attributes. Graduate attributes articulate an institution’s vision of students they seek to develop, and the knowledge, values and dispositions they wish to impart. Such statements and their justifications represent an aspect of the intended curriculum, but may not reflect the enacted or experienced curriculum. In the context of the Bradley review of Australian higher education, social inclusion discussions have focussed on access to opportunities and the social and economic dimensions of participation. Curriculum and pedagogical issues have, to date, received less critical attention. Australian graduate attribute policies and statements frequently articulate social inclusion in terms of respect for and appreciation of diversity; possessing a global or international perspective; commitment to equity and social justice; having a sense of social responsibility; and participating in the community. These outcomes reflect key themes found in most definitions of social inclusion. This paper examines the influencing factors for graduate attributes, and discusses two dimensions in detail: diversity and global perspectives.

Author Biography

Agnes Bosanquet, Macquarie University
Lecturer, Higher Education Development Learning and Teaching Centre
How to Cite
BosanquetA., Winchester-SeetoT., & RoweA. (2012). Social inclusion, graduate attributes and higher education curriculum. Journal of Academic Language and Learning, 6(2), A73-A87. Retrieved from