Brave New Worlds, Capabilities and the Graduates of Tomorrow

Agnes Bosanquet


In 'What is Enlightenment?' Foucault poses the question: 'How can the growth of capabilities be disconnected from the intensification of power relations?' This article revisits that question by raising critical questions about graduate capabilities. Its aim is to reflect, and to prompt reflection, on the complexities of the definition, implementation and evaluation of capabilities-based curriculum in the discipline of cultural studies and in the higher education sector more broadly. It asks what types of graduates are being ‘produced' by universities and for what purposes? Does cultural studies construct the student subject differently from institutional graduate capability frameworks? What is the role, if any, of higher education in the development of capabilities such as ethical practice or moral standards? What of the principles that are demonstrated in institutional graduate capabilities (sustainability etc)? Are these universal values? What relations of power and processes of normalisation underpin the ‘education revolution’ of capabilities-based curriculum?


Higher education; Cultural studies pedagogy; Graduate capabilities; Graduate attributes; Curriculum review; Education revolution

Full Text: