The Inter-play of Teacher Agency and Student Agency in Enhancing Graduate Employability: A Study of the International Career-Oriented Programs in Vietnam
Keywords:co-agency, career-oriented programs, employability, positioning theory, student agency, teacher agency, Theory of Social Practice
Under the impact of globalisation, the graduate labour market has gone through various changes, which have resulted in the under-employment of new graduates in many countries. Although the Vietnamese government has launched numerous initiatives to develop employability for students, half of Vietnamese university graduates are unable to find jobs in their area of specialization. In order to address this issue, the Vietnamese HE sector has introduced the international career-oriented programs (ICOPs) to raise the quality of graduates and ensure that it is on par with international standards. This research focuses on three ICOPs to explore the interaction between teacher agency and student agency in enhancing graduate employability. This research draws on Bourdieu’s concepts of field, capital and habitus to investigate how academics and students perceive and exercise their individual agency. The position theory is adopted to shed light on the ways academics and students either comply with or disrupt the traditional hierarchical positioning within education systems to practice their co-agency. The study employs a qualitative approach with a combination of various data collection methods, including document analysis, interviews and focus groups to explore the role of teacher agency, student agency and their co-agency in enhancing graduate employability in Vietnam.
Be, T. T. (2020). Developing students' employability in internationalised curriculum programs in Vietnamese higher education. [Doctoral dissertation, Victoria University]. VU Research Repository. https://vuir.vu.edu.au/id/eprint/4224
Bourdieu, P. (1977). Outline of a theory of practice (Vol. 16). Cambridge University Press.
Bourdieu, P. (1990). The logic of practice. Standford University Press.
Bryman, A. (2008). Social research methods. Oxford University Press.
Cohen, L., Manion, L., & Morrison, K. (2000). Research methods in education. Routledge.
Confederation of British Industry (CBI). (2007). Time well spent: Embedding employability in work experience. Department for Education and Skills. https://www.educationandemployers.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/time-well-spent-cbi.pdf
Creswell, J. W. (2003). Research design qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods approaches (2nd ed.). SAGE Publications, Inc.
Harre, R. (2012). Positioning theory: Moral dimensions of social-cultural psychology. In J. Valsiner (Ed.) The Oxford handbook of culture and psychology (pp. 191–206). Oxford University Press.
Liu, J. (2021). The growth of academic identity in the early career stage during the transition in Chinese higher education. Journal of Comparative & International Higher Education, 13(5S), 64–70. https://doi.org/10.32674/jcihe.v13i5S.4131
Merriam, S. (1998). Qualitative research and case study applications in education: Revised and expanded from "Case study research in education." Jossey-Bass Publishers. https://eric.ed.gov/?id=ED415771
Miles, M. B., Huberman, A. M., & Saldana, J. (2014). Qualitative data analysis (3rd ed.). SAGE Publications, Inc.
Nguyen, T. K. Q. (2017). The profession-oriented higher education project in Vietnam: When curricular knowledge is at stake. In S. Bohlinger, T. K. A. Dang, & M. Klatt (Eds.), Education Policy: Mapping the Landscape and Scope, pp. 97–121. https://doi.org/10.3726/978-3-653-05044-8
Nguyen, H. T., Walkinshaw, I., & Pham, H. H. (2017). EMI programs in a Vietnamese university: Language, pedagogy and policy issues. In B. Fenton-Smith, P. Humphreys, & I. Walkinshaw (Eds.), English medium instruction in higher education in Asia-Pacific, pp. 37–52. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-51976-0
Nicol, D. (2010). The foundation for graduate attributes: Developing self-regulation through self and peer assessment. Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education. https://ewds.strath.ac.uk/REAP/public/Papers/DN_The%20foundation%20for%20Graduate%20Attributes.pdf
Patton, M. Q. (2015). Qualitative research & evaluation methods: Integrating theory and practice (4th ed.). Sage.
Pham, T., Tomlinson, M., & Thompson, C. (2019). Forms of capital and agency as mediations in negotiating employability of international graduate migrants. Globalisation, Societies and Education, 17(3), 394–405. https://doi.org/10.1080/14767724.2019.1583091
Qin, P. (2022). Exploring bilingual ideology and identity of EMI medical teachers and students in China's mainland. Journal of Comparative and International Higher Education, 13(5S), 79–86. https://doi.org/10.32674/jcihe.v13i5S.4137
Tran, L. H. N. (2018). Game of blames: Higher education stakeholders' perceptions of causes of Vietnamese graduates' skills gap. International Journal of Educational Development, 62, 302–312. https://doi.org/https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijedudev.2018.07.005
Tran, L. H. N. (2020). Building soft skills for employability: Challenges and practices in Vietnam. Routledge.
Tran, T. T. (2016a). Enhancing graduate employability and the need for university-enterprise collaboration. Journal of Teaching and Learning for Graduate Employability, 7(1), 58–71. https://doi.org/10.21153/jtlge2016vol7no1art598
Tran, T. T. (2016b). Enhancing graduate employability and the need for university enterprise collaboration. Journal of Teaching and Learning for Graduate Employability, 7(1), 58–71.
Tran, T. T. (2019). Graduate employability: Critical perspectives. Education in the Asia-Pacific Region, 50, 93–111. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-981-13-8918-4_6
Truong, T. T. H., Laura, R. S., & Shaw, K. (2018). The importance of developing soft skill sets for the employability of business graduates in Vietnam: A field study on selected business employers. Journal of Education and Culture Studies, 2(1), 32–45. https://doi.org/10.22158/jecs.v2n1p32
van Langenhove, L., & Harré, R. (1999). Introducing positioning theory. In R. T. Harré, & L. van Langenhove (Eds.), Positioning theory: Moral contexts of intentional action (pp. 14–31).
Yorke, M. (2006). Employability in higher education: What it is, what it is not. Higher Education Academy York. https://www.advance-he.ac.uk/knowledge-hub/employability-higher-education-what-it-what-it-not
Yu, J. (2021). A critical study of Chinese international students' experiences pursuing American higher education in the age of Trump and COVID-19. Journal of Comparative & International Higher Education, 13(5S), 103–109. https://doi.org/10.32674/jcihe.v13i5S.4215
How to Cite
Copyright (c) 2023 Journal of Comparative & International Higher Education
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
The findings, interpretations, conclusions, and views expressed in Journal of Comparative and International Higher Education (JCIHE) are entirely those of the authors and should not be attributed in any manner to CIES, HESIG, or the sponsoring universities of the Editorial Staff. These works are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 4.0 License. Readers are free to copy, display, and distribute articles that appear in JCIHE as long as the work is attributed to the author(s) and JCIHE, it is distributed for non-commercial purposes only, and no alteration or transformation is made in the work. All other uses must be approved by the author(s) or JCIHE. By submitting a manuscript, authors agree to transfer without charge the following rights to JCIHE upon acceptance of the manuscript: first worldwide serial publication rights and the right for JCIHE to grant permissions as its editors judge appropriate for the redistribution of the article, its abstract, and metadata associated with the article in professional indexing and reference services.