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The Relationship between Self-Directedness in Learning and Employability: A study at a Private University in Dubai, United Arab Emirates

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posted on 25.05.2018, 10:21 by Sei Khong Chong
The primary purpose of this study was to investigate the relationship between self-directedness in learning (SDL) and self-perceived employability (SPE), ambition, and university commitment (UC) of students at a private university in Dubai, UAE (University 1). Built on quantitative research approach, participants were requested to complete a questionnaire survey consists of the 25-items Personal Orientation in Self-directed Learning Scale (PRO-SDLS) by Stockdale (2003); 30-items Self-Perceived Employability Scale for University Students (SPESUS) by Rothwell et al. (2008) and the newly developed 30 items Self-Perceived Employability Factors Scale (SPEF). A sample of 90 final year University 1 students participated in this study. Further exploration and validation of research findings from University 1 were conducted by comparing with additional data gathered from University 2 (based in Leicester, UK; N: 48) using the same measuring instruments and research methodologies. Descriptive, correlational and inferential statistical analyses were carried out for data collected from both University 1 and 2 to realise the research objectives and hypotheses testing of this study. PRO-SDLS, SPESUS and SPEF were found to be reliable and valid measuring instruments. Other significant findings were positive and significant relationship found between SDL, SPE and ambition. The study also established that SDL of university students positively predicts their SPE, ambition and UC. Besides, intellectual skills and soft skills were perceived to be the core competencies that need to be an integral component of increasing the success of students’ transition from education to work. Statistical analyses also revealed significant differences between age, academic performance (measured by CGPA) and working experience with research constructs. Theoretical, methodology and practical implications of findings were suggested for educators, academics and university management. In conclusion, as evidenced by this study, it is possible to improve students’ employability through SDL interventions.



Goodwin, John; O'Connor, Henrietta

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Centre for Labour Market Studies

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University of Leicester

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