University-based sport and social clubs and their contribution to the development of graduate attributes

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Active Learning in Higher Education, 2022
Issue Date:
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An important measure of the success of a tertiary education programme is the attributes that graduates possess at the completion of their studies. Universities have sought to address this issue by developing formal curriculum and programmes such as internships and work-integrated learning. However, little is known about how university-based extracurricular activities contribute to graduate attributes. The purpose of this study is to explore participation in extracurricular activities from a student perspective. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 22 student leaders of university-based sporting, social and academic clubs. Data collection and analysis were guided by a qualitative approach to thematic analysis. The findings indicate that students developed a range of graduate attributes in areas such as such as leadership, teamwork, communication and resilience. The theory, communities of practice, is used to interpret the participants’ experiences which was found to coalesce around their social interactions and relations. The study concludes with several recommendations for universities to create greater opportunities for their students to participate in extracurricular activities.
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