Graduate Attributes

Attending university is not just about gaining a qualification, but also about the experiences you have as a student and the way you develop as a person. When you seek work employers typically look for evidence not just of knowledge but of skills and attributes too.

The University of the Highlands and Islands has set out to identify what the important attributes for our students and graduates might be. As part of this process we consulted with students, staff and employers and have agreed a set of five attributes that we think are important our students develop during their time with us:

  • Academic Skills
  • Self Management
  • Social Awareness 
  • Communication
  • Interpersonal Skills


Developing our approach

Over the next year we will be working to develop our processes in learning and teaching to enhance students’ ability to develop and reflect on their acquisition of these attributes while they are studying with us. We recognise that every student is unique, and the demands of different courses and employers will also be unique. We want to encourage our students and staff to work with the attributes in a way that is meaningful to their own circumstances. Over the next year we will be putting put together lots of further information about what each of these attributes might mean to different students, employers and staff. As part of this process students and staff may start to see our attributes being discussed, or be asked to reflect on their own understanding of the attributes. In order to help our students and staff start to work with our agreed attributes we have put together an image (below) which includes further suggestions of what each of these attributes may include. Over the coming year as our work on this initiative grows we will be regularly updating these pages with additional resources and information. 

Your ideas and feedback

As you start to work with these attributes, if you have examples of ways that you have worked with them effectively, or if you have ideas about how we can refine our attributes further, or ideas about how we can support students and staff to work with these attributes please do let us know, we really appreciate feedback: Meanwhile we hope you find the framework useful and that you enjoy working with it.


You can also access a Graduate Attributes pdf of the content on this webpage.