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Celebrating Skills in the Humanities

VU International News and Reviews No. 102 December 04 2017

December 2017

The British Academy has published the report “The Right Skills: Celebrating Skills in The Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences” of its Flagship project, which was launched to articulate and celebrate the skills gained through studying arts, humanities and social sciences (AHSS), and to lead a high-level debate about the value of these skills to the individual, to society and to the economy.

The report identifies three broad areas of skills developed through the Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences (AHSS): • communication and collaboration • research and analysis and • independence and adaptability. It argues that the economy, of which 80% in the UK is in the services sector, is in dire need of precisely the skills developed through AHSS education.

The inventory of skills in the report seems to be based more on an inductive gathering of skills as observed or perceived in the field. The report contains no references to generally accepted categories (in organisational psychology) of personality traits and personal competencies, such as the Big 6 Hexaco and the Great Eight Competencies. Correlation with the AACU VALUE Rubrics could also add significantly to the usefulness of the report, particularly in terms of assessable levels of competencies of the identified AHSS skills.

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