Generic Skills Development in the Gulf Cooperation Council Countries and Graduate Outcomes: A Systematic Review of the Literature

Abstract

Generic skills are essential because today’s jobs and the future of work require flexibility, initiative, and the ability to undertake many different tasks. While higher education graduates in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries recognize the contribution of these skills in their academics and workplace performance, generic skills development is not a consistent part of their education, which has led to socioeconomic challenges. If higher education placed a great emphasis on developing generic skills, students would expect to have pragmatic benefits, such as academic success, boosting workplace performance, positive interpersonal relationships, and better health and overall well-being. To the best of our knowledge, no systematic review has been conducted to examine generic skills development outcomes in the GCC. Hence, this systematic review aims to identify, evaluate, and summarize findings from peer-reviewed and policy-related studies that have documented generic skills development outcomes in the GCC countries, including identifying broad definitions used and areas for future research. The findings demonstrated conclusive evidence regarding the effectiveness of generic skills development at the higher education level in enhancing graduate outcomes in employability promotion skills, enhancing stakeholder engagement in curriculum and instruction, academic or workplace performance, influences on health, and effects on social dimensions.

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