Purpose – This paper seeks to report the detailed findings of a Centre for Education in the Built Environment (CEBE) funded study into real estate programmes of study in UK universities. The aim is to critically evaluate the gaps in the professional practice firm employers' expectations of real estate graduates, real estate graduates' perceptions of what they attained during their studies and universities' views of the content of Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) accredited real estate courses. Design/methodology/approach – The paper presents the research findings from questionnaire surveys of professional practice firm employers and graduates and of interviews with RICS accredited courses providers and with the human resource managers of major surveying firms. Findings – The findings of the questionnaire survey should provide some comfort to real estate education providers since the top employer rated knowledge and skills are by and large found in most programmes of study. Universities would argue that they cannot actually do much about the personal attributes that graduates possess. There are significant differences in the views of employers and graduates and the only area of knowledge in which graduates currently exceed the requirements of employers is “research methods”. The comments made by both groups suggest that practical experience is considered to be missing from courses but most universities would not see this as one of their principal areas of responsibility. The RICS accredited course directors mentioned that they provide alternative simulated work experience for students. Apart from practical experience, the human resource managers also raised concerns about graduates' levels of commercial awareness. Practical implications – The findings of this research will enable those designing real estate programmes of study in real estate in the UK and around the world to ensure that their curricula are current and relevant to the needs of employers, from a UK perspective. Originality/value – The paper presents the findings of questionnaire surveys of employers and graduates and of interviews with RICS accredited courses providers and human resource managers, which suggest that employers and graduates would like to see more practical skills and knowledge incorporated within university curricula.
Property Management – Emerald Publishing
Published: Oct 18, 2011
Keywords: Attributes; Education; Employers; Graduates; Knowledge; Real estate; Skills; Universities; United Kingdom
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