Abstract: The role of Higher Education is changing, as world economies develop rapidly. This has been identified as a Fourth Industrial Revolution by the World Economic Forum (WEF). In the United Sates (US) and United Kingdom (UK) universities and employees recognize the urgent need for a review of the skills and competencies which are taught to students. In the US, university representatives such as the American Association of Colleges and Universities (AACU) have recognized the need to develop the teaching and assessment of learning outcomes which students are taught. In the UK, employer representatives such as the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) have also identified a need for skills development. The aim of this is to prepare students for the workplace and civil society. The purpose of this paper is to bring together the resources available from a variety of sources such as the Lumina Foundation, which consider how best to develop student learning outcomes. The resources are from the US and the UK and from a variety of perspectives such as academic writers, government departments and employee representative bodies. These are considered from the perspective of students, university staff and employees. The discussion puts forward a case that all disciplines at all universities need to work together to achieve success in preparing students for the new economy by raising the profile and assessment of skills and competencies. A starting point for such an ambition project is a small scale survey at an American University in South East Europe. The paper reports upon a survey of students and their perspectives of the skills highlighted by the Lumina Foundation, and the manner in which they are assessed.
Keywords: skills, competencies, employers, liberal arts