3.7 The PassPort Portal: An online resource to support transition to an International Future

This paper shares the outcomes of a project, developed in collaboration with Robert Gordon University and funded by the HEA, which seeks to develop a range of learning activities informed by data gathered from a bespoke online employer and alumni portal developed by the two universities.

The project demonstrates the benefits of institutional collaboration by bringing together an expanded, diversified, yet complementary, portfolio of courses and participants through which to identify and develop graduate attributes associated with global practice in urban regeneration, architecture, and construction management. The PassPort portal unites senior students, alumni and employers, with mutual benefits arising from this network. It offers a broad scope to investigate global practices and develop intercultural competencies and skills, through harnessing the diverse experiences and backgrounds of students, alumni, and employer contacts.

Ultimately, it is intended that the resultant learning enables students to ‘pass through’ the portal, effecting the transition from student to effective international professional and practitioner.

The project is conceived around three principal dimensions of student engagement, as follows:

• Engagement through an interactive learning process that enhances the

future competitiveness of graduates in an increasingly global industry

• Central involvement of students in the project’s development, and as co-creators

of the process and its outcomes

• Student engagement in activity that enhances the quality and richness of


The increasing importance of companies operating successfully in the international arena means that the realm of contemporary professional practice extends beyond the bounds of any single culture (Ameri, 2008). Consequently, in common with the wide variety of transferrable and non-discipline specific skills taught across the HE sector, global competencies are regarded by industry as a vital facet of 21st century graduate attributes (Yorke, 2006).