Defining and Measuring Competences: An Application to Graduate Surveys

J.B. van Loo*, J.H. Semeijn

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

18 Citations (Web of Science)


In this article, we review the competence concept and apply it to the measurement of competences in graduate surveys. The relevant literature reveals that three important perspectives on the meaning and operationalisation of competences may be distinguished: the educational perspective, the labour market perspective and the human resources perspective. The second part of the article is concerned with the measurement of competences in the context of labour market research using graduate surveys. Using the insights obtained from the literature, competences are defined and a measurement method is chosen. Empirical evidence suggests that this measurement method performs better than previously used measurement methodologies.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)331-349
JournalQuality & Quantity
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2004

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