Pages 3 to 16 [article]; Laura Versteele, Elsje Londers, Ludo Froyen
Education and training systems play a significant role in tackling youth unemployment and further developing graduates’ employability potential. In the framework of the European Lifelong Learning Programme, a project under the acronym “FOLLOW” was launched to address the question how and to what extent higher education institutions contribute to the employability of their graduates. Four universities and polytechnics located across Portugal, Belgium, Spain and Italy were participating in this project. Current practices that promote and monitor the employability of graduates were examined at an institutional level. Each institution has multiple actors involved in employability matters. Promotional activities are the main focus for the majority of the university employment or career offices, while monitoring of graduate employability is, in general, managed by external institutions. The most prevalent institutional initiatives to promote graduate employability are the provision of recruitment opportunities for students and graduates, professional and career guidance and job events in cooperation with companies. At least one internal office of each participating institution is implementing each of these practices and, remarkably, these particular practices are also fairly similar across our higher education institutions. Furthermore, all involved institutions promote graduate internships and placements in companies. In addition, some institutions provide incentives promoting entrepreneurship among students and graduates while other institutions are maintaining strong alumni links. In the field of monitoring graduate employability, employability observatories are most common.
In Portugal, Spain and Italy agents undertake detailed national analysis of graduate employability often intended to compare employment levels of graduates of different higher education institutions. Though it is not claimed that one size fits all, lessons could be learned from sharing practices and equivalent initiatives could be taken by other higher education institutions in other countries.
Pages 17 to 31 [article]; José Luís Cardoso, Vitor Escária, Vítor Sérgio Ferreira, Paulo Madruga, Alexandra Raimundo, Marta Varanda
This paper summarizes the main findings of a research project commissioned by the Portuguese Higher Education Regulation Agency (A3ES). Six years after the general implementation of the Bologna Process in the Portuguese Higher Education system, this research stressed how employability of tertiary education graduates has evolved and how institutions have dealt with it. Three main subjects will be focused: a) the main trends in employability of tertiary education graduates, considering different statistical sources; b) an assessment of how Portuguese higher education institutions deal with the employability of their graduates, through a virtual ethnographic analysis of their websites and interviews with students, professors and board members of a few institutions; and c) a professional associations evaluation regarding the effects of Bologna process on employability, through a questionnaire to boards members.
Pages 32 to 43 [article]; João Fernandes, Rui Mendes
The need to produce viable and up to date information concerning graduate employability demands that higher education institutions (HEI) develop structures and methodologies that allows the monitoring of the evolution of the transition from higher education to the labour market and in what conditions this is happening and how the professional paths are evolving. This sort of information is of the upmost importance in the strategic management of HEI in terms of labour market approach and how to assure that their graduates have a simplified access to jobs. In this sense, it is proposed a methodology based on the experience gained by the Employability Observatory at IST, Portugal, which has been monitoring graduates since 1993. This methodology is based on the definition of a set of key variables and a short,mid and long term survey plan which allows not only to learn about recent graduates but also about graduates who graduated 5, 10 and 20 years ago. In mid term is is possible to inquire the same group of graduates 5 years later allowing a longitudinal perspective and to gain some insight on the impact of professional experience in the career of a HE graduate.