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The Future of Graduate Employment and Work and the Implications for Higher Education Contribution to the OECD/France International Conference Higher Education.

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Presentation on theme: "The Future of Graduate Employment and Work and the Implications for Higher Education Contribution to the OECD/France International Conference Higher Education."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Future of Graduate Employment and Work and the Implications for Higher Education Contribution to the OECD/France International Conference Higher Education to 2030: What Futures for Quality Access in the Era of Globalisation? Conservatoire National des Arts et Métiers Paris, 8 – 9 December 2008 Ulrich Teichler International Centre for Higher Education Research Kassel INCHER-KASSEL University of Kassel, Kassel Germany Tel Fax

2 Ulrich Teichler: The Future of GraduateEmployment and Work 2 The Educational Functions of Higher Education To transmit understanding of academic theories, methods and knowledge Cultural enhancement and personality development Preparing students for future work by conveying the tools and rules of conventional professional work Prepare students to call into question the established rules and tools of professional work: to be sceptical and critical, to handle indeterminate work tasks, to strive for innovation

3 Ulrich Teichler: The Future of GraduateEmployment and Work 3 Higher Education Needs Knowledge on Graduates Employment Work Knowledge utilisation as a feed-back in order to reflect the consequences of one of its core activities, i.e. those of knowledge transmission, in the domain of curricula, teaching and learning. This holds true irrespective of the extent to which the higher education systems as a whole, certain types of institutions, types of study programmes or fields or study have a vocational/professional or academic emphasis.

4 Ulrich Teichler: The Future of GraduateEmployment and Work 4 Growing Public Interest The public interest in the employment and work outcome of higher education has grown over the years in Europe as a consequence of higher education expansion, because the expanding lower level programmes and graduates are expected in most European countries to be more directly prepared for the world of work (cf. in the Bologna Process the employability debate and the concern about the professional relevance of university bachelor) growing utilitarian expectations harboured with research to higher education (cf. in the Lisbon Process the call to make Europe the most competitive economy with the help of knowledge enhancement) increasing pressures to provide evidence about proper processes and desirable outcomes (cf. the popularity of terms and measures such as evaluation, accreditation, accountability or evidence-based policy).

5 Ulrich Teichler: The Future of GraduateEmployment and Work 5 Two Major Ambivalences in the Worldwide Debates on Higher Education and the World of Work The quantitative ambivalence: On the one hand: Expansion of higher education is beneficial for economic growth On the other hand: Over-education (employment problems faced by graduates) The functional ambivalence: On the one hand: Call for professional relevance of study programmes and study or for employability On the other hand: Concerns about too little emphasis on academic learning, general education, and benefits beyond the labour market, about sub-ordination on current employers and neglect of critical function as well as of preparation for indeterminate work tasks and of innovation in general

6 Ulrich Teichler: The Future of GraduateEmployment and Work 6 Higher Education has to Look Forward for About 40 Years Curricular innovation might need five years Period of study might last five years Graduates will be employed for about 30 years on average Potentials and Limitations of Long Term Strategies

7 Ulrich Teichler: The Future of GraduateEmployment and Work 7 Options of Higher Education vis-à-vis Long-Term Developments of Graduate Employment and Work Quantitative:HE expansion and graduate employment Structures:Diversity of HE systems and the composition of graduate employment and work Functions:Increasing life-long learning/continuing professional education Curricula I:Competences and job requirements Curricula II:Preparation for labour market dynamics and uncertainties Curricula III:Assumption of international convergence or persistence of differences between countries Curricula IV:Internationalisation

8 Ulrich Teichler: The Future of GraduateEmployment and Work 8 Quantitative Options for Higher Education OECD 1997 (Reconsidering Tertiary Education): Trend towards universal tertiary education Growing relevance of tertiary education for associate professionals Over-education or growing relevance for middle-level occupations?

9 Ulrich Teichler: The Future of GraduateEmployment and Work 9 Low Level of Over-education in Europe 2005 Occupation (ISCO88) by Type of Study Programme Occupation (ISCO88) Type of Study ProgrammeTotal University (long duration) University (short duration, Fachhochschule, HBO, AMK, etc.) Other243 Clerks465 Assoc. prof Professionals Manager 888 Total 100 Source: REFLEX 2005; INCHER-Kassel

10 Ulrich Teichler: The Future of GraduateEmployment and Work 10 Low Level of Over-education in Europe Appropriate Level of Education is Below Tertiary Education – (4-5 Years After Graduation; %) Source: CHEERS 1999 and REFLEX 2005; INCHER-Kassel

11 Ulrich Teichler: The Future of GraduateEmployment and Work 11 Structural Options of Higher Education Options Types of institutions and programmes Intra-institutional diversity or inter-institutional diversity in HE Flat or steep vertical quality/reputation differences Issues Types of theoretical vs. applied occupations? Bachelor-/master-structure: intra-institutional diversity in some but not in all countries? Are we moving towards an elite knowledge society or towards a mass knowledge society? Tensions between vertical and horizontal diversity

12 Ulrich Teichler: The Future of GraduateEmployment and Work 12 Major Curricular Options Alternatives Academic vs. professional fields of study Academic reflections vs. reflections of the tensions between academic and professional problem-solving Theoretical vs. applied approach Specific vs. general Key issues Do long-term views call for general education? Do the country distinctions between professional vs. general emphasis disappear or continue?

13 Ulrich Teichler: The Future of GraduateEmployment and Work 13 Major Terms and Concepts of Competences Other Than Specific Knowledge (Employability Skills, Key Skills etc.) Transfer of (academic) knowledge to professional work assignments (problem-solving activities) Development of typical working styles (e.g. working under pressure, working independently without clear assignments) Development of typical working values (loyality, achievement orientation) Social skills (leadership, team work, etc.) Supplementary knowledge (foreign languages, ICT, organisational knowledge, etc.) Context awareness (adaptation, reflection, risk tasking, etc.) Learning to manage ones own career

14 Ulrich Teichler: The Future of GraduateEmployment and Work 14 Stability of Work Requirements: 1999 – 2005 (arithm. mean) Source: CHEERS 1999 and REFLEX 2005; INCHER-Kassel

15 Ulrich Teichler: The Future of GraduateEmployment and Work 15 Possible Curricular Consequences Strengthen disciplinary and professional knowledge Strengthen knowledge transfer (problem-solving abilities) Strengthen independent learning, reflection and critical thinking Strengthen experiential learning (project, work experience in dialogue with the university, temporary study abroad, etc.) Strengthen generic skills (general education!) Strengthen personality development

16 Ulrich Teichler: The Future of GraduateEmployment and Work 16 Work Experience During the Course of Study (% of persons graduating in 1995) DFUKIE Work experience prior to study Study-related work while studying Non-study related work while studying Internship Source: REFLEX Survey

17 Ulrich Teichler: The Future of GraduateEmployment and Work 17 Relevance for Employers Decision to Recruit Graduates as Perceived by 1995 Graduates (%) DFUKIE Contact to employers during the course of study Work experience prior to study Work experience during the course of study Source: CHEERS Survey

18 Ulrich Teichler: The Future of GraduateEmployment and Work 18 Internationalisation Employment of graduates abroad: less than 5 percent from OECD countries? Sent abroad by employers: more than 5 percent? Study abroad at least temporarily: more than 10 percent? What do we expect in the future?

19 Ulrich Teichler: The Future of GraduateEmployment and Work 19 The World of Work and the Responsibilities of the University The subordinated university The ivory tower autonomous university The knowledgeable, reflective university The pro-active university


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