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Schools, firms work to make grads employable

Update: August, 03/2015 - 08:34
A study tour of the Dong Nai Technology University. Universities where curriculum development is done in collaboration with enterprises show a jump in employability. — Photo dntu.edu.vn

HCM CITY (VNS) — Universities where curriculum development is done in collaboration with enterprises show a jump in employability, Siep Littooij of the International Projects Desk at the Saxion University of Applied Sciences in the Netherlands said at a conference held in HCM City last week.

Eighty-one per cent of graduates at Vietnamese universities involved in a pilot project organised with the Netherlands found employment within six months, and 44 per cent found a job within three months, he said.

The results from Vietnamese universities are similar to findings in the Netherlands by NUFFIC, the Netherlands organisation for international co-operation in higher education, he said.

The project, called Strengthening Profession-Oriented Higher Education (POHE), was carried out in eight pilot universities in Viet Nam from 2005-2009.

The project measured employability through a tracer study in 2014, receiving data from 1,360 out of 1,922 alumni, who graduated between 2010 and 2013 in 10 revised (POHE) programmes in universities.

Based on the employability statistics and the positive qualitative evidence, POHE programmes held promise for graduate employability in Viet Nam, Littooij said.

"POHE assumes that students need to develop competencies required by employers during the regular education programme," he said. "An integral part of curriculum development is obtaining the employers' views and needs on competencies, followed by the translation of these competencies into educational provision through new formats."

Strengthening university business collaboration (UBC) would enhance universities' capacity to deliver more employable graduates to the labour market.

Given the future adoption of more intensive UBC, employability statistics would be expected to improve, he said.

"The 2012-2015 POHE2 projects contribute to building capacity in Viet Nam to teach labour market-relevant programmes, with adequately trained faculty, facilitated by a suitable regulatory framework at the institutional and national level education system," Littooij said.

To take advantage of the potential of UBC for human capital in Viet Nam, it was essential to understand the mechanisms of delivery and the perspectives of stakeholders, he said.

The annual two-day conference, with the theme of Quality in Higher Education: Global Perspectives and Best Practices, was held by the Viet Nam-based Regional Training Centre of the Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organisation (SEAMEO RETRAC).

It attracted 110 local and foreign experts, managers, lecturers and researchers from many countries. — VNS

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