Work programme of the Bologna Follow-Up Group 2005-2007
Enhancing European Employability: The Implications of the Bologna Three Cycles for Employability
Swansea University and the Welsh Assembly Government jointly hosted a seminar on the theme of Enhancing European Employability at Swansea University on 12-14 July 2006.
The seminar reflected upon the means of enhancing the employability of European graduates, within the EHEA and beyond, and how the understanding of graduate employability differed between Bologna signatories and for graduates exiting at different cycles.
The Bergen Communiqué identified a need to increase the employability of graduates with bachelor qualifications and to create opportunities for flexible learning paths, including the recognition of prior learning.
The key recommendation of the Seminar was that employability must remain an important part of the Bologna Process and should be addressed in each of the three cycles. The detailed recommendations drawn up by the workshops clearly identified a number of themes and several areas of overlap. Distilled to three key messages, these were:
- Embedding skills in the curriculum is a key element of the Bologna reforms and as such needs to be monitored, with an emphasis on sharing good practice across Europe. Recognising the wide diversity of national systems, regional priorities and circumstances together with institutional missions, the widest range of method and approaches is to be encouraged. The importance of effective links with employers cannot be over-stated, but the methods adopted must be appropriate to the context of the course of study, the institutions, the geographical regions and national policies.
- Higher education institutions should assist students to recognise and articulate the employability skills developed within the curriculum and in other activities at all three cycles – linked to the Dublin Descriptors/national qualification frameworks and to future Continuous Professional Development needs. Higher education institutions should also ensure that students receive information and advice on all sectors of the labour market, together with career management skills.
- The Bologna reforms are creating a new range of transition and exit points from higher education. The ensuing complexity of options for further study or employment, combined with the encouragement of student mobility, requires the provision of high quality professional staff guidance for students and appropriate staff development for academic and other university staff. In this context, higher education institutions and governments should promote a coherent cross-departmental strategic approach, to allow institutions to integrate the international dimension and particularly student mobility in institutional policy and curriculum planning.
Judith Cole, United Kingdom (Wales)
Source: Bergen to London 2007 - Secretariat Report on the Bologna Work Programme 2005-2007
Bologna Process between Bergen and London