Тhe SAIs of Bulgaria, Hungary and Romania published a Joint Study on Graduates’ Career Tracking Systems

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12.06.2017

The resolution of the European Parliament adopted on 20th April 2012 on the modernization of European higher education systems points out the necessity of tracking graduates’ employment in order to measure to what extent higher education fits the requirements of labor market demand. The Parliament calls upon the Member States to collect and publish data showing the correlation between degrees of different professions and opportunities to find a job in the relevant profession.

Several documents of the European Parliament and the European Commission are referring to the risk of „brain drain”– especially for the part of Member States – which means that freshly graduates decide on working abroad in a growing number. The Parliament expressed its concerns that working groups belonging to Europe 2020 Strategy Framework on Education and Skills are not able to map exactly the problems arising from unbalanced mobility, and emphasized the necessity of finding an answer to these challenges both at the level of the EU and of the Member States.

The tracking of junior graduates’ career, including the cases when they find a job in another country, is such a complex issue that it may require supreme audit institutions of EU Member States to deal with it. For that reason, a cooperative audit “Revealing good practices of Graduates’ Career Tracking” was initiated. The audit was performed by the SAIs of Bulgaria, Hungary and Romania.

The Presidents of the three supreme audit institutions have set the objective, scope, method and other conditions of the cooperation in an agreement. They pointed out as the objective of the audit that the audit to reveal good practices of career tracking systems, with special regard to career tracking of graduates employed in another country. Its conclusions and recommendations should enable the sharing of related experience and knowledge.

At the end of the study there are formulated following common conclusions and messages which are supported by the audit findings and experience of all three SAIs:

-          All three countries recognize the importance of setting up and managing a graduates’ career tracking system. This has been implemented in various ways. Each solution has its advantages and disadvantages.

-          The data provided by the graduates’ career tracking system is used in each country in government decisions and in the careers guidance provided to secondary school students. The most motivated universities used the information as a source of feedback on their performance.

-          A satisfactory solution for tracking the careers of fresh graduates working in another country has not been found in any of the three countries. The situation would be improved if systems integrating the domestic administrative and statistical data could be extended to include the data on employees taking a job in another EU Member State.

They are recommended to the attention of the Contact Committee of the Heads of SAIs of EU Member States and the European Court of Auditors. In the joint study, all three SAIs summarize the main characteristics and findings of their national audits with special regard to those which may provide useful lessons for other EU Member States in the development of career tracking systems of graduates. Besides, all three SAIs highlight and present good practices collected by them in the course of their audits, to which they would like to draw the attention of other countries.

The planned coordinated audit has been concluded. The Presidents of the three SAIs are hopeful that the shared results and lessons learnt may be utilized by other European SAIs, government bodies and higher education institutions and they serve well the achievement of objectives of the Europe 2020 Strategy.

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