Good practices of the University of Primorska in connecting higher education and labour market
OECD and the European commission are coordinating a project LMRO - (Enhancing) Labour Market Relevance and Outcomes of Higher Education, and they invited the University of Primorska to join as a case study.
The LMRO project team implemented interviews between 13 and 16 July 2021 with the UP representatives. Interviews focused on four project priorities: study offer, student support activities, information on labour market and competence identification.
On the last day of their visit, they presented their findings and emphasised the good practices noted at UP:
- successful response to labour market needs with interdisciplinarity of study programmes;
- introducing project work as a substitute for bachelor thesis in certain study programmes, which enables students to develop job-relevant skills;
- implementation of student projects in cooperation with the private sector as a central measure of connection;
- Inclusion of students in projects has positive effects on study motivation and contributes to a better career orientation;
- introduction of innovative teaching methods and guidance by teachers plays an important role in students' early career orientation;
- good re-inclusion of drop-out students;
- systemic following of student work during studies;
- lifelong learning – mapping of the needs of the private sector and labour market with an aim to offer relevant lifelong learning opportunities;
- use of labour market information and data in preparing joint project proposals of the university with companies;
- strengthened role of the university Career Centre in providing support to students, introduction of new approaches, including competence portfolio;
- strong scholarship fund attracting talented students;
- reestablishment of the Board of Trustees and its important role for university cooperation with the environment and with companies;
- cooperation with InnoRenew CoE as an excellent case of knowledge transfer in competence development.
LMRO project team will prepare an official report by September, when further project activities will continue. An invitation to submission of innovative practices to equip students with the skills they need to flourish in the various work settings has already been published. Towards the end of the year, further open discussions will be held and policy recommendations published.
Under the project, four countries participate: Slovenia, Austria, Portugal and Hungary. The Ministry of Education, Science and Sport is coordinating activities for Slovenia, where University of Primorska, University of Ljubljana, University of Maribor and the Faculty of Polymer Technology are participating. The aim is to support the adoption of actionable policy options and effective, scalable institutional practices that have the potential to enhance the labour market relevance and outcomes (LMRO) of higher education.