Tracking systems in Finland

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1 Tracking systems in Finland Jan Kraufvelin Head of Office, Career Services at Åbo Akademi University

2 Overview - Tracking systems in universities in Finland Feedback on the bachelor studies and information if respondent has moved to labour market (exit survey YOPALA, national) Feedback on the studies overall and real time information about employment (placement follow-up) Feedback on the PhD studies and real time information about employment (career follow-up for PhD, national) Bachelor's degree Master's degree Doctor's degree Juha Sainio, University of Turku, 2012 Feedback on the studies overall and information about employment at the time of graduation (exit survey) Career follow-up for Master's degree holders five years after graduation (national)

3 More detailed information about different national systems Career follow-up to Master's and Doctor's degree holders national, the first survey took place in the year of 2005 (2007 to Doctor's) yearly, but rotate to Master's (e.g. 2010, 2012) and Doctor's (e.g. 2009, 2011) universities do the survey themselves and the national data is created by specific terms the questionnaire is sent to all graduates by mail, but there is also a possibility to answer the questionnaire on-line, respond rate about 50% focus are on researching graduate careers and the quality of their jobs Exit survey to Bachelor's degree holders, called "YOPALA" initiated by the Rector s Council together with the The National Union of University Students in Finland, primary aim is to give tools for internal development inside universities under construction, aims to be a national tool on-line survey to all Bachelor's degree holders or after a specific time (e.g. 3,5 years after starting ones university studies) feedback on the bachelor studies is the main focus universities plans to buy the service from an external provider (objectivity)

4 More detailed information about systems that are not national Exit survey to Master's degree holders there are only a few universities that do these kind of exit surveys so-called floating system, when you graduate you are asked to answer the questionnaire, information is gathered at the end of the year universities do the survey themselves on-line survey to all Master's degree holders feedback on the studies overall and information about employment at the time of graduation Placement follow-up there are only a few universities that do this kind of exit survey yearly, e.g. in the autumn 2011 the questionnaire will be sent to all Master's degree holders that has graduated in 2010 universities do the survey themselves the questionnaire is sent to all graduates by mail, but there is also a possibility to answer the questionnaire on-line feedback on the studies overall and real time information about employment it is done in cooperation with some of the universities of applied science

5 Tracking system in universities of applied science OPALA (exit survey, national) OPALA, is a joint student feedback system of universities of applied science and the Ministry of Education. With the OPALA-inquiry system, real time information is gathered on the employment of the graduated universities of applied science students and on the success of education and practical training in students' opinion. The Ministry of Education takes advantage of the student feedback in evaluating education, comparing universities of applied science and different fields of education, and in planning education. Universities of applied science use the received feedback in developing education and practical training in different fields of education and degrees, and in comparing the results with other polytechnics. Placement and career follow-up (not national) Placement follow-up is uniform with the placement follow-up in universities (at the moment 14 polytechnics do placement follow-ups) Career follow-up is uniform with the career follow-up in universities (at the moment 7 polytechnics do career follow-ups)

6 Other tracking systems in Finland RAKETTI-project ( the purpose of the RAKETTI project is to promote, at the national level, the quality, interoperability and availability of information in HEI:s and of the IT solutions in use. by combining already completed surveys, services in production, and development projects being planned or in progress, a set goal and solution is generated for implementing a system that addresses needs common to all HEI:s. Statistics Finland ( provide statistical information of graduates employment situation, that is if graduates are employed or unemployed, do they work at public or private sector etc. the information are delayed ~2,5 years (April 2012 we have information from end of year 2009) the Ministry of Education and Culture mainly uses this employment information as a political tool Ministry of Education and Culture ( on-line statistical data on universities and fields of education has been available in the KOTA database maintained by the Ministry of Education since The Ministry publishes an annual Universities publication containing data on university activities.

7 University developed tracking systems - background During the previous 7 years ( ) the career services of the Finnish universities (and partly also the universities of applied sciences) have been cooperating informally to carry out surveys to graduates with the purpose of collecting both quantitative and qualitative information about how graduates place themselves on the labour market as well as feedback on their education The cooperation in doing joint surveys is largely a result of the also informal cooperation that has been connecting the career service units around Finland since the 1990s, called Aarresaari-network ( Originally these tracking systems were developed to give useful information mainly to the Career Service units themselves (e.g. to be used in career councelling) Later also often used as an institutional tool when it comes to the development of the curriculum, strategic planning and quality assurance Have also attracted interest among media (public interest) and government agencies (policy making)

8 What kind of surveys are used and who is the target group? Currently there are 2 different nationwide career follow-ups carried out by the Career Service units at universities in Finland. 1. To all that have completed a Master s degree, about 5-6 years after graduation biannually 2. To all Doctor's degree holders, about 2-3 years after graduation biannually All of the surveys collect information of both quantitative and qualitative nature The surveys provides information about higher education graduates' early careers in Finland and the factors that have an effect on it, as well as feedback on the education, specifically in relation to the labour market needs In the surveys information about the following subjects are collected: Education and work history Situation at the time of graduation Situation after graduation and present situation The significance of university education Subjective feedback on the education

9 How are the results used? The results from the surveys are used by the following groups: Career and study counsellors in secondary education Career and study counsellors at universities Other personel at the university (for example to improve the curriculum or in qualityassurance work) The decision-making bodies at the universities as sources for policy-making The Ministry of Education Media Employers Labour unions and other labour-market players

10 Costs and synergies The surveys do of course take some resources (time and/or money) to carry out, resources currently paid by the universities themselves But in this model you are able to decide the time/cost variable that suits your own need Cost-effectiveness - less resources need to be spent per university (compared to a university-specific system) - since many steps can be done in cooperation with the other universities Different labour unions and Ministry of Education have occasionally been giving grants to carry out the surveys and/or write reports on the basis of the results from the surveys A ready model easy to take into use for new universities wishing to take part Ability to make comparison between the situation of graduates from one university with the situation nationwide However, as agreed by the universities, the information are not used as a mean for ranking-lists Possible to get useful and statistically significant information even on subject-level on a nationwide basis

11 Questions? Thank you for your attention! Jan Kraufvelin,

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