A Comparative Analysis
Chapter 3: Student Services and the Labour Market
Renata Semenza 3.1 INTRODUCTION Among the objectives of the Bologna Process marking the beginning of a new era of European universities are student-centred teaching and the improvement of student employability and job placement. Governments are paying increasing attention to international comparisons as they search for effective policies that provide incentives for greater efficiency in the provision of education and help to mobilize resources to meet rising demand. For universities, the reform process means a shift from a logic based on the interests of the academic community to one based on institutions open to the external environment. A number of services assume great importance because they make it possible to improve performance with regard to the two principal university stakeholders, namely, students and companies. This mission of HE institutions is today more generalized than in the past. It involves a set of programmes – from orientation to tutorship to internships and practical training programmes, from services matching the supply and demand of graduates to monitoring their entry into the labour market – that create closer ties between universities and the external economic environment and the employment system, and not only at the local level. The drive to transform university education and make it more international, which was apparent in most of the universities considered – thanks to European exchange programmes (Socrates, Erasmus, Erasmus Mundus), the creation of joint degrees and doctorate programmes – has opened national borders and created potential new transnational markets. Although the tendency of universities to assume the role of service providers...