While a host of external reasons inform the need for tracking graduates (legal requirements, funding incentives, quality assurance and accreditation rules), national graduate destination surveys already in place are of limited relevance for follow-up at VET-school level. Quite often data cannot be traced back to the institution, and even when that’s the case VET providers acknowledge it seldom triggers any reaction.
Lack of resources, low response rates, insufficient follow-up and data protection regulations, have been reported as recurring obstacles in the Higher Education sector and our preliminary conversations with VET practitioners involved in this partnership suggest similar ills affect the VET/FE sector. Of particular concern is the incapability of VET providers to act on graduate tracking data and this is proving detrimental to the need to “Close the loop” in VET Quality Assurance Systems.
In this respect, the project follows the recommendation of EU Quality Assurance in VET (henceforth EQAVET) to establish continuous information and feedback loops in IVET and CVET systems based on learning outcomes. Two EQAVET Indicators, “5.Placement rate in VET Programmes” and “6.Utilisation of acquired skills at the workplace“, are particularly relevant for this project idea.
- To improve VET schools understanding of “VET-to-work transition systems” (eg. impact of learning on VET graduates’ careers, labour market relevance)
- To establish a more coordinated and appropriate set of VET Graduate Tracking measures at VET-provider level.
- To increase institutional capacity to act on and use results for a variety of purposes, such as enhancing study programmes and alumni services
- To strengthen Alumni Culture in VET Schools
Number and profile of participants
TRACKTION is a collective endeavour comprising 6 organisations from Spain (2), Estonia, Italy, Netherlands and the UK. In terms of expertise, the partnership shows a good balance including 3 VET Schools (Alfa College, PKHK, Cometa Formazione/Oliver Twist School), 2 intermediary organisations bridging policy and practice at regionaal level (VALNALON and TKNIKA) and a research-focused organisation (Education & Employers Tasforce)
Description of activities
In exploring this interesting topic (Alumni relations + VET Graduate Tracking) , the project will address a number of interconnected themes:
- Contextual conditions (system-level requirements at regional/national/European level)
- Conceptual dimensions (employability, school-to-work transitions, employment and entrepreneurship)
- Operationalisation issues (methodology and instruments already in place)
- Quality issues (optimise the ways in which graduates’ feedback on their destination influences VET provision/systems and is mirrored back to enhance VET learners’ learning outcomes (“closing the loop” of the VET quality cycle ).
The project will result in 2 tangible outputs:
- A Tracking Protocol that simplifies data collection from Alumni (O1
- A How-To-Guide “Building and Sustaining Successful Alumni Relations Programs in VET Schools” (O2)