Labour Market Relevance and Outcomes of Higher Education Partnership Initiative
Technological advances, climate change, the digitalisation of the economy, and exogenous shocks such as the COVID-19 pandemic are transforming labour markets. Today’s students and workers must adapt to changing tasks and jobs by acquiring skills that permit them to perform new jobs, and by updating skills throughout their lives. In turn, higher education institutions seek to anticipate novel jobs and skill needs, create study programmes that are relevant to these labour market needs, and rethink how to communicate with learners about future careers and with employers about the graduate skills they seek. Policy makers, for their part, face the need to re-examine how their portfolio of policies – funding, monitoring, and labour market data systems – can better support learners and institutions in responding to these challenges.
In 2019, the European Commission and the OECD initiated the Labour Market Relevance and Outcomes of Higher Education – LMRO Partnership Initiative, a collaborative project with Austria, Hungary, Portugal, and Slovenia. The aim was to assist policy makers and higher education institutions to develop effective ways to enhance the labour market relevance and outcomes of higher education for both graduates and the economy. The project conducted country-specific analyses, organises peer-learning activities, and has developed a self-reflection tool for use by higher education institutions to identify and address institutional-level barriers and introduce innovative practices. WPZ Research supported the organisation of international peer-learning events.
The five peer-learning events of the LMRO-PI were designed for policy makers and practitioners to review innovative national policies, identify enablers and barriers to innovative institutional practices, and discuss key findings from research. The aim was to (i) facilitate peer learning, (ii) identify key questions relevant for policymaking and the adoption and upscaling of effective institutional practices, and (iii) stimulate and contribute to an international policy debate. The online events gathered an international audience of higher education policy stakeholders, including policy makers, leaders of HEIs, teaching and administrative staff, higher education researchers, and representatives of quality assurance bodies, industry and student unions.