Within the framework of the Motive project funded by the Erasmus+ program of the European Union to study the employment situation of graduates in Vietnam and promote cooperation between universities and businesses. From October 25 to October 28, The workshop “Best practice for graduates’ employments survey in higher education institutions amid covid-19 pandemic” was held by Thai Nguyen University (TNU) to discuss and solve difficult problems during the survey. As a project member, Dr. Nguyen Tuan Anh – Director of the NTT Institute for International Education (NIIE) represented Nguyen Tat Thanh actively participated in contributing, sharing and building ideas. Participation in this workshop has contributed to helping NIIE in particular and Nguyen Tat Thanh University (NTTU) in general improve the quality of job counseling for students, especially in the context of Covid-19.
Participants of the meeting include representatives from the Political Education and Student Affairs Department, the Ministry of Education and Training and AlmaLaurea. Participants from Europe include the University of Barcelona (Spain) and the National Agency for Quality Assurance and Accreditation ANECA (Spain).
Participants from Vietnam include Nguyen Tat Thanh University, Hanoi University; Posts and Telecommunications Institute of Technology; National University of Arts Education; Vietnam National University of Agriculture; Thai Nguyen University; Hanoi University of Home Affairs; Hanoi Tourism College; Halong University; Academy of Journalism and Communication. The workshop also welcomes new members namely Ho Chi Minh City Open University, Thu Dau Mot University, Ha Tay Community College, University of Phan Thiet, University of Danang, University of Nha Trang, Nguyen Tat Thanh University, and Vinh Industrial University.
At the workshop, Partner institutions reported on the implementation of the 2020 graduates’ employment survey and completed editing the questionnaire after receiving the sample from the Project and started implementing the survey.
In 2021, the complicated developments of the Covid-19 epidemic has brought about difficulties to graduates’ surveys. In addition, some students changed contact information after graduation or do not keep in touch with their institutions. These factors have affected the percentage of students participating in the survey. Facing the above situation, participants of the workshop also discussed in groups solutions and directions to improve the quality of graduates’ survey such as: organizing a survey with the unified leadership from the Board of Rectors to all units in institutions; communicating to graduates on various platforms and repeating the notice multiple times, maintaining an alumni association, reinforcing the school’s cohesion with students graduated.
Besides, Partners need to build an effective communication system with graduates and combine the MOTIVE project questionnaire with the partners’ questionnaire to avoid students having to do multiple surveys at the same time.
The workshop has listened to graduates about job opportunities, applying learned knowledge and skills in practice, and responding to the employment survey. Students thought that the survey was presented well and delivered an effective method to assess employment status. However, the questionnaire was quite long and detailed, therefore some students felt hesitant to participate. Particularly, students also emphasized that soft skills, language skills, information technology, teamwork and scientific research skills… are very important for future work. Students also need to actively find part-time jobs according to their majors to gain experience, therefore; students need more support from the higher education institutions to be able to find jobs and confidently in the labor market.
During the last workshop, participants also had the opportunity to exchange ideas and experiences with representatives of European partners including a training session on data cleaning methods by Ms. Silvia Galeazzi, AlmaLaurea. Participants took part in a discussion about the project’s related issues, and the next meetings were chaired by Mr. Dorel Manitiu, AlmaLaurea – Project Coordinator. Accordingly, the next seminar is expected to be held at the University of Home Affairs, Quang Nam Branch soon.
At the end of the 3 days of the workshop, NIIE in particular and NTTU in general have achieved good results when grasping difficulties, proposing solutions during the survey process, understanding more about students’ perspectives. , draw experience to improve the quality of job counseling for university students, especially in the current Covid-19 context.