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Call for tenders: EAC/06/2011 – What makes the difference? A qualitative appraisal of higher education graduate employability in Europe: the employers’ perspective

The Directorate-General for Education and Culture (DG EAC) has just published a call for tenders on the topic of graduate employability, a central theme for the Europe 2020 Strategy, for its educational arm – ET 2020 – and for the EU modernisation agenda of universities.
DG EAC plans to award this contract for a qualitative study proposal. The study should nevertheless build on quantitative groundwork laid by the two Eurobarometer surveys conducted around the topic of employability in the last two years, and should specifically aim:

  • to enhance the understanding of what profiles (i.e. mix of competences, knowledge and experience) of higher education graduates can lead to increased employability;
  • to explore employer perceptions and motivations in their assessment of what makes a graduate employable and
  • to assess how these employability features can be enhanced by the education process.

As key requirements, applicants must prove that they have the required expertise to carry out this large-scale study, in European higher education policy as well as in employability-related matters.  Specific expertise in carrying out intensive interviews and focus groups is required. Furthermore, the consultation of employers and employer/professional organisations is a vital element that should be taken into account when designing the study methodology. As for coverage, the study must address at least 12 EU member states, which should be selected to reflect the diversity of the European area.

The duration of the contract is 18 months (from the award of the contract).

Budget: max. EUR 500 000
Deadline: 19 September 2011

European Commission