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Poland enhances tool to track graduate career pathways

Poland’s Ministry of Science and Higher Education has released its second set of comprehensive data which tracks graduates’ employment prospects and economic situation.  The first round of analysis started back in 2014, and the Ministry has now announced that it will continue efforts to improve the monitoring system. To this end, it will launch an improved version of the tracking tool to help potential students determine which courses yield the highest employment prospects and returns post-graduation.

The graduate tracking system called ‘ELA’ was jointly developed by the University of Warsaw and the National Information Processing Institute, and has since undergone a series of updates to enhance the analysis of labour market progression of graduates and provide administrative data to successfully develop education strategies. The data stems from an annual survey, which in the latest edition analysed and drew conclusions on a group of over 360 000 graduates.  The release of the new edition of ELA  for the first time allows the comparison of annual reports between 2014 and 2015, tracing career paths of graduates along key indicators including -  job search length; risk of unemployment; remuneration, with this year’s release also covering different modes of labour such as self-employment.  The system generates three types of reports, namely- at individual course level; at institutional level for specific universities and Poland-wide reports.  

Although Poland’s national graduate monitoring system is widely used by researchers and analysts, it will be developed into a tool for comprehensive evaluation of the labour market, graduate outcomes and education performance, and to better serve the main target group of prospective and future students, providing them with opportunities to accurately assess courses based on their employment outcomes. In the future, the system will be extended to measure variables as economic activity of students during their studies, information concerning drop-out rates and employment rates of non-degree holders. Doctoral candidates and young scientists will compose a new category for which career progression will be monitored, by analysing factors as scientific activity or estimated costs of entering the research field.

Outcomes of the 2015 analysis shows how well graduates fared compared to 2014

  • In the category of first degree graduates in 2015, 55% found employment within 5 years after graduating – up by one percentage point.
  • Of second degree graduates, 86% became employed five years after completing their studies, showing no change compared to 2014.
  • Graduates of long-cycle studies in 2015 fared slightly better than their peers surveyed in 2014, with 85% vs 83% finding employment.

By initiating further steps towards augmenting data on graduate employment, Poland aligns with greater efforts taking place in the field of graduate tracking across the EU. At the European level most noteworthy is the start of a ‘graduate tracking initiative’, part of the New Skills Agenda, to provide information on career paths and/or further education, which includes an EU-level graduate survey and relies on cooperation with member states. It was announced this May in the frame of a Communication on a renewed EU agenda for higher education , by the European Commission’s Directorate General for Education and Culture (DG EAC).

Polish Ministry Science and Higher Education – Press release