Forum: Cooperation between Higher Education and the Labor Market

Friday, 7 December 2012

 

On December 6th, at the Radisson Blu Hotel, Kyiv Podil a forum of employers, entitled Cooperation between Higher Education and the Labor Market was held.  The forum was organized by The Ukrainian Standardized External Testing Initiative Alliance (USETI Alliance) with support from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

 

The main goal of the forum was to discuss the disconnect between employers and Ukrainian establishments of higher education (HEIs) and to find ways to mobilize their cooperation so that HEIs improve the quality of education they provide and teach the skills the labor market demands.

 

Participants of the forum included representatives of Ukrainian business, government education programs and HEIs.  Yevhen Hlibovytskyy, Managing Partner of Pro.mova, an Alliance USETI partner was the moderator of the forum.

 

Yarema Bachynskiy, Director of American Councils for International Education welcomed the guests and expressed his expectations that similar events will play a crucial role in resolving issues that prevent higher education from meeting the demands of the labor market, which is particularly important for stimulating the development of Ukraine's economy.

 

Jed Barton, USAID Mission Director for Ukraine, Belarus and Moldova also voiced his continued support for developing higher education.  He reminded those gathered of the lasting and productive cooperation between Alliance USETI, Ukrainian government structures and USAID in attempting to improve accessibility to and quality of higher education, which would allow new generations of Ukrainians to realize their potential and push Ukraine into developing her social, political and economic sectors.  Mr. Barton also acknowledged the Ukrainian government's significant progress in developing legislative regulations for higher education that, once ratified by Parliament, will become a promising step to implementing significant reforms.

 

Two panel discussions were held during the forum.  Liliya Hrynevych, National People's Deputy, Mykhaylo Shel'ov, Advisor to the Minister of Education and Science, Youth and Sports, Mariya Panfilova, Human Resource Director at AEC Ukraine and Ihor Zhylyayev, Deputy Head of the Secretariat of the Ukrainian Parliamentary Committee on Science and Education discussed whether general accessibility to higher education is a factor in the quality of students enrolled and specifically what needs to be changed in the system of education in order to improve how pupils are prepared for higher education.

 

The second panel discussed if the Ukrainian system of higher education responds to the demands of the labor market.  The speakers in this panel included: Serhiy Kvit, President of the National University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy, Serhiy Prytomanov, General Director of the Ukrainian Federation of Metallurgists, Andriy Hozhyk, Director of the Scientific-Methodological Center for Organizing the Educational Process at the T. Shevchenko National University of Kyiv and Volodymyr Kovtunets', Legal Advisor for Alliance USETI.  Each of the speakers agreed that graduating poorly prepared individuals is a serious problem; these graduates don't have the skills that employers require and the supply of graduates doesn't coincide with the demands of the labor market in certain specialties.  The panel voiced their opinion that the solution to this problem lies in enticing employers to reform the education sector, to create regulatory legislation and to create government quotas for certain majors.

 

After each panel discussion participants were able to ask questions and express their opinion on how to resolve the presented problems.

 

Yevhen Bystryts'kyy, Director of the International Renaissance Foundation concluded the forum.  He thanked Alliance USETI for organizing the event and for their active involvement in supporting educational reform, which in his opinion is one of the most pressing socio-economic issues in Ukraine.

 

 

 

Alliance USETI

 

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Комітет Верховної Ради України з питань науки і освіти Партнер1 Національна академія педагогічних наук України Партнер2 USAID American Councils Громадяньска мережа ОПОРА Microsoft Україна Міжнародний Фонд "Відродження" Американські дослідницькі інститути Національний педагогічний університет ім. М. Драгоманова Національна академія управління НАУКМА Київський університет імені Бориса Грінченка Спілка ректорів ВНЗ України Центр освітньої політики Львівський Національний Університет ім. І.Франка Pro.Mova Партнер3