The Employability in Programme Development (EPD) project is a Erasmus+ research project funded by the European Commission. The project seeks to establish a feedback loop from the labour market to HEIs to inform programme and course design to best support the employability of future graduates.
Across Europe, the issue of graduate employment outcomes has become a policy priority, and mismatch between the skills of graduates and those demanded by employers is widely regarded as a source of disappointing graduate outcomes. However, practitioners in Higher Education Institutions tasked with developing courses and programmes are not experts in labour market intelligence and are unlikely to utilise it to support the development of graduate employability attributes through their teaching. Moreover, even when they do it is unclear whether available labour market intelligence is suitable to inform course and programme development.
The project consortium has five participating organisations. The four HEIs provide complementary academic and administrative expertise from distinct higher education systems:
– England: University of Reading,
– Scotland: University of Glasgow,
– Spain: Autonomous University of Barcelona
– Belgium: Brussels Free University.
– The Catalan Higher Education Quality Assurance Agency (AQU) is the fifth collaborator bringing expertise in graduate outcome surveys and access to institutional networks across Europe.
The EPD -project has the following goals:
* Map the availability of information on skills demand for each participating institution as well as the needs of practitioners in participating HEIs for labour market intelligence to inform course and programme design.
* Use information gathered to design and develop a prototype labour market intelligence dashboard for use by staff in HEIs.
* To augment secondary data sources made accessible through the dashboard, additional input on skills demand will be sought from employers.
* The project will also curate best practice in employability from across Europe and publish in a series of case studies.
This research output explores the potential of using innovative AI and data science techniques to develop a dashboard that helps HE practitioners (both in student support units and in course planning) boost the employability of students.
To achieve this goal, two hackathons were organised during the project.
The resources that have been developed to organise and prepare hackathons are shared here, along with templates that enable institutions to organise their own hackathons.