The consequences of six major trends that Humburg and Van der Velden (2013), identified as being particularly important for the position occupied by higher education graduates in the economy and society of today, will be in focus. These trends are the knowledge society, the ICT revolution, globalisation, the changing economic structure, high-performance workplaces, and increasing uncertainty. These trends strongly affect the type of competencies graduates are expected to possess.
While recognizing that these effects are complex and strongly intertwined, for exposition purposes Humburg and Van der Velden have identified for each trend a particular competence domain that they argue is most directly affected by that trend. For the knowledge society this this the domain of professional expertise, and for the ICT revolution innovation and knowledge management. For globalisation they point to international orientation and for the changing economic structure to the importance of entrepreneurial skills. High performance workplaces create a strong demand for interpersonal skills. Finally, because of the increasing uncertainty, graduates need to show a higher degree of flexibility than was previously the case.
This presentation is focused mainly on the impact of these trends for the labour market position of graduates of Dutch universities of applies sciences (HBO institutions). The data used is from the HBO-Monitor (the annual survey among recent HBO graduates), as well as data from the international REFLEX survey of higher education graduates in Europe and Japan (Allen and Van der Velden, 2011). This is supplemented by some results from Humburg and Van der Velden’s own study among European employers of higher education graduates.
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