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Education Ministry to Follow Labour Market Outcomes of Over 70,000 University Graduates through GRADE Project

The Ministry of Education and Science will follow the labour market outcomes of over 70,000 Bulgarian higher education graduates through the GRADE project, funded under the Erasmus+ programme. Participating in the project are some two-thirds of the EU Member States, and in view of the free movement of people it is normal to have centres for information on how graduates perform on the labour market, caretaker Education and Science Minister Sasho Penov said during a presentation of GRADE at Sofia’s Technical University, his Ministry reported Tuesday.
The presentation was attended by Deputy Education Minister Albena Chavdarova, representatives of the academic community, and Education Ministry experts.
Penov explained that Bulgaria’s entire education system is directed at acquiring competencies related to the students’ labour market outcomes, but until now it was hard to gather data. Any such undertaking is directed not so much at universities as at the opportunity to attract new students, guaranteeing them quality outcomes, he added.
The GRADE project will study how those with a Bulgarian higher education obtained in the 2020/2021 and the 2016/2017 academic years fare on the labour market. A comparison will be made with graduates in 16 other countries. The study covers a wide range of questions related to the graduates’ satisfaction with their education and their additional courses and qualifications, among others things.
The project allows various European higher education systems to be compared and to identify the ways in which they can improve the preparation of young people for the job market. The gathered information will also help the responsible institutions that formulate higher education policies. The study’s results will be published in an anonymous format and will be integrated in an international database. “In addition to acquiring a clear picture of where we are, steps can be taken to promote applications for one professional field or another in accordance with the labour market outcomes,” Deputy Education Minister Chavdarova said.