Rating of bachelor’s programmes: How well do higher education institutions (HEIs) promote the employability of their students?
There is a great deal of difference in how bachelor’s programmes at German HEIs promote the necessary competences and abilities for jobs beyond pure technical know-how. While some HEIs have established exemplary measures in order to prepare students for the job market, a number of HEIs have as good as ignored this aspect in the conversion to bachelor’s and master’s programmes and are still focusing almost exclusively on the teaching of technical know-how.
In general, Fachhochschulen have taken the lead in the promotion of the employability of their students. With the ”business informatics“ study programme at the Universität Münster and the ”engineering” programme at the Universität Siegen, bachelor’s programmes at universities have this year received the highest ranking of five stars. This is the result of the new edition of the ”employability“ rating of CHE and Arbeitskreis Personalmarketing - dapm (interest group for HR Marketing) that evaluates employability promotion in almost 550 bachelor’s programmes at HEIs and now also at universities of cooperative education. It is a pleasure to know that this year 22% of the included business studies programmes could be allocated to universities (compared to 10% last year). For technical programmes, the share increased from 21 to 27%. Apart from study programmes such as business studies, civil engineering, engineering, business informatics and business engineering, computer science programmes have also been evaluated for the first time.
The study revolves around the issue of the extent to which HEIs systematically integrate elements that help students qualify for jobs beyond the imparting of technical know-how into their curricula, such as social and methodological competences or the promotion of internationality and practical relevance.
Technical know-how/professional competence remains the core of the study programmes. As far as this aspect is concerned, HEIs can rely on many years of experience and it therefore did not form a part of this rating.
With the evaluation of additional competences that help students find jobs, HEIs often break new ground. Including these factors in the evaluation gives the rating considerable added-value with respect to the entire performance spectrum of HEIs, something that has, to date, not received the attention it deserves. Thus, prospective students, companies and HEIs receive a comprehensive programme evaluation.
In the comparative evaluation, study programmes could win up to five stars. A total of 31 study programmes earned top evaluation rating, among them 13 business studies programmes: with four study programmes each, the Hochschule Ulm and the International School of Management Dortmund are represented in the top group. The Hochschulen Reutlingen and Albstadt-Sigmaringen received the highest rating three times respectively. Detlef Müller-Böling, head of CHE, said: ”We have a pleasing increase of study programmes that fulfil one of the European requirements in an exemplary fashion, namely the integration of the employability promotion in the curricula.“