Transition from school to work

Islah Project-Creation of two National Observatories

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As part of the European project Islah (Instrument at Support of Labour Market and Higher Education), Céreq coordinated the setting up of an experimental tracking survey targeting 2011 bachelor's degree holders from 11 universities in Morocco and Tunisia.


The ISLAH Project (Instruments at Support of Labour Market and Higher Education), coordinated by the Italian AlmaLaurea, aimed at supporting the governance reform processes in Tunisia and Morocco by monitoring graduates features and labour market trajectories, and at enhancing high qualified human resources supply on local, national and international labour markets.

Céreq had the task to coordinate project's work package n.2 aiming to provide partners with new systematic monitoring outputs (graduate profile and job condition surveys), designing suited methodologies following experiences of European partners involved (AlmaLaurea, the Catalan Agency for Quality Assurance, the University of Aix-Marseille and of course the Céreq itself).

The work covered all stages of the survey preparation from the questionnaire conception to the analysis of results aimed to provide knowledge to academic and ministerial decision makers. By this mean, Moroccan and Tunisian partners had a good opportunity to socialize and test a concrete survey initiative (methodologically complete, simple and cheap) that could be easily reproduced beyond project time frame, if duly supported at decision making level.

CATI method has been employed to interview a representative sample of respectively 1600 Tunisian and 2400 Moroccan university leavers. Response rates were satisfying, around 40%.

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Islah project comes to an end

The final report was presented in the presence of the European and North African partners at the end-of-project conference, held on 26 and 27 November 2015 in Tanger. The ISLAH project, which started in October 2012 with the aim of establishing a network of national observatories, has enabled the partner universities to obtain solid experience in tracking their graduates and in the conduct of graduate destination surveys. The project has met the partner universities' needs in the area of performance assessment and helped to produce documents on which decision-making processes and university management can be based.

The project, which grew out of long-term cooperation between the lead organisation the AlmaLaurea Consortium and its European and North African partners (Morocco and Tunisia), was designed to support the structural reform processes under way in the partner countries in accordance with the objectives of the European Commission's TEMPUS programme.

These reforms concern two closely linked aspects of the integration of university graduates into employment:

1) tracking of graduates' characteristics and their labour market trajectories;

2) improvement of the support provided for highly skilled workers in national labour markets in accordance with employers' skill requirements.

 As part of the ISLAH project, two national observatories on integration into employment and employability have been set up (one in Morocco and one in Tunisia) in order to monitor the quality and relevance of higher education in the partner countries. These observatories will be responsible for the main monitoring activities at national and regional level and for setting up a standardised data gathering system on graduates' labour market trajectories. These two observatories will also rely on the support of local branches in the universities, which will also be equipped with new tools for tracking and guiding their graduates in the labour market.

In order to achieve these aims, an experimental survey on university graduates' employment conditions had to be carried out. These surveys had to fulfil several conditions: they had to be developed with the partners on the southern side of the Mediterranean and to be based on a solid survey methodology, while at the same time being sustainable and easy to reproduce in future in order to guarantee continuity of observation. At the same time, the graduate database developed on the basis of AlmaLaurea's Italian model will facilitate the subsequent collection and management of initial contacts with higher education leavers by considerably reducing the costs of further surveys.

Thus in the course of its three year term, the ISLAH project has helped to make available to the partner universities effective, efficient and transparent documentation and indicators for tracking graduates during their education and entry into the labour market.


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Islah Project-Creation of two National Observatories,