Learning Outcomes and Market Requirements Round Table Held

At the round table meeting “Learning Outcomes and Labour Market Requirements” which was organized in the Rectorate of the University of Montenegro within Tempus project Devcore was concluded that reforms being conducted by Montenegro will improve level and quality of education and students will acquire knowledge and skills which are recognized by the market.

Vice-Rector and Coordinator of the Devcore project, Maja Baćović, PhD, said that the UoM tackled with harmonisation of learning outcomes with labour market requirements within the reform and reorganisation being currently implemented.   

- The aim of our activities is to improve the quality of education and that our students after graduating at all levels have both knowledge and skills which can be recognized by the labour market and also to get the opportunity to be engaged in whole range of activities. We regulated learning outcomes for all study programmes at all levels – she states. According to her, the first phase of the reform has just been finished, and the process of defining learning outcomes will be continued for new study programmes.   

Vice-Rector, Živko Andrijašević, PhD, stated that the education reform was comprehensive process and the high education was concern of the whole society. Reforms should accord higher education sector with labour market requirements as well as influence on formation of open-minded personalities.  

He also pointed out that higher education system was burdened by many problems resulting in wrong aim and purpose - overproduction of diplomas while decreasing the quality of knowledge.   

- This is the reason for initiation of reforms which are the most significant for their complexity and depth since the University was founded - Andrijašević added.

He thinks that the new model of studies will result in greater specialised competences, mobility and internationalisation of the University.

- Point of the reform is not to replace models but to get new quality, i.e. new profile of experts who will be competent to meet needs of the society and labour market – Andrijašević said.

Professor Lena Tsipouri from Kapodistar University in Athens thinks that importance and significance of learning outcomes is best shown when the business cycle is positive at the labour market.

- I think that Vice-rector Andrijašević is right when saying that there is an overproduction of diplomas in Europe.  This reminds us a little bit on English saying „Success brings failure“. When you have a successful labour market, high employment rate, budget surplus, that when you enrol greater number of students and open new faculties. We think that this is the best way to improve both skills and market. What we actually do is producing more trained workers which will not be required by the market in future – she says.

Hence, when the activities are planned, next to consideration of current situation, also market changes which may occur within a five-year period should be born in mind.

 Vladimir Blečić from the Chamber of Commerce presented the research conducted by the Chamber last year with the goal to analyse effects of the higher education reform with particular emphasis on using and understanding the learning outcome concept.  

He stated that the research showed that about 63, 4 per cent of examinees were familiar with the higher education reform, 21,7 per cent not aware of it at all, and 14, 9 per cent is familiar with the reform.

- About 56 per cent of examinees sees the education system as incompatible with labour market requirements, about 14,2 per cent thinks it is partially accorded, and about 11,2 per cent thinks it is completely in compliance with the market, while 17,8 per cent of examinees could not make an estimation - Blečić said.

Representative of the Employment Agency of Montenegro, Vesna Radulović said that learning outcomes helped in understanding of qualification, as well as what can be provided by the higher education person and what skills and competences one can gain.    

She said that the importance of learning outcome of teaching subjects was the main connection which brought to improvement of professors, teaching quality and students and their future knowledge.