OECD: Leave the ivory tower

Nieuws | de redactie
1 november 2011 | The OECD advocates greater collaboration between universities and universities of applied sciences in order to prepare students for the labor market and guarantee lifelong learning. To face society’s challenges academic institutes would have to leave their ivory tower.

To face today’s challenges of demographic change and demand ofhigh-level skills, universities have to leave their ivory tower, comments Oscar Valiente, OECD consultant.Barriers between vocational and academic studies needed to beovercome.

“A very good example of this is the area of lifelong learning.Lifelong learning does not fit well with a system based on barriersand divisions. Learners need to move from one sector to another indifferent moments of their life and tertiary education systemsdon’t always allow that,” stated Valiente.

Greater collaboration of vocational and academicinstitutions

Currently, the OECD/IMHE is working out a report called”Collaboration between Vocational and University Education:Building Partnerships for Regional Development”. In it, the OECDadresses a number of best practices that enhance collaborationbetween universities and universities of applied sciences.

Valiente sees especially great potential in the prospect ofbringing together universities and businesses to give students theskills required on the labor market.”Vocational and the universitysectors can collaborate through updating and upgrading workers’skills in firms, sharing business links for apprenticeships andinternships, establishing dual programmes with the businesssector.”

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