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Higher education and the graduate labour market in the Western Balkans

Bartlett, Will ORCID: 0000-0002-6775-4339 and Uvalić, Milica (2018) Higher education and the graduate labour market in the Western Balkans. In: Osbild, Reiner and Bartlett, Will, (eds.) Western Balkan Economies in Transition: Recent Economic and Social Developments. Societies and Political Orders in Transition (SOCPOT). Springer Berlin / Heidelberg, Cham, CH, 47 - 59. ISBN 9783319936642

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Identification Number: 10.1007/978-3-319-93665-9_4


This chapter looks at the effectiveness of higher education systems in the Western Balkans in delivering a skilled labour force to the economy. In particular, it analyses the problems facing university graduates in accessing the labour market and the skill gaps among new graduate employees based on data collected through cross-country surveys of recent graduates and of employers of recent graduates and interviews with key stakeholders. The findings cast a worrying perspective on the ability of higher education systems in the Western Balkans to deliver the qualified personnel that are needed to support future economic growth. Many students drop out of studies leading to a low completion rate; of those students who do graduate, many face the prospect of unemployment; of those who do find a job, many are in jobs that are not matched to their level of qualification, reducing their job prospects in relation to graduates in well-matched jobs. Of every hundred new students entering the higher education systems each year, only 13 will eventually graduate and find a well-matched job. In order for the higher education systems to make a better contribution to building human capital and to the competitiveness and growth of the region’s economies, significant reforms of higher education systems and graduate labour markets are needed, while better cooperation between employers and universities should be encouraged.

Item Type: Book Section
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2019 Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature
Divisions: European Institute
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor
L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB2300 Higher Education
H Social Sciences > HC Economic History and Conditions
J Political Science > JN Political institutions (Europe)
Date Deposited: 21 Nov 2022 11:27
Last Modified: 17 May 2024 06:18

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