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Integrated Approach to Career Services
Development in the Higher Education:
Case of the University of Latvia
Inta Jaunzeme
Deputy Director of Student Services
University of Latvia
IAEVG International Conference 2009 “Coherence, Co-operation and Quality in Guidance and
Counselling”, Jyväskylä, Finland, June 3-5, 2009
Data and Methods
• Data from national sample surveys “Professional
Activities of Graduates of Higher and Vocational
Education Institutions after Graduation” (2504
respondents) and “Compliance of Higher Education
Programmes with the Requirements of Labour Market”
(1675 respondents) carried out in 2006/2007
• Expert and focus group interviews
• Case study of career service development at the
University of Latvia
The Aim of the Presentation
The aim of the presentation is to analyze main
factors and outcomes of career services
development in the higher education institutions
of Latvia over the last decade
Key Challenges
• Political and economical changes
• Change of concept (from professional orientation to
career guidance)
• Diversity of education (the study programmes and
learning environment) after collapse of Soviet Union
• Enhancing labour market demand of employees skills
and competencies
• Demographical changes (aging of the society and
• Increasing role of lifelong learning
• Educational and employment policy for employability
Integrated Approach to Career Service
1. Career development services are shared among a
variety of departments
2. Partnership between the university and labour market
as an investment for students development
Transition of University Graduates to
Labour Market
• 29.6% graduates are very satisfied and 50,2% rather satisfied
with the obtained skills for career planning and professional
• Students` employment rate during their studies is 75%-79%
• Numerous of graduates continuing formal and non-formal
• After 3 years 92% of graduates have a job which corresponds
to the educational level (professionals, managers, senior
• Unemployment rate is 1 %
• Job search period is from 1 to 3 months
Career Service development in HEI of
• Provision of the career services at HEI was established
after accession to the EU,
• Most often universities provide separate career activities
within the central administration or faculties
• career support is provided by different units and
departments(career centres, public relation and
academic department, student services, student union,
admission office etc.)
• Some HEI have included availability of services and
graduates ability as an important task in their
development strategy
(University of Latvia, University of Liepaja, Latvia University
of Agriculture, RPIVA, Daugavpils University)
Case of the University of Latvia
• The development of
university's student support
system started 1995 with
academic advising which was
shared by faculties and
central administration
• Student services at present
provide academic advising,
career service, psychological
counselling (since 2006) and
support for students with
disability(since 2008)
Career Service Provision at the University
of Latvia (institutional level)
Student Services
Student Register
Information and
Career Centre
External Partners
State Employment Agency,
State Education
Development Agency,
Higher Educations
Institutions, Employers,
Internal Partners
Student Union,
Partnership with employers
Representation in governmental
•Council of Higher Education
•Higher Education Quality
Evaluation Centre
•Career Guidance National Forum
(Cooperation Council)
•National Trilateral Co-operation
Co-operation in institutional
•Programme development in
cooperation with employers
•Programme assessment
•Final examinations and thesis
•Internships and practice
•Expert lectures
•Competitions for graduates
final thesis
Assessment of the Cooperation
Possible social partners are:
Mass media
Social organizations
Non-governmental organisations
The best form: initiative from
employers, resources,
information about operations
of educational institutions
Cooperation is not
We are interested,
but do not have
previous experience
We have cooperation
No answers/Do not
Case of cooperation between
University and ECR Baltic
A local ECR initiative in the
Baltic States - in Latvia,
Lithuania and Estonia. It is
non-commercial, non-profit
voluntary and informal
partnership set up in 2007 to
provide a cooperation
platform, promote and
educate Business community
in the Baltic States about
Efficient Consumer Response
and the benefits it brings
• Development of career services in the higher education
institutions in Latvia depends on institutional
commitment and available resources
• Career guidance is a new concept in the context of
education and employment in Latvia, therefore
important is to educate all stakeholders
• Crucial challenges for graduates employment in the
period of crisis increases role of student support
• Effective use of resources facilitate development of
cooperation between university and enterprises
Student Services,
University of Latvia
Riga, Latvia
E-mail: [email protected]
T.:+371 67034412