eLene4Life held its second online Multiplier Event on 19 November 2020 as a panel entitled “New Frontiers in Graduates’ Employability: University & Business Collaboration for Transitioning into the Job Market”. The event was held under the umbrella of the European Conference for Student Affairs and Services from 18-20 November 2020, one of the biggest events in Europe for professional development dedicated to university administrators.
The eLene4Life panel gathered around 69 student affairs professionals and companies in order to discuss promising practices in curriculum innovation. These are the professionals in close contact with students, with counselling or educational roles that go from residence life, wellbeing, career services or soft skills training; thus the findings and input from the eLene4Life project can offer are timely!
The speakers were:
- Mirela Mazalu, Secretary General; European University College Association – Belgium
- Zsofia Hidvegi, President; EVK College for Advanced Studies – Hungary
- Rolf Reinhardt, Senior Account Manager; LinkedIn – Germany
- Ivan Colosimo, Development Manager; ELIS Digital University – Italy
The panelists targeted their interventions around some guiding questions:
- How can education actors adapt their career services, both in the tools they offer or the trends they need to consider for their curricula/teaching practices?
- What are regional European data/trends, either on skills or on trends from employers looking for young talent or graduates’ job search?
- How/what tools encourage collaboration between education and the job market that ensures students’ transition from one to the other?
- How do we all need to adapt to new learning approaches (fast paced digitalisation, modular learning etc…) that allows for greater learner engagement?
Mirela Mazalu, Secretary General of European University College Association – Belgium, presented the eLene4Life project and its findings. She focused on how student affairs can improve soft skills teaching to ensure students’ smooth transition into the job market.
Based on eLene4Life findings in IO1 and IO2, here are some good practices mapped in Europe:
- Ensure students’ awareness on the why from the very beginning of the course: sharing learning outcomes, real world application, evaluation criteria is key.
- Include active learning that requires students not only to engage in learning activities, but also to think about this learning: the Dynamic Toolkit was presented as an important tool for all educators.
- Collaborations can be a great resource to show students real-world application of classroom knowledge, such as professionals giving testimonials or judging students’ projects, career fairs or HR experts.
The presentation ended with a challenge: What collaboration can you explore in this event to help you solve one challenge you have?
Rolf Reinhardt, Senior Account Manager in LinkedIn – Germany, but also Member of the Executive Committee of the International Council on Badges and Credentials (ICoBC), offered food for thought as well. According to LinkedIn, in 2020 the top 5 soft skills companies looked for were creativity, persuasion, collaboration, adaptability, and emotional intelligence. But what about the hard skills? The 5 most wanted were blockchain, cloud computing, analytical reasoning, AI and UX design. Rolf Reinhardt challenged the audience not only to think of what type or how to best deliver curricula, but also how to provide recognition for students’ learning outcomes! The field of badges and credentialing is getting bigger: from cross regional initiatives of international organisations, to professional providers like LinkedIn, Credly or Microsoft; from accredited educational providers like universities, to organisations on the way to capability management.
These were only some key highlights of the discussion. As in all eLene4Life events, this was just a first contribution, so we invite you to join us in our LinkedIn group Active Learning for Soft Skills Development to contribute to our ongoing discussions!