Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10773/12942
Title: Yes, we can: internships providing leverages in the labour market
Author: Patrícia Silva
Betina da Silva Lopes
Ana Isabel Melo
Elisabeth Brito
Dina Seabra
Marco Costa
Gonçalo Paiva Dias
Keywords: Internships, work-based-learning, higher education, curriculum design, employability,
Issue Date: Nov-2014
Publisher: IATED
Abstract: Facing unprecedented challenges to deal with the problem of graduate unemployment, Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) are increasingly concerned with the professional insertion of their graduates in the labour market and with the design of institutional mechanisms that facilitate students’ transition from higher education to work. This has been achieved, inter alia, through the creation of study programmes with internships, or several other forms of cooperative education between HEIs and employing institutions. Benefits of internships are extensively reported in the majority of studies dealing with the professional integration of graduates. There is a general consensus that internships can be regarded as an institutional mechanism that facilitates students’ transition from higher education to work. However, there seems to be a gap between the intended results and the actual impact of internships on employability, which needs to be better understood. Moreover, existing research tends to be largely based on the perceptions of the main stakeholders involved – students, HEIs, and employing institutions – rather than on actual post-graduation career outcomes. This paper aims to assess the importance of internships for the employability of graduate students. Three inter-related dimensions are explored. Firstly, the extent to which the introduction of internships in study programmes contributes to the decrease of graduate unemployment rates is analysed. Second, the extent to which the different features of internships, namely those associated with their length and structure, contribute to lower graduate unemployment rates is assessed. Thirdly, the internship approaches, which seem to allow greater job preparedness, namely those related to interns’ supervision entailing close collaboration between universities and employers, are discussed. Our empirical data consists of a unique database comprising 1,168 Portuguese first cycle degrees, with study programmes approved from 2006 to 2009 and published in the Official Gazette. These results are crosschecked with the perspectives of the main stakeholders involved in internships, regarding their motivations; required efforts; and expected outcomes. Empirically, this is based on the content analysis of semi-structured individual interviews to units’ coordinators and also focus groups conducted with the coordinators of study programmes; academic internship supervisors; and former interns.
Peer review: yes
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10773/12942
ISBN: 978-84-617-2484-0
ISSN: 2340-1095
Publisher Version: http://library.iated.org/view/SILVA2014YES
Appears in Collections:ESTGA - Comunicações

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