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Title: Stairway to employment? Internships in higher education
Author: Patrícia Catarina de Sousa e Silva
Betina da Silva Lopes
Marco Costa
Dina Seabra
Ana Isabel Melo
Elisabeth Brito
Gonçalo Paiva Dias
Keywords: Graduate employability
Higher education
First-cycle degrees
Issue Date: Dec-2016
Publisher: Springer
Abstract: This article aims to shed light on the current debate regarding the role of internships in higher education in graduates’ employability. In specific, it analyses empirical data on a large-scale study of Portuguese first-cycle study programmes, in order to explore indicators of the professional value of internships in the employability of higher education graduates. Results demonstrate that study programmes that include internships tend to significantly enhance graduates’ employability, particularly within the universe of polytechnic and public higher education institutions. Besides the instrumental value of internships, the impact of the nature and structure of the internship on the percentage of unemployed graduates are also discussed. Mandatory internships and the inclusion of multiple, shorter internships throughout the degree are negatively associated with unemployment levels. Results indicate work-based learning can be used as a successful strategy to bridge theoretical knowledge and practice and enhance graduate employability. These findings provide important insights for the evaluation and/or the design of internship programmes in higher education.
Peer review: yes
ISSN: 1573-174X
Publisher Version: 10.1007/s10734-015-9903-9
Appears in Collections:ESTGA - Artigos

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