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25.3.2010

University education in times of crisis

AQU Catalunya, with the support of the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, organised a one-day workshop on University Education and Graduate Employment, where the results of the studies on graduate labour market outcomes in Catalonia based on the surveys run every three years by the Agency were presented: 

As these studies are based on surveys that do not reflect the current economic situation, a round table involving social stakeholders was held to highlight the key role of the universities in preparing professionals so they can adapt according to the immediate economic and social requirements.

The round table, which was coordinated by the AQU president, Joaquim Prats, also included the participation of the CEO of Cercle d'Economia, Jordi Alberich; the CEO of Foment del Treball (Employment Promotion), Joaquin Trigo; the ENDESA ombudsman, José Luis Oller; and the director-coordinator of Equips Humans from the Ros Roca Group, Ramon Carulla. The participants in the round table were asked to reflect on the role of the universities in times of crisis.

Their contributions and input included the need to give impetus to competence-based learning and team-work, promote international student mobility, build up placement and work experience in private enterprise and promote the lifelong learning of graduates. It was also asserted that the universities should not modify programmes of study on the basis of economic trends, but that they should continue to be institutions that research and contribute to the interpretation of reality. The issue of the importance of placing the students' interests at the centre of the teaching process was also affirmed.

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