The study presents a review of proposals for improving efficiency of higher geographical studies in Great Britain and in Germany.
The following elements of the strategy are characterized: preparation and audit of study curricula, methodology of academic teaching, management of professional career and familiarity with labour market, promotion of graduates’ competences.
The review is provided with a brief analysis of the actual situation of geography graduates in Great Britain in comparison to graduates of other study majors included in the group of environmental sciences.
One of the basic aims of modern higher education should be to teach graduates who, within a relatively short time after completion of studies, will commence work that is satisfying for them. This aim is not easy to implement due to the fact that expectations and requirements of the labour market with respect to academic education are dynamically changing, inter alia due to rapid technological progress and globalization.
In the last twenty years, labour market in Poland has been subject to thorough changes. Services are currently dominant, along with specialized industry, whereas progress in technology and work place organization results in the fact that people can no longer expect a linear development of their career paths (Harvey et al. 2002). Definition of work positions typical for university graduates of a given study major is blurred. Employers are more interested not only in skills, but also in the character and experiences of graduates which goes beyond the canons of formal education offered at universities.
Changes at the labour market partially result from a dynamic increase in the number of students. Popularization of higher education made the market very competitive for graduates; a diploma has ceased to assure a dream work position. Having higher education is an initial requirement for work at many positions, frequently not related to the qualifications acquired in the course of studies. Due to not being able to find a work position correlated with the completed studies, some graduates undertake jobs which are inconsistent with their education or expectations (Elias et al. 1999)
According to Van Morris (2007) insufficient preparation for a start at the labour market is largely conditioned by errors in the organization of academic education. In his opinion, organizational structure of many disciplines, including geography, makes reforms difficult or even impossible. The structure induces specific visions of teaching programmes which make references to ministerial standards of teaching, scientific traditions of a university, and often to a „fashion” for given specializations; insufficient attention is paid to increasing the chances of graduates at the labour market.
In the light of studies conducted in other countries, including in Great Britain, the proper concept of a study curriculum and its appropriate implementation is highly efficient with respect to graduates of GEES studies (Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences) (Gedye, Chalkley, 2006). Proposals presented by German researches are convergent with the results of British scientists (Hennemann, Liefner, 2010).
(*study financed from budget funds for science between 2010 and 2012 as research project No. N N114 076739)
Piróg D., 2012. Methods for efficiency improvement of geographical studies within the scope of procurement of work by graduates exemplified by solutions applied in Great Britain and in Germany [W:] Natural sciences in educational systems of European countries in the 21st century (red. B. Wójtowicz), Wyd. DEHON, Kraków, s.129-141
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