Tracking students and graduates is extremely important for universities who wish to provide a high quality education to an increasingly diverse student population. Procedures for assessing progress and success of students during their study, towards employment or further qualification, help to understand the impact of study programmes, their relevance for the labour market, and thus generate the necessary information for systematic improvement of courses and support services.
In order to find out more about the drivers, mechanisms and impact of tracking, EUA, in a consortium with the Hochschul-Informations-System GmbH (HIS), Lund University, the University of the Peloponnese, the Danish School of Education/Aarhus University and the Irish Universities Association, launched a project under the Lifelong Learning Programme - Transversal Programme, Key Activity 1, Studies and Comparative Research. The project will last 24 months, from October 2010 to September 2012.
The TRACKIT project will undertake a study on the drivers, mechanisms and impact of tracking procedures applied by universities, national agencies and researchers, and assess their relevance for and impact on universities and their members. In the context of the project, “tracking” has been defined as all systematic approaches that can be used to monitor progression paths of HE students and their transition into the labour market or another HE programme.
The study is expected to give further indications on how to enhance the institutional capacity for providing high quality student-centred learning and training to a larger and diversified studentship, and to improve the understanding of the articulation between degrees and employability. By doing so, it would be expected to underpin ongoing educational reforms and to deliver an important contribution to the realisation of a Europe of knowledge.
Methodology, project phases
The first phase of the project, from October 2010 to September 2011, consists of the development of a background research report on tracking approaches in use at universities and at national level in different parts of Europe.
The second phase of the project, from September 2011 to March 2012 consists of qualitative research, based on site visits. In total, 10 countries will be covered by 20 site visits.
The third phase will bring the outcomes of the previous phases together in a final report. The report will contain an analysis of tracking measures and as well as a first impact assessment with regards to institutional enhancement. It will be presented to a larger audience at a dissemination event in September 2012 and will be widely distributed.
Project Progress Updates
For more information on Phase one, click here.
TRACKIT PROJECT STARTS SECOND PHASE
The TRACKIT project has moved into its second phase which consists of institutional site visits in about 10 countries and 20 HE institutions. Test site visits have been carried out in:
- Belgium at the VUB, UCL and KUL on 7 September 2011
- Ireland at the DCU and UCD on 20 September 2011
During the site visits the project consortium met with representatives from different levels and services at the university to discuss how and why the university tracks students and graduates, in which way they use the data collected and what the relation to national initiatives is.
Site visits in 9 further countries, namely in Estonia, France, Germany, Hungary Romania, Spain, Sweden, Turkey, and the UK will be carried out between September 2011 and March 2012.
TRACKIT Second Focus Group Meeting 19 September 2011
On 19 September 2011 the TRACKIT project partners had their second meeting with the project’s focus group. The project partners presented the internal background report project and the project’s activities to date. The background report gives a summary of the background information gathered on the different types of tracking initiatives in the 31 LLP countries. The feedback received from focus group members confirmed and complemented the information collected so far and highlighted important aspect to be followed up during the institutional site visits.
TRACKIT site visits
The project has already carried out site visits in:
- Spain: Autonoma de Madrid and Carlos III, 27-28 October 2011
- Estonia: Tallinn University of Technology and University of Tartu, 16-17 November 2011
- Hungary: Semmelweis University and Sigismund College, 22-23 November 2011
- Turkey: Istanbul Technical University and Sabanci University, 6-7 December 2011
- France: University Lille1 and Creteil University, 31 January-1 February 2012
- United Kingdom: University of Surrey, 14 February 2012
- Sweden: Lund University and University of Gothenburg, 7-8 February 2012
- Romania: University of Bucharest and Dimitrie Cantemir Christian University, 21-22 February 2012
- Germany: Technical University of Berlin, Free University of Berlin and University of Applied Sciences Leipzig , 8 March 2012
TRACKIT dissemination events
The report 'Tracking Learners' and Graduates' Progression Paths', the result of the two-year TRACKIT project, was launched and presented to audiences of higher education stakeholders and policy makers, in Dublin and Brussels. The participants discussed the reasons, uses and methods for tracking at both institutional and national levels and the implications for national and European level debates. Click here to read the report.
Dublin 13 September 18:15-20:00 at the premises of the Irish Universities Association
Click here to see the programme.
Brussels 18 September 11:00-12:30 at the Permanent Representation of the Czech Republic to the European Union
Click here to see the programme.
Click here to see the presentation.
Head of Unit
The project is carried out with the support of the Lifelong Learning Programme of the European Union. The opinions expressed are those of the authors, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.