1 Academy of Economic Studies, Bucharest (ROMANIA)
2 Emanuel University of Oradea (ROMANIA)
About this paper:
Appears in: INTED2015 Proceedings
Publication year: 2015
Pages: 5504-5515
ISBN: 978-84-606-5763-7
ISSN: 2340-1079
Conference name: 9th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 2-4 March, 2015
Location: Madrid, Spain
As the European Union (EU) continues to implement the Bologna process, massive changes in global markets have reshaped the relationship between higher education and global industries and market institutions. From this result, the alignment and collaboration between universities and industry has never been more critical. The European Higher Education Area (EHEA) most recently, in its 2012 Bucharest Communique, identified three priorities for future research and action: mobility, employability and quality. As stated in the Communique regarding employability: “Work to enhance employability, lifelong learning, problem-solving and entrepreneurial skills through improved cooperation with employers, especially in the development of educational programs” (5).

This research project attempts to investigate the priority of employability among a sample of Romanian industry experts and university students and recent graduates on the issue of human resource/talent expectations. The purpose of this project is to identify a set of correlates that best predict the difference between industry expectations and student self-assessments on 25 talent and human resource value characteristics. This project surveyed an expert panel of Romanian employers and produced a ranked assessment of the 25 most important value orientations successful workers in Romanian industry should possess. An additional 892 Romanian university students and recent graduates were surveyed and recorded their self-assessed importance levels of these expert-panel identified 25 value orientations. Preliminary analyses show a values mismatch between industry expectations and student self-assessments. For example, while Romanian industry experts ranked “Honest and integrity” as the top value orientation expectation for Romanian professionals, surveyed students ranked this same value orientation as the 6th most important within their self-assessments. Important covariates such as future career goals, demographic characteristics and other socioeconomic factors will be analysed to determine what predictive factors, if any, explain these value differentials. A variety of analytical approaches will be undertaken from simple correlational methods to factor analysis and regression modelling.

The goal of this research is to be able to inform on trends and explanatory frameworks within the Romanian context that will help guide future research, planning and Bologna process implementation in Romania. This will occur by creating closer alignment between university and industry communications, processes and expectations regarding the necessary value orientations the Romanian industry is seeking in current and future human resource talent. Our research may shed light on these aims through the identification of baseline data on industry and university student values and how these data and further research may assist higher education institutions in their curriculum development and learning outcome assessment strategies. We hope this research and others similar to it will help guide us in how to best create synergistic and collaborative public-private partnerships to achieve the critical goal for employability and economic development in Romania and the broader EU as set by the EHEA and the Bologna process.