LINKING WORK AND STUDIES – THE EMPLOYERS’ READINESS TO COOPERATE WITH THE UNIVERSITY IN IMPLEMENTING WORK SUPPORTIVE STUDIES PRINCIPLES

I. Maasi, E. Titov

University of Applied Sciences, Estonian Entrepreneurship (ESTONIA)
In the light of changing world, trends in labor market and life long learning (LLL), the higher education institutions (HEI) need paradigm shift from “working to support studies” to “studying to support work”. At HEIs we use students’ working experience and company to enrich studies, but probably we should use study methods and organization to enrich work and workplace. This would be also the real example of HEIs and companies cooperation and will show how the HEI serves society and helps economy. The aim of this article is to map the benefits and implementation possibilities of work supportive studies (WSS) from the employers’ perspective.

Variety of companies, among whose employees are also full time students, were questioned to find out their readiness to join in their studying employees studies.

Preliminary results show that the employers are mostly interested in cooperation with the university, but at the same time they really don’t believe in quick and greater gain. Those companies who already have positive cooperation experience are of course more motivated, but all the respondents were agreed, that they are not really ready to take additional responsibilities. The positive result is, that most of the companies can see the possible positive results from cooperation and are mostly ready to think about WSS as far as the university takes leading role and they don’t get huge extra responsibilities. The employers are willing to support the employee’s studies if they can see the opportunity in that not only something robbing the employee’s valuable time.