Dia 1

Yuzhuo Cai, University of Tampere
Arja Majakulma, Laurea UAS
European Migration Network V National Seminar
Immigration of International Students
Description of the studies
 VALOA study:
 international graduates (2009-10) from Finnish 15 HEIs
(survey with 363 respondents
 10 interviews with graduates and 10 with employers)
 Majakulma’s study:
 Statistics from Statistics Finland in 2008: graduates from
all programmes (N=103 313) and graduates from English
programmes (N=4673) at UASs in 2002-2006 according
to country of birth and main activity.
 21 interviews of graduates from different fields of study
and national backgrounds.
Aim of the studies
 How is the employment of international graduates
in Finland?
 Which factors affect the graduates’ employability
in the Finnish labour market?
 How should higher education develop the
graduates' emplyoability?
Location after graduation (VALOA)
90.0 %
80.0 %
77.9 %
70.0 %
60.0 %
50.0 %
40.0 %
30.0 %
20.0 %
12.6 %
9.5 %
Returned to home
Moved elsewhere
10.0 %
0.0 %
Settled in Finland
Employment rate (VALOA)
 70% of all respondents are currently
employed (N=253)
 Among those who are not employed (N=110),
 61% are undertaking further studies,
 11% are doing internship,
 29% are taking care of family,
 12% are in other situation.
Employment of UAS graduates from English
programmes– (Majakulma)
 13% of all graduates from English programmes had left
The employment rate of Finnish graduates was much higher
(82%) than the employment rate of international graduates
International graduates were more (8%) unemployed than
Finnish graduates (4%).
There were also more (12%) fulltime students among the
international graduates, 6% of Finnish graduates were
fulltime students.
The proportion of others was clearly higher among
international graduates.
According to a recent analysis of statistics
 The status of 2009 graduates from all HEIs with
foreign nationality in 2010
 51% were employed in Finland
 25% had left Finland
 7% were studying in Finland
 17% were otherwise in Finland
 differences according to the fields of study
Employment by regions (VALOA)
Status according to regions – English
programmes – (Majakulma)
Figure 2. Status according to the continents of birth
100 %
90 %
80 %
70 %
60 %
Other %
Fulltime students %
Unemployed %
Employed %
50 %
40 %
30 %
20 %
10 %
North America
South America
Continent of birth
The relevance of current job to the level of
education attained in Finland (VALOA)
Job satisfaction (VALOA)
Skills / competences affecting
• Proficiency in Finnish, understanding and
knowledge of the Finnish society
Personality – also employers highlight generic
Professional / subject-specific competence,
working experience
Cultural competence
Job seeking skills
Social networks
Obstacles to finding a job in Finland (VALOA)
How could education be developed?
Recommendations for HEIs 1
 Strategic marketing activities - recruiting most
gifted or relevant students
 Integration to Finland:
 Finnish and Swedish language studies
 especially advanced studies
 teaching methods are criticised being too grammar
 cultural knowledge
 but also international and intercultural
Recommendations for HEIs 2
 Connections to the labour market
 Enhancing the labour market relevance of university
 paying more attention to the needs in the labour
market, more cooperation with potential employers
in curriculum design and teaching
 Trying to project the prospective labour markets for
the students
 Helping students identify possible internships,
employers and target labour markets (in different
Recommendations for HEIs 3
 Reflection of self-development / professional
 relevant soft/generic skills are expected to be developed
during studies
 pay attention to context-specific knowledge and skills
 Job-seeking skills
 Learning methods, mix of international and local students
 Universities should strive to make the curriculum
offered in English equal (but not similar) to that
offered in Finnish
Many important courses are available only in Finnish or
Recommendations for HEIs 4
 Promoting graduates to employers
 most employers’ perception of the skills of international
graduates are intuitive
 more information and channels to be developed for the
employers to have a true picture of the graduates
 Developing alumni activities
 keeping a e-mail database of your graduates and collecting
feedback from them on the relevance of HE to the world of work
 tracking their employment situation for self-evaluation and
marketing purposes
Employers needs vs. Universities’
 Universities are developing students employability for
employers’ needs, but how about if employers’ perceptions
are wrong? Employers may be wrong in
 identifying perspective employees,
 understanding competences and potentials of graduates,
 predicting possible added values brought by the graduates
 Universities are not just about preparing students for the
future needs in the labour market, but also transforming
the future of labour market and bring in new values to the
Recommendations for HEIs 5
 Instead of imposing certain ideas on employers,
universities should join together with employers in
developing common belief systems based on mutual
 Universities need to engage with employers in order to gain
a grounded understanding of how their perceptions about
graduates capabilities are developed.
 Yuzhuo Cai’s new book, Understanding Employers’
Perceptions of International Graduates, provides a
conceptual framework for understanding the processes in
which employers develop their beliefs on the value of
graduates with similar educational credentials.
More information:
 Cai, Yuzhuo 2012: Understanding employers’ perceptions of international graduates: An
investigation of the employment prospects of Finnish-educated Chinese graduates in
Finnish companies operating in China. Tampere: Tampere University Press.
 Shumilova Yulia, Cai Yuzhuo, Pekkola Elias 2012. Employability of International
Graduates Educated in Finnish Higher Education Institutions. Valoa project, Univeristy
of Helsinki.
 Majakulma Arja 2011: The Employment of International Graduates - A case study: Finnish
Universities of Applied Sciences. In Internationalisation of European Higher Education.
An EUA/ACA Handbook, European University Association, Academic Cooperation
Association. Raabe.
 Majakulma Arja 2011: Enhancing the Employability of International Graduates during
Education – A Case Study based on Finnish Universities of Applied Sciences. In
Ammattikasvatuksen aikakauskirja 2.2011.
 Majakulma Arja 2011: Ammattikorkeakouluista valmistuneiden ulkomaalaisten
työllistyminen. In Rinne R, Tähtinen J, Jauhiainen A, Broberg M. (eds.)
Koulutuspolitiikan käytännöt kansallisessa ja ylikansallisessa kehyksessä. FERA, Suomen
kasvatustieteellinen seura ry.

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