More employment for recent graduates, but of lower quality

When our children choose a career, one of the aspects that tend to take into account is what grades have more demand in the workplace. The reason is simple: you study a career because you like it and because you want to work thanks to it in the future. In this sense, In the last year there has been an increase in the jobs of recent graduates, but the jobs are of poorer quality.

This means that although the labor insertion of young university graduates improved last year when the unemployment rate fell by almost 1.5% and the occupation rate increased by more than one point, this was "at the expense" of accept jobs for which they are overqualified: 37% of university graduates have a job that does not require higher education, 5% more than in 2010.

Report on employability of university students

These data are some of those that are extracted from the report of the Foundation Growth and Development (CYD) on the contribution of Spanish universities in 2014. The work has been presented this week and offers an X-ray of the behavior of the Spanish university during the years of the economic crisis.

According to this work, today we live "a turning point"in which the budgetary contraction has been slowed down and indicators such as employability have begun to improve," said the vice-president of the CYD, Francesc Solé, and the president of the Chamber of Commerce of Spain and patron of CYD, José Luis. Bonet, during the presentation of the report.

According to the analyzed data, the unemployment rate dropped almost a point and a half while the temployment rate increased more than one point among university graduates in 2014, figures quite superior to those experienced in Europe, where the increase was two and four tenths, respectively.

Unemployment of university graduates

Even so, Spanish university graduates they are still living a harder situation than their colleagues in the European Union: unemployment is around 13.5% (in the EU it is 6%) and employment is around 6% while in the EU it is close to 12%.

In addition, as has already been done, Eurostat data say that 37 percent of graduates who have a job are in jobs that do not require higher education, a figure that is five percent higher than in 2010.

For Bonet, "one reflection that can be done is that the employability rate is improved in 2014 at the cost of university graduates being employed in positions that do not require their degree. "

Imbalance between degrees

For the CYD Foundation, an "imbalance" persists between the most demanded degrees and those with the best labor insertion have: Engineering, Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, Optics or Business Administration and Management have higher membership rates, less on qualifications, good salary and stability, but students demand less and they opt for others with fewer options to find a job, as Journalism or Advertising.

On this, Bonet has opined that it is "relevant aspects to develop public policies"that are aimed at the student" has more information on these attributes to decide what training wants to receive "and to decide" public policy when financing new studies. "

In spite of everything, the authors of the report seem satisfied with the results: the professor has influenced that 2014 is a "turning point" with "a clear improvement of the importance of the set of aspects that link the University with society. "For this reason, he has assured that" there is a feeling that things are changing ".

The end of the cuts

In another vein, the report puts the accent on what it seems "the end of budget cuts"Still, they show caution about the impact of the deficit target in the next year." When the universities complete their 2014 budget settlements, the reduction will be minimal or non-existent. This does not mean recovering pre-crisis budgets, but we are no longer in that reduction, "said Bonet.

On the crisis, Bonet has recognized that universities "they had to manage the situation with great difficulty ", a point on which the report highlights that the differences that already existed in issues such as public spending per student or scholarships "have increased".

In this sense, the report warns that in Spain there is less importance to scholarships than in the rest of the European Union: while in our country these study aids represent 0.11% of GDP, in Europe the percentage is 0.29. This, together with the increase in tuition fees, has resulted in a reduction in the number of students in the universities.

Fewer students, but more active

From the academic year 2011/2012 to 2014/2015 lA Spanish public university has lost "between 80,000 and 90,000 students"At the same time that the profile of the students has changed:" the majority now enrolls the entire course and wants to do continuous evaluation ", which means that participates "actively", probably because it is more aware of prices, especially those of second and successive enrollments.

The positive side of the changes that happened in the university is that the rates of return are "higher", something that has happened "despite the economic crisis", according to the report. To explain this, the study assures that in the 2012/2013 academic year the ratio of credits approved by enrolled students was 73 percent compared to 69.7 percent of the 2010/2011 academic year.

Research at the university

Along with these data, the report highlights that during the crisis years there have been more scientific publications, of which 70 percent have left the university: about 90,000 documents in 2013, representing 3.56 percent of the world total, a percentage higher than 3.43 percent in 2012.

Leadership, however, has declined, which has been accompanied by a slower growth rate of international scientific collaboration. "These trends coincide with a sharp drop in investment in R & D both in gross expenses and as a percentage of GDP, as well as in the volume of human resources dedicated to R & D," the report explains.

The text affects that in 2013, internal spending for these activities represented 1.2 percent of GDP, 0.2 percent less than in 2010 and 0.7 percent below the EU average. At the same time, staff also decreased in this period (3 percent).

"The situation facing Spanish society in general and the economy in particular has two major challenges," said Bonet, who explained that these two challenges are "increase the competitiveness of the economy "and" drastically reduce the unemployment rate ".

On this, has criticized that Spain "has not been able to address both challenges simultaneously" and recalled the importance of the University in these objectives: "we can hardly get out of the crisis and respond to these challenges without the university getting involved", it is finished.

Angela R. Bonachera

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