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Brussels, 27 September 2007
Hogeschool voor Wetenschap & Kunst (VLEKHO)
Koningsstraat / Rue Royale 336 - 1030 Brussels
Current and Future Linguistic Needs of Graduates on the European and International Labour Markets
The TNP3-D European Conference will be the climax of a one-year dissemination network project funded by the European Commission under the Socrates-Erasmus Programme. TNP3, the third full-fledged Thematic Network Project in the Area of Languages (2003-2006) sought to work towards structured consultation and collaboration between universities and other stakeholders, including employers in the language industry, enterprise in general, authorities responsible for and institutions in the other sectors of education, academic and professional organisations, and graduates – in order to align higher education offerings to changing and emerging needs and to place them in the structure of lifelong learning. TNP3 started to pave the way towards structured dialogue and collaboration through conference workshops, a Europe-wide on-line consultation and the launch of a virtual consortium.
One of the insights gained through TNP3 was the awareness that there are considerable, in some cases huge differences across Europe as regards labour market needs and higher education programmes. Because of this, the main emphasis of TNP3-D is on decentralised dissemination through one-day conferences in Aarhus (DK), Braga (PT), Southampton (UK) and Warsaw (PL). The results of these regional conferences will also inform the input of the European Conference.
The European Conference will be opened by Mr Ján Figel’, member of the European Commission responsible for Education, Culture and Youth, and closed by Mr Leonard Orban, member of the European Commission responsible for Multilingualism. The presentation of major TNP3 results will be followed by three panels on the following themes:
- Languages in higher education
- Linguistic, language-related, and cultural skills and competences required of higher education graduates on the European labour market
- Consultation and collaboration between universities and other stakeholders
There will be several opportunities for Conference participants to take part in discussions.
The principal aim of the Conference is to provide a forum for critical reflection on the outcomes of TNP3 and of the regional conferences, and for discussion about future action. TNP3 clearly showed that the principal difficulty in building bridges between universities and the various environments is in bringing about a structured dialogue between higher education and enterprise. The Conference is to send clear signals to both higher education institutions and enterprises why it is in their own best interest to engage in continuous dialogue. In addition, we shall draw attention to the fact that when we speak of the employability of graduates, we also have to think of non-commercial sectors of the labour market, for example public authorities at different levels and INGO’s.
TNP3-D has 65 partners in 27 participating countries and in Switzerland. The Conference will be chaired by Arthur Mettinger, Vice rector of the University of Vienna and President of the Network of Universities from the Capitals of Europe (UNICA).